I’ve just returned from a beautiful holiday in sunny Greece with my family.
It is a stunning place where you don’t have to lift a finger, get to do yoga on the top of a hill looking out onto the Aegean, and eat the most delicious food, all whilst having fun with the kids.
I was so looking forward to a full week of relaxation and fun, but low and behold…..got sick on the first day and it took 3 days to feel normal again! Spending 3 days looking at the walls of a very nice (and expensive) hotel room gave me some much needed reflection time. The stillness and peace enabled me to gain more clarity than I had done in months. It also gave me a wake up call that even though I thought I was looking after myself, my passion and drive had made me forge ahead, and I ignored my over flow sensor completely!
The wonderful thing is I was able to reprioritise again, find ways to work smarter not harder, refocus on family time, and get self-care back on top of the priority list. When I was right as rain again I also had a wonderful remainder of the holiday.
Here are the lessons I learned; I hope they may help you too.
1. Tune into energy drillers
I noticed that unplugging from social media for the vast majority of the week replenished my energy levels hugely. It was also a weight off that I didn’t have the responsibility of posting every day.
Action – Do all your post and blog creation OFFLINE. Then only go online for timed points during the day to post and support and stay off at all other times.
2. Be aware of your overflow sensor
As an entrepreneur, I love the fact that I get to design my business from the ground up, and have the autonomy to achieve my biggest dreams. The freedom it gives provides a huge drive and passion, I’m sure you can relate. This passion and drive can however sometimes mask when you go too far, and ignore the warning signs of burn out.
Action – Tune into your overflow sensor. When you find yourself feeling the pinch, snapping at your kids, feeling more tired, or thinking things you wouldn’t normally think, stop and explore what is coming up for you. Take action on that inner voice, be kind to yourself. You will still be able to do all the wonderful things you have planned, but you will do them much better when you are replenished.
3. Notice what you do in stress mode
When you are sometimes unknowingly in the grip, you may not be aware of the things you do to ‘cope’ with your situation. If this is the case, when you are feeling busy and stretched, look at how you are communicating with people, how you are feeling towards them, and how you are approaching your tasks. I’m an avoider. If something feels too difficult, uncomfortable or too draining, I go into avoiding mode. You could also class this as procrastination.
Action – If you are an avoider, I recommend eating the frog or planning it in! So for example, finding the time organising my business finances does not fill me with joy. Avoiding this important task is however crucial for me to really understand my finances and set goals. So I have booked in time for the rest of the year so I know that I will be focusing on my finances at those times. I will also eat the frog by getting anything to do with finances out of the way as and when they come up!
4. If you catch yourself saying ‘as soon as’ stop and stop!
I am guilty as charged with this. Many a time I have said ‘ as soon as I get my sales page done’ as soon as I have x amount coming in every month’ ‘as soon as I have launched’ I will be able to chill out. The truth is, THIS WON’T HAPPEN! There will always be something to focus on, the next thing to work on, and all wonderful and amazing stuff. But if you don’t stop and take time out then you will start to take a one-way trip down the exhaustion funnel, straight into burn out.
Action – If you find yourself thinking any of the things above, stop. Then take some time out to replenish. You can do it straight away or plan it in. This will also help to alert you when you might be going into overdrive.
5. Re-prioritise health and well being
I thought I was doing really well with this; it’s something that I make a priority with the Mums I work with. The thing is, we have centuries of women ancestors to contend with here, Women have gone a very long time in putting their needs to the bottom of the pile, and it such an ingrained condition, it is very hard to rewire. The most important thing here is that prioritising your health and well being over every thing else means that you can be a much happier, more productive business woman, and a much more attentive mother and wife.
Action – Every week, plan in points where you are able to do things that will benefit your health. So exercise, food, sleep, etc. Then every day, make sure that your most important tasks include at least one thing that you are doing for you. For example yesterday I read some of my book, and made that a priority, and today I have on my list to book in a massage with a voucher I got for my birthday. Making these things a total priority helps you to plan better. You will have a full cup to be able to spend time with your kids and husband and will really enjoy doing so.
So going away in itself is the most wonderful thing all round for replenishment, creative thinking and rest. The reality is we don’t have holidays every day, and so making sure that we can catch those blissful moments in our every day is fundamental to life and biz happiness! I dropped the ball big time, but am so grateful that I was able to reflect and take action.
If you are finding it tricky to find a balance between your work and life, you may find my energy planner useful. It’s a simple one pager that turns time management on its head, and enables you to prioritise your health and family, as well as time on your business. It’s totally free too!
You can grab it here.