Life balance, self care, me time….etc. We hear these phrases often but many don’t heed them. Oftentimes we keep pressing on and then something happens to stop us in our tracks. We get sick, injured or simply exhausted.
We weren’t designed as humans to go and go and go without stopping, yet that’s what many of us do, especially in the U.S. We have what I call the “busy person syndrome.” Always busy, always on the go.
I have had a bad habit of jumping up and hitting the ground running in the morning. Some of that is from my military training, get up, gear up and go. I have had to train myself to not jump into action but instead take time to connect with God and listen to some affirmations, a bible teaching and time for prayer then some light exercise.
You have to do something to start your day off right and not just blindly jump into action. If you can focus on getting quiet, centered and connected at the beginning of the day, your day will flow much smoother. That’s not to say there won’t be any problems. Life is full of problems to solve. However, starting the day off in calmness vs chaos goes a long way to guide the day on a smoother road.
What does your week look like? Busy, busy, busy? Where’s the time for you to have some downtime? If you don’t have that time planned into your schedule, you need to make time. Plan half day or few hour segments here and there to ensure during peak busy times that you have allowed yourself some time to relax in between.
When I’m out speaking, especially if I’m at a multi day conference, there are a few things I don’t do. I don’t share a room with anyone (other than family) because I need some down time. Last year I was a main stage presenter at the Toastmasters International Convention. I planned times throughout to convention to go to my room and unwind. When you are a presenter everyone wants to talk with you and take photos, which is great. However, you have to balance your energy and make sure you keep recharging or you will burn out and be exhausted. Also drinking plenty of water and having snacks helps whether you are speaking or simply attending an event.
How about a whole day or block of days of downtime? This is especially important after a long period of work. When I travel to Kenya, I break up the trip to make sure I am recharging my body and resting as I go. Travel can be rough on the body. After we’ve done our work in Kenya, I take some time for R&R before I get back on the plane and travel back (it’s over 24 hours of travel to get back home). Then I allow myself a day to do nothing.
Also, I plan downtime in blocks. I’m looking to take some downtime around the 4th of July weekend.
The important thing here to remember is that life balance is important. In my book the GoPINK Rules of Engagement, I talk about the 5 foundational principles to take control of the handlebars of your life. One of them is “Have Fun!” It’s impossible to have fun if you are worn out, sick or weak.
Schedule time for yourself that isn’t work related. Time to do something you enjoy like reading, gardening, taking a walk. Anything to allow you time to disconnect from the busyness of life. Doing this will keep you healthy, happy and more focused on your work.
The Power is in The Work.