Catching Zzz's: An interview with Alison Prangnell << Back
Chamber Vice-President Jill Woolf recently caught up with Summit workshop leader Alison Prangnell of Anderida Coaching, Master NLP Coach and Clinical Hypnotherapist, with a passion for health and mindset in life and business. Her workshop is called Sleep Like a Baby, Live Like a Superhero.
Here we learn more about Alison and why she wanted to be part of the Summit.
Jill: When, how and why did you become a Stress Management Consultant and Performance Coach?
Alison: I started my own business two years ago after coaching part-time around my old day job. I was inspired to work in stress management because of my own journey.
Like many people I worked in environments with a lot of stress, either because of culture and management style, volume of work, or the way I handled it. I got burnout and became pretty ill.
When I had burnout, it was before everyone started talking about it. I went to the GP and all I got was a shrug of the shoulders. It’s better now, I know, but I had to learn from the ground up how to make myself well again.
So, I combined this knowledge with my experience of management in fast-growing SMEs with coaching skills like NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) to help businesses and their people become more resilient and create a culture that doesn’t fuel stress, burnout and illness.
The result is happier, more motivated people and a more profitable business.
Jill: Who comes to you for help and what are the main causes of their issues?
Alison: I work with senior execs through to anyone experiencing stress in their day-to-day lives.
People believe the major factor in their stress is work, which can’t be denied but what many people don’t have a clear sight of is how many other factors contribute to their stress experience. If you take control and do something positive, you can significantly reduce your stress symptoms by managing all the other factors and become more resilient, physically and mentally.
We can’t eliminate stress, it’s a programmed response to a situation. What we need to get better at is recognising and managing our response to those situations, which is easier than many people think.
Jill: It’s easy to believe that lack of sleep is a phenomenon which has materialised over the last 20 or 30 years, but has it always been so, we just haven’t talked about it, or is it more to do with the increasing use of technology, which was meant to make life easier for us?!
Alison: People have always found it hard to sleep at some time or another, we’re human after all. Particularly in times of stress our sleep can suffer, they can be intrinsically linked. Having said that, some people who are stressed sleep for England. I always did!
Technology is a big contributing factor, it has insinuated itself into our every waking minute and our bedrooms. It’s designed to be addictive, keeping your brains awake even when your sleep cycle needs your brain to start slowing down to get that sleep you crave. Playing on your mobile phone all evening won’t help you sleep better. Period.
But there are so many other factors and that’s why you can’t look at sleep in isolation, it is modern life overall. We have busier lives where we are on the go all the time, desperately trying to balance families and work, invading our personal lives through technology, and we feel like we have too little time for relaxation.
Factor in the explosion in the volume of sugar and caffeine (and alcohol) we have been consuming – all of which are sleep disruptors; even our exercise regimes. We run out of time and try and do a workout late at night which again disrupts our ability to sleep properly.
If we want better sleep and less stress then making small incremental changes (which we can manage when things feel fraught and we don’t want yet another task on the to-do list) will start making big differences. All of this is manageable even though it might not seem like it at first glance.
Jill: Tell me about your workshop for the Summit. Great title, by the way.
Alison: The workshop at the event is a taster of the longer one I offer businesses and individuals. So many people don’t understand all the factors they could change, even just a tiny bit, to get better sleep and a better quality of life.
Improve the quality of your sleep (it’s not always about quantity) and your health, relationships and performance in work, sport or flying the world with your superhero cape can only improve.
Jill: What will attendees get out of the session?
Alison: They’ll understand sleep better and how important it is overall, not just relieving them from feeling frazzled. They’ll go away with quick wins – practical ideas to help them start improving their sleep cycles and energy after the session. Most of all, they’ll learn how they can get greater control over what’s happening rather than feeling at the mercy of the ticking clock by the bedside.
Jill: How can we book on to your half or full-day sleep workshops and where do they take place? (I might well see you there soon)
Alison: I offer in-house workshops for businesses and public sessions throughout the year people can book on individually. I advocate the full-day events as you can really start getting down to the details and put a personalised plan together as well as learn some self-hypnosis techniques.
Jill Woolf is Managing Director of leading strategic PR, communications and marketing consultancy Chimera Communications and a mentor at the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator as well as at the Business School at the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton. Read the full interview here.