DO LIFE BETTER - EPISODE 20 - Jemimah Ashleigh: Boosting High Performance With Healthy Habits
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When I first spoke with her, I couldn’t believe how much today’s guest has already experienced and achieved. She worked for the Australian Federal Police as a criminal intelligence analyst, is one of Australia’s Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs, she is an improvisor, a comedy writer, a speaker, and a soon to be author. Jemimah Ashleigh has always been a high performer, though it was in 2015 while driving her car that a frightening experience taught her a powerful lesson for achieving higher levels of success and overcoming life's obstacles. In today's episode, I chat with Jemimah as she shares how high performers can achieve even more with some extra self care.
Here are the main points from their chat:
Jemimah worked in law enforcement for 10 years and studied a Bachelor of Science majoring in national security. This lead to work in prisons and eventually the Australian Federal Police.
After 10 years she felt stressed and burnt out after finding the job wasn't exactly what Jemimah thought it would be. “What people don't tell you about law enforcement is no one is ever having a good day”
Being a type A person (extremely driven) Jemimah found her self either putting 100% effort into something or nothing at all, saying she goes with her gut and goes where she needs to be.
Jemimah considered law enforcement her dream job, but found she was always dealing with someone who had committed an offence which were mostly quite horrible for the victim. Dealing with this is an extremely stressful job, and not being able to talk about these incidents with family or friends added a level of secrecy and burden.
Jemimah found that there was no decompression time between work and her personal life. For a long time she didn't realise the issues she was dealing with, just believing it was a part of the job, especially when she was surrounded by people up to forty hours a week experiencing the same things. The shift came when Jemimah started improvisation and comedy classes, where the line became very clear.
In 2015 Jemimah had been working overseas and had the opportunity to move to Manhattan in New York, and met a silversmith, watching and learning how to work with metal and jewellery.
Whilst driving in 2015, Jemimah had a major panic attack, the first time she had ever encounter any form of mental illness. This was a big step up from any form of nervousness she had ever encountered. She struggled to do every day actions due to anxiety, even becoming unable to get to work.
Jemimah says that education is most important when it comes to mental illness. She sought medical help straight away and saw a psychologist and psychiatrist who helped her get a better understanding of what was happening. As anxiety and depression go hand in hand, Jemimah was constantly being hit by this wave of emotions. After getting medication, life became much better in a matter of days which resulted in Jemimah being able to return to some aspects of her life without the anxiety.
Jemimah started using meditation and physical activities such as running to release her “Stress Bucket” The combination of exercise, meditation and medication helped start the healing process.
After working extremely hard to achieve her dream job and asking herself if she was really happy with it, Jemimah said that “our dream job is our goal and once we get the goal what happens next?”
After researching cortisole, Jemimah developed many different healthy habits and discovered different foods can help deal with stress and help heal your body.
Jemimah says for self care to be effective, all it takes is an hour a day, only four percent of the day, Self care is never selfish, you are actually doing it for your job and for your family. Self care can be just checking in with yourself throughout the day and can look different from person to person and it only needs to be about finding a balance. Its the fun and addiction of a positive lifestyle and breaking in that new healthy habit.
Self care is not about what our body looks like or what size of pants you wear. It’s about living a positive lifestyle and being the best version of you that you can be.
Working currently as an entrepreneur, Jemimah says that it is not as glamorous as everyone thinks. Working up to eighteen hour days, there are so many exit doors with ups and downs at every turn. Jemimah sees her morning routine of exercise as the start of her working day.
Jemimah is releasing her book in April, and hopes to be mentioned on the Australian Entrepreneur mixed list and hopes to build better entrepreneurs, releasing her own podcast series.
Jemimah’s challenge for this week is firstly to have a think about what you love doing. It doesn't have to be running or meditation, it could be anything from joining an art class to having a dance by yourself at home! It’s about finding your own release that is not career focused or family focused just you focused. “Find something that you love in your life that is just for you.”
You can find Jemimah Ashleigh at www.jemimahashleigh.com
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Now, go out and create a great day.