I’ve been in the middle of a miniature burn-out, lately. I’m three quarters of the way through a tough full-time semester at Uni and I’m working hard on freelance projects for existing clients and my own business ventures. Amongst all this trying to be a good partner, sister, daughter, and friend… but self care… well, that has recently become just another thing on the To Do list.
We all have a list of things we want to accomplish every year and mine are characteristically ambitious. The energy of an extensive end-of-year break and a fresh calendar to start with, left me with all plans and no power… and no pay cheque. I used the last of my savings up on “just one more course” and hoped for the best. But a goal without action is just a dream, and now it’s mid-May and I can barely comprehend where the year has gone but my planned achievements are nowhere to be seen and I’m exhausted.
After a few days spent staring at the screen like a zombie or lying on the bed feeling helpless, and a long weekend feeling stressed and then unwell and overwhelmed with passed deadlines, I felt that change was also overdue. I decided to focus on me for the month of May; recharge, correct course, and figure out what I need to do to look after myself so I can tick off some goals in a more sustainable way.
Firstly, I had a coaching call with the wise and wonderful Rachel MacDonald. Brilliant. Her advice? If self care is becoming a chore, then find a way to fit in small actions in a way that works for you. Can get up at 5am to meditate? Go for a walk with Meditones or do it before getting into bed. Finding it hard to journal regularly AND feeling the pressure to create blog posts? Combine the two (so here I am, although just taking the pressure off has meant falling into the pages more regularly again).
Self care is as simple as doing something for yourself every day.
- 15 minutes sitting in the sun and breathing deeply.
- A thorough loofah scrub in a warm shower and body lotion attentively applied.
- Soothing music, essential oils and, oracle card guidance before diving into work.
- Watching the Budget Reply with a glass of wine (No? Just me then…).
- Pressing the call bell for a cup of tea and sipping mindfully while marvelling at the view from 12km above.
- Ordering healthy meals to be delivered or having your partner cook to give you a break.
- Acknowledging that today you really do need someone to take that task off your hands.
- Painting your toenails and reading a magazine while they dry, with your phone on aeroplane mode.
- Cancelling social plans for an early night in fresh, clean sheets.
- Calling your besties for a group chat over Skype and just laughing until it hurts.
Just one thing every day to disconnect from the noise, recharge your batteries, and reconnect with you. Remove self care from the ‘To Do’ list and instead cultivate some small actions that are burnout-preventative measures, non-negotiables, easy-to-accomplish, and enjoyable.
I don’t sleep well when I have a million things in my head, so it’s completely essential for me to have these practices, and I have always felt guilty for not doing them, and guilty for doing them instead of “productive work” but I know that it’s not productive being burned out, and these little actions mean more useful brain power when it is time to work. Win-win.
Join me in these little moments during May over on Instagram with the hashtag #hpgmeformay as we aim to end the month with a continuing commitment to looking after ourselves and achieving our goals.