There are times we reap and times we sow. When we're in the process of sowing our seeds for success it can be hard to pop our heads up and provide a little self-care.
Especially when the grind has time and money tied up. Sometimes I'll come across a piece of life advice that's out of my price range or too time consuming to be possible. Like taking a weekend vacation when the work grind is too heavy or indulging in a day at the spa to release tension or investing in the services of a life coach. The way my savings account is set up, I'm not making any major withdrawals until the balance stops giving me anxiety.
But, just because you're in survival mode doesn't mean you don't also need to relax. In fact, taking some time to reboot can very often be the thing you need to push through. The conflict I often ran into was how to simplify this process so it doesn't take too much time - or money. After a few years of perfecting my own little survival guide, I've figured out how to sprinkle in much needed self-care without losing step.
Change Your Nightly Narrative
I don't know how many times I've woken up literally on my laptop. Studies have shown that not having a night time routine - even as an adult - can lead to heart failure and even memory loss. Instead of going to sleep by default, install a 30 minute nighttime routine and a bedtime. Take a shower, use lavender oil to relax, put your phone on do-not-disturb and listen to something soothing until sleep finds you. Removing one small element of chaos (i.e. a sporadic bedtime) will reshape your entire mental state the very next morning.
Wear Less Black
It's a go-to color for most of us busy ladies - it's hard to stain, it's slimming and it relays professionalism effortlessly. It's also an energy absorber. Every reiki practitioner or energy healer will tell you that the colors you wear (and even the fabrics) can have an impact on how you feel. Black attracts and absorbs the energy around you and can emotionally weigh you down. Opt out of this color as much as possible and instead wear lighter colors like white, beige and yellow to ...
Schedule Your Social Media Time
Sure you could check your social media threads whenever you have idle hands but did you really even miss anything? Probably not. Instead, allow yourself a social media check in at specific times. Like every 3 hours or 5 times per day. It might take a little while to get used to but in the end you'll notice you check in with social media less often and therefore are less exposed to all those millions of triggers that can add to an already stressful day.
Treat Yourself (On A Budget)
Even when time and money are limited, you can still do the smallest things to give you that pat on the back that you need. When you take on an extra job or an extra client or an extra class, you know in advance that you're about to be drowning in extra work. Be mindful of how stressed you'll be an section out a little time and a little money to treat yourself along the way. 30 minutes for a manicure every Friday, one girl's night out after reaching your first milestone goal. Rewarding yourself is the oldest advice in the book but it is key to remind yourself why you're grinding so hard in the first place.
Surround Yourself With Fellow Grinders
Who you spend time with can have a huge impact on how you feel. When you do take time to relax or enjoy life, do so with people who are in the same place as you. It's one thing to be genuinely happy for that friend who just got back from an excursion in Costa Rica but it still can make you come down hard on yourself. Instead, hit up someone you know can use a break too and invite them to take a moment to breathe with you, even if its just a pow-wow over the phone to unload the woes of work life.
Say "No" To Them And "Yes" To You
Even when I'm swamped, I tend to still find time to be there for other people. Whether it's a long phone call to serve tea or attending someone's birthday party - I would find a way to squeeze it in, tired or not. I learned a little trick though. Instead of saying yes to them, I just say no. If I don't have the energy to attend, with everything going on then that is exactly what I say. But, the trick is to take those three or four hours I would have spent at that event on myself - relaxing, vegging out in front of Netflix, reading a book, listening to a lecture, or just plain napping. If I can squeeze in time for others, I can certainly squeeze in time for myself when I need it most.