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After suffering extensive workplace bullying herself, Jessica turned a negative situation into a positive learning and now dedicates her work to preventing bullying in workplaces and schools.

Jessica’s personal definition of Bullying is: ‘Persistent, intentional health-harming behaviour that creates a hostile environment and can affect every aspect of a victim’s life – mind, body and spirit’.

Jessica has identified a gap in the market and stepped into the space to shine a light on the ‘dark shadow’ of bullying in workplaces and schools which urgently needs to be addressed on a global level.

What happened to me? Did life just grind me down, was I over-worked? Had I stopped living for the moment and was I simply existing?

Did I lose my passion, drive and have no connection to whom I really was?

Chasing success, limited sleep, surviving on sugar, coffee and boozy weekends…

Each morning I was repeating the mantra. Another day, another dollar and only 12 hours to go! I was counting down until my next day off or my next holiday. I was never present and I was never appreciating living in the now. I was simply stuck repeating the same patterns and self-destruct scenarios.

Then it hit me – BURNOUT!

I began to understand working long hours in a negative environment comes at a price. That price was the disconnection from myself, my health and my sense of self-fulfilment.

I had to make a change.

A pathway was opened up to explore meditation and mindfulness. The discussions were around mind, body and spiritual wellbeing. For the first time in two years, I began to feel connected to myself again. I started to take responsibility for my own mindset.

While it was not immediately possible to walk away from a job where I suffered at the hands of my bullying boss, it was possible to learn it’s not selfish to take care of me.

I began to reach out, find experts, discover tools, develop skill sets and seek out information on how to live a life where every day brings happiness. I chose to create something new for myself, a new beginning, fresh start and a way forward. Since my experience, I am using my free time more mindfully, exploring new networks and more supportive social groups.

Today I have created my business and found my life purpose built on the pain and wisdom learnt during the dark time to help share inspiration and expertise and to help change mindsets.

It took extreme burnout to shake myself, notice the effects of a toxic environment and empower myself to make a change.

Tips to avoid burnout:

  1. Self-talk.
    When I wake up in the morning I remind myself today is going to be an AMAZING day. How you start your day shapes your success.
  2. Take time to yourself.
    Whether it’s a walk in the park, sitting in a quiet space or looking out at the ocean.
  3. Look at the energy vampires – social media, news, toxic relationships and make the changes needed.
  4. Reach out and seek help and guidance.
  5. Sleep.
    8 hours a night minimum (not always possible but try your best!)
  6. Eat nourishing food that makes you feel alive and kicking
  7. Surround yourself with like mind people that uplift you.
  8. Create daily rituals for sustainable success.
    Gratitude journals, meditation and yoga are some examples of feel-good factors.
  9. Exercise.
    Release some super endorphins
  10. Do something you love. Travel, write, swim – whatever fills your cup!

Ten tips to avoid burnout

Turning the adversity of her own workplace bullying experience into positive change, Jessica now helps others understand the complex nature of modern bullying. 

To learn more about Jessica’s bullying story and what actions you should take if you are currently being bullied, tune in to the first episode of the Bullyologist podcast below, or read up further on Jessica’s 5 top tips for surving workplace bullying and what to do as a leader. 

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Jessica Hickman

Jessica Hickman

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