Hi, how are you? I know it’s been some time since I blogged and well to use a quote from the show Friends, “We were on a break”. The “we” in that being me. I was on a break. What started as me taking a couple weeks off from the blog turned into a month, then three months, and then 6 months and while I never planned to be gone that long, I needed the break and it was during my hiatus, that I learned some lessons that are beneficial to anyone who is in need of a break, overwhelmed or busy from doing all the things.
#1 Listen to your body
I wasn’t doing that. I spend all of 2017 on the go. I was burning the candle at both ends and my body wasn’t happy. I needed rest but I kept pushing myself and by the beginning of this year my body let me know if I didn’t rest it wouldn’t be good. You see, I was/am still grieving the lost of my Mom, and I was using Scratch Paper Studio and my full time job as a way to distract me from what I wasn’t dealing with. My body knew I was exhausted, sad and need the rest and gave me little clues to slow down that I totally ignored. By the beginning of the 2018, I was prime for catching a cold and my body finally forced me to rest.
Our bodies know what we need and know when to let us know something isn’t right. Whether we need to drink more water and less coffee or take a supplement, eat more vegetables and less junk food, our bodies tell us when we need things and most of all our bodies know when we need to rest and will make sure we do just that especially if we’re not listening or if you happen to be someone who is a bit stubborn (raises hand).
#2 Make yourself a priority
I was saying YES to everything and saying NO to myself. I was filling up my calendar and doing everything for everybody and a girl was tired. I wasn’t putting me first. So one of the things I started to do was a little self care. I journaled, I watched Netflix. I baked. I did the things that I enjoyed and realized the value in scheduling time for myself because like we all know, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
#3 Learn to Protect your Time
Seriously this was one of the most valuable lessons I learned. I reclaimed my time and I said a word that I wasn’t using as much as I should, it’s short, succinct and as Oprah has said, it’s a complete sentence. I started saying “No”.
I started creating boundaries around my time with work, with friends, for myself. If you’re reading this and thinking about the season of life you’re in and feel like you can’t make time for yourself because is filled with kids activities, big work projects or a growing business, your season may feel like you’re time is not your own, I get it but and I say this with love… you can (and should) still make time for you. Start in small little ways by taking five minutes for yourself to do whatever you want. By setting time out of your day just for you is one simple and easy way to make yourself a priority. What I learned from making time for myself, is that it was one of the simplest acts of self care.
#4 Evaluate What’s working & What’s not working
I had a whole lot of stuff that wasn’t working for me. It was harsh reality to see that while I was trying to do all the things that I was working really hard but not so smart. Anyone else been there? No, just me? That’s cool. I was doing way too much (see #2 & #3 above) and instead of keep going I stopped to look at my routines, calendar, projects and asked myself what’s working and why it’s working and what’s not working and why. From there I started creating better routines for myself and let go of what wasn’t working.
#5 Don’t get lost in the Busy
I’m sure you’ve seen the quote on Instagram about stopping the glorification of busy, but man BUSY is so alluring and if you’re not careful, it will pull you in. Its BFF is HUSTLE and both of them can have you running ragged and have nothing to show for it but being overwhelmed and exhausted. Can I tell you a secret… I loved being busy. But for all the wrong reasons. I wanted to be busy to escape. I wanted to be busy to feel some control because there were areas of my life I couldn’t control. I liked being busy because it made me feel like I was enough. If any of that feels familiar to you, believe me, I get it. I was there for a long time and I know it’s so easy to think that the “busy” is where we matter. Where we feel like we’re enough or even worthy, but it’s all a facade. Busy isn’t always good and its in the busy that we don’t listen to our bodies, we give our time away to any and everything and we don’t make ourselves a priority. We forget what matters most and get lost in the busy.
My hope in sharing these lessons isn’t to explain my absence (ok, partly it’s to do that) but it’s really me saying that if you’re in a place of busy, a little overwhelmed, exhausted and feel like time is never on your side, that I hope what I learned during my blog hiatus can show you that change is possible even for a slightly stubborn woman like me.