As we find ourselves refreshingly in Autumn, I’m sure like me, many of your new year resolutions are much less resolute than you would desire them to be. Having decided to become one of those post-grad people, I am at that stage of the year where the tsunami of organisation hits – endless to-do lists, planning, goal setting and buying of overpriced stationery. Being the list maker that I am, I have used up many a note-pad sitting in cafes trying to organise my life – an attempt at relieving the stress and being intentional about not overextending myself, scheduling breathing time into my life. I find it somewhat easy to get caught in ‘doing’ mode where life becomes about damage control and meeting deadlines. Always planning, mitigating, and pre-empting – skills I am well and truly a master of. What I seem to have lost the knack of is just ‘being’. Relaxing! This became evident in the last couple of months where I had my first ‘break’ in over 3 years. Only to find myself accepting a new job, alongside an internship, signing up to run a few events and completely incapable of switching off. It’s clear relaxation and just being are NOT my strongpoint. So as I plan for the next wave of uni & all-round busyness, I have 3 things I am going to try and learn to do.
1. Organise, do, then stop!
Plan, write to-do lists, schedule what needs to be done and when it is…Stop! I notoriously feel guilty for feeling like there is more I should do. Another article I could read, I could get started on that essay or that client brief early – No! Step away from the laptop, put down the phone and relax. Take yourself to a cafe, eat some delicious food & get ready for the week ahead. I’m a pretty good scheduler, so I need to learn to trust my scheduling abilities, and take some me time once all the work is done. Introducing ‘done for the day’ into my vocabulary is step one.
2. All that healthy lifestyle jazz
Not something I enjoy – though a future blog will be about my new-found love for yoga and a Texan lady called Adrienne…But I digress. Exercise is scheduled ‘me time’. Nothing new I know, and certainly not rocket science – but with a busy schedule looking after myself is the best thing I can do, and more often than not it’s the first thing to be pushed to the bottom of the list. Let’s face it, living off coffee and a walk to the bus stop… not the best.
3. Scheduling breathing time
I learned very quickly this summer that it’s a rare thing for me to stop, take time to just go and ‘do’ things. Movies, beach, a walk with my new hug-machine of a puppy by the river. Taking time to breathe clears the head and quiets the soul. It’s looking after myself. Getting back to nature with fresh air and a stroll along the water is one of the best things I’ve found to calms my spirit – those writers were onto something when they wrote “down to the river to pray”. I guess it’s just a learning curve. A bit of a trial and error – and it’s difficult for me. It comes easier for some, while is impossible for others – and that’s okay. But it’s something that has a profound influence on work, health and sense of wellbeing. Work-life balance is a tightrope we all walk. Despite our best intentions we can’t do everything. Let’s help support each other & help keep aligned and focussed on what matters.