My name is Julia Arndt and I am a stress and mindfulness coach, speaker and trainer living in Lake Tahoe, California.
I hail from Germany and have studied, worked and lived in many different countries over the past 11 years, from England to France and Australia, to Ireland and finally ended up in the US four years ago.
I worked for Google for over 7 years, starting in account management roles and then moved into project and program management roles.
In those past 7 years, besides my full-time job that not was not always limited to a 40 hour work week and the occasional business travel, I was also always really determined and excited to grow personally. So I certified as a life and business coach, graduated at Dublin Business School in a diploma of sports psychology, certified as a yoga instructor and yoga therapist and finally as a gym instructor.
Yes! That’s a very diverse list of different things and I wasn’t too worried about how these different interests would fit together, all I knew was that I was extremely curious and interested to grow in these areas and enjoyed the process.
And then I fell in love with Lake Tahoe...
Almost exactly three years ago, I fell in love with a beautiful alpine lake in Northern California, known and widely famous as Lake Tahoe - and for the first time in more than 7 years, strangely felt at home whenever I came to visit...so an extremely exciting, but at the same time very tiring and exhausting period of my life started. During the week, I would be at my full-time job in Silicon Valley, ambitious to deliver projects timely, pleasing my team and leadership and trying to get to the next promotion and pay raise as quickly as possible.
During the weekend, I drove 450 miles to spend my weekends in a place where I could recharge my batteries and escape the stress at work. I didn’t know where this sudden interest living in 6300 feet elevation, amongst mountains came from, but I followed my heart.
I bought a little condo in 2016, met my fiancé shortly after, became the project lead on an international pilot where I worked with 12 different teams across the globe and more than 60 individual stakeholders, traveled to Toronto, Delhi, and Dublin and spent a lot of my time in late night meetings to connect with other global offices. I felt overwhelmed, had a hard time sleeping and besides all the responsibility and growth never felt like I satisfied the expectations of my project partners.
I changed roles internally to alleviate stress
In June 2017, I changed roles internally with the hope of a less stressful lifestyle, but the challenges continued: a reorg shortly after I joined redefined team structure and responsibilities, a new leadership team had new project needs and expectations, I struggled to continue continuously exceeding performance evaluations to get to the next promotion to justify the long days in the office and late meetings with global offices, chasing deadlines, often sleepless nights and exhausting weekends trying to make the most of my two day trip in the mountains.
What I initially experienced as fun and recharge, became, honestly, a nightmare.
I was so exhausted during the weekends that I didn’t feel like socializing, got in fights with my partner, unfairly blaming him for feeling overwhelmed and tired, struggling to say goodbye every three days to spend 4 days alone during the week, and receiving more and more signals from my body: nausea during my long hours in the car and in work meetings the days after, binge eating and watching shows when I couldn’t sleep at night, and that constant feeling in my stomach of a million ants, anxious to meet everyone’s expectations at work, spending enough quality time with my fiancé, friends and family and scared of road accidents after escaping a few hot situations myself while driving alone at night.
I was connected at all times, had no time for myself, and my nerves were on edge - aaaaaall the freakin time.
I didn’t feel like myself anymore and no matter how hard I tried to keep this lifestyle up and reasoned with myself that everything is going to fall into place, I couldn’t deny the thoughts in my head and the signals of my body any longer.
I was burned out
One Sunday morning early August 2018, I woke up and against all feelings of guilt, shame and desperation, I finally decided: I need to take care of myself. The next morning, I went to see my doctor, got diagnosed with burnout and anxiety and a recommendation to stay at home for three months to recover from it all.
When I returned to work, I knew, I wanted to share my story and help other people.
I wanted to send the message that I had so much longed for a few months earlier: that no matter who experienced stress right now, was not alone. I sent an email to a few internal groups to offer to share my experience and my new learned insights and received over 300 messages from people all over the world in just a few days.
I was overwhelmed by the feedback from people and decided: there is more to do and more people to reach than in a one hour lunch and learn session at work.
What I'd like you to take away and learn
My goal is to help you understand where stress comes from, how it affects you and the people around you and share tools and techniques from my own personal experience, from my coaching background and from international research, books and workshops to help you create a more mindful lifestyle while staying focused and delivering results.
The goal is not to remove and avoid stress, but to create a healthier lifestyle where you are able to identify stressful situations and take the right actions to fill your energy reserves to avoid long term effects on body, mind and relationships.
We all experience stress, no matter if you are single, in a relationship or a parent; no matter if you have a full-time job that you enjoy or are in transition to a new team, no matter if you are looking for a new job or are a college student chasing to meet deadlines.
I hope this blog will inspire you to actively start working on better managing your stress, connect with yourself and regain your confidence to be more focused at work, deliver great results while being able to mindfully spend time for yourself and with your family.
My promise: to move from stressed to empowered.
Remember: Stress management is a skill that everyone can learn!
You are already on the right track to make sustainable changes to your professional career and personal life.
I wish you all the best.
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