Over the past few months, I’ve been continually in need of some serious headspace.
I know people are ‘over’ the whole concept of busy. But believe me when I say this girl’s been busy. Or at least busier than I ever have been, in the best ways possible.
New clients. New challenges. New opportunities. New connections. Don’t get me wrong I’m only just starting, but it is amazing to look back and see how far I’ve come after years of sewing seeds to get my foot in the door with all this.
Running a business comes with that juggling act, trying to find a magical work life ‘balance’
However, with incredible opportunities (and a self-confessed workaholic mindset) comes a fair amount of adrenaline and inevitably cortisol. As weird as this sounds, I’m as happy and healthy as I’ve ever been, whilst simultaneously being the busiest and most stressed I've ever been?
Running a business comes with that juggling act, trying to find a magical work-life ‘balance’ of looking after yourself (because your business starts and ends with your wellbeing) and saying yes to incredible opportunities (and work) that are really moving the needle for your personal and business growth.
I’ve had a long, honest chat with myself recently…and I’ve decided that:
♡ Social media is part of my job but I spend far too much time on it.
♡ Some days I am a slave to ‘consuming’ social media and allow that time to infringe on my time ‘creating’ social media that is positive, inspiring and makes a difference in the world.
♡ Sometimes I commit to the work that I do and let that commitment stop me from putting myself first that day - which is exactly the opposite of what I encourage others to do.
♡ This is a tough one to swallow...Some days I don’t practice what I preach. I skip the gym in favour of work, I “don’t have time” to meditate, I leave my lunch break to the last minute then just eat a Magnum instead because I'm knackered and want sugar...*face palm*
This isn’t a “woe is me” blog post or a stick to beat myself with. It’s an honest conversation I’ve had with myself over the past few weeks, in order to find a solution.
Just as I would with a client, I had to ask myself...
What are my daily, baseline self-care needs?
How am I going to commit to putting myself first and making time for them?
With that being said, here’s what I’m currently doing to manage a busy schedule and stay happy and healthy.
The Headspace app is not new to me, and I know most of you will have heard of it. Meditation has been a part of my life on and off for years, most recently ‘off’ for the majority of 2018.
I’ve felt so disconnected from my spirituality this year, I really wanted to anchor myself to a practice that would allow me to feel present every day, whilst managing my tendencies to feel stressed or anxious.
I’ve decided to hold myself accountable to my practice using the Headspace subscription. I go to the gym every week without fail because I’ve invested in my weights programme, and I’ve invested in my membership. I know the same accountability will help with my meditation practice.
My work can be draining as much as it's equally energising
As an introvert, time alone for me is mandatory. It’s not a well-sought, occasional luxury like it might be for other people - with kids, a big family or other commitments. I joke that I’m an 80-year-old lady of leisure existing in a busy 20-something body. I need my downtime. I need my bath, my candles, my dressing gown, my trash telly. It’s my therapy and it keeps me grounded.
I’m so lucky I get to surround myself with like-minded people and seem to attract incredible women into my work life. However, having these passionate conversations, or coaching someone else through something important to them - it can be draining as much as it is energising.
Acknowledging my needs for high-level energy, and making sure I have some time in the week to just be with myself, has been crucial. Even just an hour at the weekend to have a bath, or paint my nails, or put a trashy show on and do my makeup before date night. Alone time is sweet.
Making time to create
I feel like in the past 12-18 months I’ve really embraced my creativity. My content isn’t too pre-scheduled. I leave room for intuition and flow, and random ideas cropping up. However, with creating a business from your creativity, comes less time to create. Which is always ironic as a ‘content creator’ - as I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing (and I definitely wouldn’t be earning money from it) if I hadn’t shared said content in the first place to connect with people?
So now more than ever, it’s important for me to carve out time just for me to create without boundaries or restriction. To spend an hour taking some photographs. To spend an hour planning podcasts out and dreaming up the next guests I’d love to have on. To just sit with my laptop and write, as I am now. Without having to rush off to a meeting, or schedule tweets, or reply to emails.
As a creative business owner, you can end up doing much more business and much less creating. And as much as I love this and I’m a marketing nerd ’til I die, I need to be creating content to express myself, to stay inspired and to be the best version of me!
So I’m batching tasks in my week for maximum productivity, to leave lots of room for playing and creating whatever comes up!