Self-Care: Check-in

At the moment, I feel pretty great.  I’ve slept in the past two mornings.  I’m currently sitting at my kitchen island with no makeup on, drinking fresh homemade lemon ginger tea.  I’ve actually gotten to see and spend time with my husband the past two days (which is incredibly rare because of our conflicting work schedules).  Not to mention, I’ve been “catching up” on some things that have taken a back seat recently. I feel pretty awesome at the moment.  I’ve found my chill.  My Happy Place.

lemon ginger tea

But the past couple weeks (let’s all be honest here… the past couple months really) I’ve been a mess.  I’ve been so caught up in the hustle of every day life and work. I haven’t been sleeping well.  I’ve been stressing excessively about everything going on both at work and at home (all good stuff, promise! just lots of it). And  my body has been sending me huge flashing signs that things aren’t right.  I’ve been feeling sick, tired, and achy but all without being actually sick.

I’ve been in a not so great place both mentally and physically.  

Last weekend was a huge turning point.  I had the most incredible opportunity to stop everything, travel to another state, spend time with incredible people, eat awesome food, get a little spoiled, enjoy amazing scenery, laugh, and just relax.

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The best part???  I didn’t open my computer, check my email, or return any phone calls (except to my amazing husband at home) for THREE DAYS!  3 DAYS!

Rachel and I even went live on facebook on our way home to talk about how we need to invest more in self-care because she and I had never gone three days without talking about work.

Since getting home on Monday afternoon, I’ve done my best to stay in that positive place and keep going with the self-care.  For me that means getting a good night’s sleep.  Going for a run.  Getting a massage, occasionally.  Stopping to spend time with my mom.  Having dinner with people I love. Taking time to put on my makeup and dress nicely when leaving the house. Listening to a podcast. Making tea.  Lazing on the couch. Etc.

The phrase “sleep begets sleep” has come up a lot in conversation the past couple months and I think it can translate really nicely to self-care.  Self-care begets self-care.  It is a practice, a habit, a mindset, and a routine.  Self-care does not always come easy to me, so I have to practice.  Some weeks, I do better than others.  But I know the more I practice taking care of myself the easier it will come and the better off I will be for it in the end.  It has never been more clear to me that “you cannot take care of others until you take care of yourself.”   Resting, treating my body well, and tuning into my overall well-being help me to really hustle when I need to and to be more present and helpful for others.

How do you engage in self-care?

Handling the Hard Parts of Owning a Business

Don’t get me wrong for even one second.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE what I do. In fact, I wrote a whole post about it recently on our Leaders Blog.    I sincerely believe I have the best/coolest/most rewarding job on the face of the planet.  And really, who could argue with this cuteness? Music Class With Katey

But that’s where the conversation usually ends with most people who also think they have the “best/coolest/most rewarding job”.  Most business owners I know won’t openly divulge the icky, not-so-fun parts of what they do, which is terribly unfair.  Business ownership is often put on a tall, shiny pedestal without so much as a mention of how that pedestal was built, how it stays standing and polished, and what it takes to stay there living the perceived awesome entrepreneurial life.

Want the honest to goodness truth??  It takes a lot of hard work and grit. We are talking serious determination. Long hours. Unpaid work. Tons of trial AND error. Revisions like you wouldn’t believe. And so on and so on…

There are things I have dealt with as a business owner that I never thought I would encounter in my life, let alone before I was 30.  I have had to learn so many things outside my general scope of knowledge and way outside comfort zone (website building anyone).  I am challenged and encounter something new nearly every day.  I have had to learn to rely on other people in my life who love me (especially my incredibly supportive husband, amazing family, and outstanding business partner, thank you all!!) and learn to accept help… which is really hard for me.  I have had to accept that there are serious growing pains that come with trying to grow my business that also seriously affect my personal budget.  I have had to learn that there are very few things I have complete control of and that I have to trust the people and processes I am surrounded by.  I have had to have some serious moments and really tough conversations with people.  I have had to put on my big girl pants and become a real boss in both my personal and professional life.

Yes, those are the some of the hard parts and I don’t anticipate them to just going away.  Every day that I am a business owner, I fully expect to be challenged.  I understand, acknowledge, and accept that some days are going to be really rough and more often than not there is nothing I can do to change those things that occur.

The one thing I can control is my response. How I cope. How I react. How I handle myself in stressful situations. And how I learn and grow along the way.Running for the Win

Today, was tough. I felt anxious and upset when I was walking through my front door.  My first instinct was to curl up in a ball and cry. My second was to run. So, I ran.  I employed a couple of my favorite self-care strategies and went for it. I listened to a podcast that I knew would be motivating and a pushed myself to run faster!   When I got home, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and like I could move forward with what I needed to get done.

Getting to the point: There will be hard days, tough situations, and challenging moments. I handle them with lots of support from my friends and family, engaging in serious self-care strategies that work for me, taking time for reflection and rest, and acknowledging that all of the hard work I have put in has helped build something incredible that will simply keep growing every day because I love what I do.

