When I first started traveling regularly in 2015, I quickly adapted a “preparation-mode”. I’d book flights, arrange and rearrange my schedule, figure out where I would be laying my head at night, you know, the details that take just as much time as the trips themselves.
It would have been great if I had a big pause button on my life that I could hit when all the details get overwhelming, but that isn’t the case. Life is still happens and it seems to be come on at turbo speed.
Back then I was doing work with two jobs (which I loved thank goodness!), the kids still had activities, we had just found out a car was worth more dead than alive and had to replace it unexpectedly, with the turn of the 2015 came a list of to-dos that popped up due to getting married the year before, and mind you, I still had a chronic illness to manage (and along with that came having to schedule and get saline infusions before each trip). The bank of spare time always seemed to be over-drafted, and quite honestly it still can at times. When it comes down to it, I am so blessed and fortunate to be able to have all of those things and relationships in my life that require time. I would regularly find myself wondering, where the heck am I going to find even a few seconds for myself?
I am going to be honest with you. Life doesn’t magically slow down. That oasis over the bend, it’s an illusion unless I create it. I have to put my big-girl panties on and tell the universe what I am willing to take on and what I am not. There is endless work that I can do, in my business, in my home life, in my spiritual life, in all areas. I am responsible for making sure I have time to nurture myself. It hasn’t been easy to stay disciplined at it, and honestly, in the moment it seems like so much more of a hassle than a saving grace. The reality of the situation is, the couple days that I haven’t taken those moments for myself, I have been less productive, more agitated, and just plain off. So what are these jewels that I have been pulling out of my back pocket to create a lifeline of sanity and well-being? They are things so simple, yet so easy to skip. I promise you, try them if you aren’t practicing them already. You can thank me later.
- Get Centered I know I talk about meditation a lot, but it really is the glue that binds me in the moments I would otherwise lose my s***. First thing in the morning, every morning. I commit to taking a minute, that’s it, a teeny, tiny, minute to center and silence my mind. I usually end up doing a bit more, but when I start the day with at least a minute my days go so much smoother.
- Routine Have a routine. Have a few. I have a morning and an evening routine. I work from home so it is really easy to run from my bed to the computer and start my work day. If I can give you any advice, ever, it is to NOT do this! Taking the time to practice meditation, cook a quick breakfast, clean up, get my diffuser going in my office, and GET DRESSED makes a world of difference in how my day goes. Same thing goes for night.
- Move Being a fitness professional this may seem like a no-brainer, but after getting sick a couple years ago and actually having a neurologist tell me that I need to minimize exercise and focus on just walking regularly (then actually listening to him for a couple months until I realized I felt so much worse, both physically and mentally), I fell out of routine. Eek! There’s that word again! I schedule exercise just the same as I would a conference call or a trip… and I stick to it. I know myself so I have to be careful to be realistic, if some days I know that I will just look on my calendar at it and blow it off if it’s more than 20 minutes, I don’t try to put it in for an hour. Again, just like meditation, if I can get into it, I usually end up doing more anyways, but if not, I am doing it and doing it regularly.
- Schedule It I literally have the words “self-care” written in my calendar some days and I have my Google calendar split into 6 different calendars, one for each family member, one for my business, one for outside projects, and one for ME (p.s. I am not my business). Heck, some days it is my intention for the day! Usually it looks more like my chiropractor appointment, exercise, call *insert friend’s name here*, or even nap, but it is in there. Otherwise, during times like these, I can be very guilty of having the intention in the back of my mind all day, pushing it back further and further in the day until, whoa, it’s time to get ready for bed. And yes, I schedule in family and friend time too.
- Take Breaks I know in the moment, it may seem like the most irrational thing to do stopping something that is completely productive to do something that seems like it isn’t productive at all. The secret is, that time that doesn’t seem productive, it really is. Taking care of ourselves is really one of the most productive thing we can do. I wouldn’t want to be flying in a plane that they didn’t take time to service so why would I want to work without taking care of me?
- Debrief This may sound silly, but it really does help. Ever night I inventory that day. What I did well, any yucky feelings I may have carried with me and why, and so on. I write it down on paper and it really helps. Get a journal, let out the stuff that has built up in your head over the day and you will understand why it is so important to me. It really is like a daily mental detox and it helps me to put things in perspective and gain clarity on things.
- Be Mindful of What You Put On and In You When times are chaotic, I am already under stress that can’t be avoided. It is so important to make sure that I am not adding stress to my body by putting unnecessary toxins and chemicals into my body. It would be easy (and momentarily gratifying) to pick up a bag of Valentine candy at the store and munch while I work, but my body and my mind perform better when I am sticking to a healthy diet and making sure what I am putting on my body is natural. The last thing I want to do is add to the stress.
- Take Time for Others I almost didn’t include this one, but I have to. It does make a huge difference. Even though my mental dialogue when I am stepping away from my oh so world stopping super important tasks may not be anything happy, positive, or short of just plain whiny, doing something for another person (even just interacting with someone for something not related to my list of tasks) always leaves me feeling more energized, more positive, just a better human in general. Please don’t skimp on this one, but also have boundaries.
These are the things that keep me from losing my mind, health, and even myself.
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