There has been an exorbitant amount of change in my life over the past month; new house, new job(s), new classes. As amazing as all of the transitions have been there’s no doubt that I’ve fallen prey to the hustle. There’s a part of my personality that likes to get everything done at all once, have whatever I do be done perfectly, and never ever failing. I’m dutifully aware of these tendencies, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t get caught up in them.
Yesterday I hit an energetic wall. You know, one of the ones where life swoops in and kicks you in the ass because you haven’t been sleeping well enough, eating right or managing your time effectively? Yeah, one of those. So I decided to ask for help, get a little time off to rest and restore and now it’s on to creating a plan of action so I don’t end up depleted and strung out at the end of each day.
For the most part I know what I need to do in order to support myself, but being successful in these actions requires Double ‘D’ action; dedication and determination. It’s easy to sacrifice a good nights rest in order to do a little more work, or eat whatever is convenient because I haven’t taken the time to prep. Well the buck stops here, I’m calling ‘May Day!’ on myself and resetting. While this post will take you inside my own personal journey, it’s my hope that you can find ways to better support yourself too inside each bullet point.
Phase One- Planning
There is no better way to combat stress than to plan for it. I work over 50 hours a week on average and if I don’t set a schedule for myself that includes adequate rest, nourishment, self-care, and organize my time well it’s easy to over do it.
- Write Out Schedule by Hand – I have this beautiful daily planner that has been collecting dust over the last month. I’ve been relying on my phone calendar and constant email checking to stay up to date on where I’m supposed to be when. Manually writing out my days has proven in the past to reduce my stress. So I dusted the sucker off, sat down and got to it.
- Meal Plan – Diet is key. I eat well almost out of habit. I rarely go out. I cook at home. But lately I’ve fallen into comfort food eating with such favorites as eggs on toast, popcorn and ‘healthy’ nachos. Not this week. I wrote out a deeply nourishing yet relatively easy meal list then checked my cupboards and fridge to see what I needed. List complete.
- Prioritizing Self-Care Time – I landed myself in the hospital this month to learn at 34 years of age that I have an ulcer! It was almost too ironic when the doctor asked me what I was doing to combat my stress levels and then (wait for it…..) asked me if I had ever tried yoga! Ahh. I had to laugh. When your life revolves in and around the wellness industry it’s easy to think that all the classes you teach or all the talks you lead on living a healthy lifestyle can account for your own wellness. Nope. I have to do the work too. So I scheduled in at-home practice time just for me, and a nightly bath when I wrote out my weekly schedule, emphasizing self-care time for myself each day. I even booked myself a facial (see you soon Stacy!).
- Knock Off the Stimulants – Let’s be clear I heart coffee. Like, heart it. But when sleep is minimal and the to-list is maxed out it’s SUPER seductive to use stimulants for support. Coffee, I love you, but it’s time for a break. I’m choosing to eliminate my caffeine intake for a while and rejuvenate my adrenal system. Outside of coffee I only really drink water, but I can always drink more, so I’m substituting my morning joe with extra water.
- Have Fun – One of my mentors asked me not too long ago when I was essentially complaining about my ability to #showup in my life; “Well, what are you doing for fun.” Silence. I had no answer. I haven’t been doing anything for fun and couldn’t even recall the last time I got out on a hike or chilled with my friends. So I’m making it a point this week to optimize fun! Balance is key and my workload has been far exceeding fun-time. I need to even out the scales a bit more.
Phase Two- Action
Plans are great, but following through is where the magic happens. I think it’s important to note here, life will always mess with your plans. Again it’s about the DD; dedication and determination. Know when to hold em’, know when to fold em’!
- Get Laundry Done – As simple as a task that this is, having all my clothes clean and ready to roll into the week ahead is helpful and serves a dual purpose! Not only are my clothes clean but my personal space feels clean and removed of unnecessary clutter.
- Go Grocery Shopping – Having the ability to swoop by the store at any time and grab what you need can be hard on your bank account and your body. There is definitely something to be said for going into the store with a list in hand. I did exactly that and now my fridge is stocked with good food and I know what I’m going to be eating all week.
- Get My Work Done or AKA Don’t Procrastinate – Working social media is a pretty large element of my job, and it can be a slippery slope. Why you might ask? Well constantly being glued to media outlets and checking performance on ads, posts and likes can steal time. So I scheduled my entire week out in advance for the companies I work for eliminating the need to give my energy away to that throughout the week. I recognize it can be done differently, so let the shift begin.
- REST – yep. After all of the things I’ve done I’m choosing to rest. And inside of this category I also have to find balance. There are lots of ways to rest and some activities are more rejuvenating that others. I’m implementing daily morning meditation back into the game (which is where today began), and allowing myself time to relax. This might include a Netflix episode or two, and that’s ok!- as long as it’s not my only outlet of relaxation.
If I had to take this post and put it into a concise sentence it would be Health 101. Sleep well, eat well, work well, exercise, meditate and rest. It’s truly that simple. But simplicity can be ironically hard. I’m DD’ing this list and getting after it, welcoming May 1st with my whole heart.