2016: Simplify, Streamline, Self-Care (part 3)

STOP!!!!  Stop what you are doing right now!

Take a deep breath. 

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How did that feel?  Pretty great, right? Take another one. A slow, deep breath.  Remind yourself to simply breathe and take a second to step away from everything.

Close your eyes and take another deep breath.

 You’ve got this. 

When I feel myself starting to tense up and my shoulders slowly creeping toward my ears, I remind myself to stop, take a moment. Breathe. Remember, to breathe.

Previously, I’ve talked A LOT about self care in a series called “Love Yourself”.  However, it’s soooo important that I’m going to rehash it now.

Take at least a little time out of every single day to…you guessed it…

stop-sign

Do something (literally ANYTHING) for yourself.

We get so consumed in the tasks we “have” to do every day that we simply forget to take care of ourselves.  We forget that in order to care for our families, help other people, or be successful at work, that we first have to take care of our selves.  We have to make sure our proverbially batteries recharge at some point so they don’t shut down and power off entirely.

Self-Care can be ANYTHING!!!

It can be anything that helps you to recharge, unwind, relax, find yourself, or however you like to look at it. It just has to be something for YOU! No one else. JUST YOU!

Can it help someone along the way… sure, maybe. But, it has to help you!

How do I self-care: Jogging, baths, reading, cooking (when I WANT TO), playing piano (for fun), wine, drawing, watching Netflix with my husband, writing, going to the dog park (with the dog), taking pictures, organizing my closet, writing a blog post, shopping for home decor, taking a nap, calling my sister, yoga/pilates, coffee dates, meditating, coloring, massages, traveling, etc.

I want to know…

How do YOU self-care?

2016: Simplify, Streamline, Self-care (part 2)

Welcome back!!  

In my previous post, I divulged the 3 major words Rachel and I elected to describe our goals for the new year that I have also adopted personally.

major goals

I took on simplify in my last post.  Streamline is a little trickier. It’s not a terribly fun or pretty word, but it is definitely essential in both the future of our company and my future personally.

streamline (verb): to make (an organization or system) more efficient and effective by employing faster or simpler working methods.

There aren’t many extra hours (or even extra minutes) in any given day.  A lot of things get done at the last minute (or never) because there feel like there is no time.  There are a lot of ideas that never even get started because I’m always playing catch-up.

By taking a little time to find the methods/systems that work best for me and my company, I can become more efficient and effective thus creating more time and space in my life to do more of what I love and start on some new and amazing projects.

Action Step: 

  1. Find my groove – figure what routine will work best for me & stick to it!! 
  2. Delegate, ask for help, employ assistance
  3. Reassess current method and find what can be cut, changed, moved, & shifted.

 

What are your thoughts on streamlining??

2016: Simplify, Streamline, Selfcare

After a very long and productive meeting on Tuesday, Rachel and I established  three key words for the new year.

Simplify, Streamline, Self-care

I have been in an constant state to growth, movement, and just trying to keep up over the past several months and needed to take a moment to assess where I’m at and what the next steps are.  Personally, I think the business will continue to grow and develop without much extra work, which is good because I’ve run out of hours in the day to add new tasks.  That’s not to say that I won’t be working, but that I’m  attempting to not take on anything EXTRA that will distract from the awesome growth that is happening and instead use any additional time I have (outside my normal work load) to focus on enhancing what is working and eliminating or adjusting what is not.

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In 2016, I believe we can ALL benefit from is implementing the words above.  I have decided to adopt these words as not only a work motto but as a personal theme as well.  In the next few posts I’ll share my thoughts on each and the action steps I have to achieve them.

Simplify -

There are a number of things that I either do because I feel like I have to or because I’ve overcomplicated things.   It doesn’t help that I’m also surrounded by so much “stuff” all the time.  The never ending to-do lists and mountains of “stuff” take their toll and easily make me feel overwhelmed.

In 2016, I want to cut some of the “stuff”  from my life.  In “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, Marie Kondo asks readers the challenging question, “Does it spark joy?”  If the answer is no, get rid of it! NOW!  While she may be talking about the clutter in your closet or your home, I like to take this question to a more personal and professional level. Does writing this blog post spark joy?  Does the dress I’m wearing my me feel good? Does checking facebook 67 times a day make me any happier?   Do these 6 items really need to be on my to-do list or is there someone far more capable who can do this in a way that will save me time, energy, and unneeded stress?

These might seem like silly questions, but they are a really good way to reassess what I want and need to make my life as joyful as possible.  By simplifying, I’m going to declutter my life thus creating more time and energy for the things and people I love.

Action steps:

  1. Ask, does it spark joy?  If not, it’s gone!
  2. Delegate, assign, ask for help, hire someone, etc. (You don’t have to do everything yourself)
  3. Eliminate the little to-dos and never-ending list by creating short, actionable goals and objectives that can be achieved within a reasonable time frame.

 

What are your goals for the new year??