Hello friends! How have you been? A number of people have reminded me in the last few days that I haven’t posted recently, so I thought I best get myself to the computer and get some writing done!
There is a saying that March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, and that has certainly been the case for me this month. I’ve had some stressful work deadlines, sickness, and definitely some general malaise from this crap-tastic weather we have been having here in Southern Ontario. So while I typically enjoy March (it’s my birthday month!) I can honestly say I’m not sorry to see this one come to and end.
[Note: today is the first day that the temperature is actually above +5°C and the sun is shining, so perhaps Mother Nature’s attitude is starting to improve]
It’s just like life to throw a bunch of things at you all at once, as if to say, “Hehehe, let’s see how she handles this!” What I thought would be a relatively easy month at work, turned into a crazy stressful few weeks with multiple deadlines and lots of overtime. Of course as soon as my deadlines were complete I got sick. I shouldn’t be surprised though. Throughout all of the stress and craziness at work, I spent more time worrying about deadlines and not enough time taking care of myself.
Although we should obviously take care of ourselves all the time, it’s in those busy, stressful, and maddening moments that we need to take care of ourselves the most.
I know that sounds crazy, right? You’re thinking, “I’m super busy and stressed out, I just want to get though it and be done with it.” That was exactly my mindset too; I’ll just power though and do what I need to do and take care of myself later. Well guess what kids? Later came and I ended up having to take extra time to get myself healthy (and I’m still battling this cold).
I put together a list of things you can do to help keep yourself going during those moments of craziness—all the things that I SHOULD have done, but will definitely remember to do the next time life becomes too erratic.
1. Try and keep some routines
When you’re busy you may not be able to keep all your daily routines, but you should definitely try not to break too many. Eat your breakfast, take your vitamins, go for a walk, don’t break that scheduled date night with your partner—those little things can go along way in making those stressful days feel a little calmer.
2. Give yourself room to breathe
I used to give presentations for an organization I volunteered with and when I first started giving the presentations I would stand up at the front and speak sentence after sentence after sentence, just trying to get out everything I wanted to say. During one presentation, a mentor of mine was standing at the back of the room when she held up a sign that said “BREATHE”. I would forget to breathe. How does someone forget to breathe? You’re busy, the adrenaline is pumping, you want to get things finished and it’s just go time. Suddenly you look up and hours have flow by, and you can’t remember where the time went or when the last time was that you looked up from your task. Stop, take a 30 seconds and just breathe.
3. Just say no
I have a hard time saying no. I’m very conscious of not wanting to disappoint people. Sometimes though, you just have to say no to some things. You know on flights when they tell you in case of an emergency to secure you’re own oxygen mask first before helping someone else? If you can’t help yourself first, you’re not going to be good to anyone else. Sometimes that means saying no.
4. Be realistic
You aren’t perfect. None of us are. You’re doing the best you can with what you’ve got. You’re got 24 hours in a day and only two hands. Remember to do what you can and do your best – that’s all anyone can really ask of you.
5. Make a plan
When things start to get crazy and chaotic the more I need to sit down and formulate a plan. I know the feeling and what starts to happen – my desk gets messy, I try to complete multiple tasks at once (none of them very well I might add), and I start to become forgetful. It’s right at that moment that I know I need to stop, clean up my desk, make a list of the things I need to get done and formulate a plan to get there. It takes 15 minutes, but it sets the tone for better productivity and fewer mistakes.
If there is one thing that I need to get more of it is sleep. When I’m busy, this is usually the first thing that I sacrifice when in reality it should be the very LAST thing I sacrifice (if at all). Not getting enough sleep makes me tired, irritable, sluggish, etc., etc… It’s only in the last few years that I have some to understand exactly how important sleep is, so I cannot express this one enough. SLEEP!
7. Eat well
It is so easy to slip into a pattern of eating poorly when you’re busy, or getting into the mentality that you deserve “treats” for all your hard work. Trust me, I know. Eating is my go to stress relief and the last few weeks were no exception. I started skipping breakfast and got too busy to make my lunch for work, opting instead to grab something at the food court (always a disaster). If you know you have a particularly busy time coming up, why not pre-make some food? Grill some chicken and make a big salad, that way you always have good, healthy food on hand.
As Maya Angelou says, “When you know better, you do better.” Now you and I both know better. Let’s do better. 🙂
Onwards and upwards to April I say! I’m looking forward to some warmer weather, getting in some walks and breathing in some fresh springtime air.