I am coming off of a YEAR. A year that I can say challenged me to my core. Growing a business amidst life’s crazy course is full of surprises, detours, and unexpected turns. For me, I saw the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months before giving myself something I like to call a “Life Scan.” When life gets crazy, it’s hard to take a step back and process how you’re ACTUALLY feeling. Most of my responses are set to auto-pilot, which keeps my train moving, albeit not always in the right direction. The most gratifying moments in life are ones of authenticity: knowing how I truly feel about something and acting on that sentiment is the gift that keeps on giving. In these moments, everything is aligned.
So, in turning 36 last week, I decided to take control of this revelation. To apply it the best I could. To give myself time everyday to think. Maybe I’d incorporate some nighttime meditation? Maybe I would start setting an alarm to just STOP what I’m doing and think about the day? One way or another, it was time to stop, so I could start building “felt time” vs. “marked time” back into my life. This awareness has been the greatest gift, one that has made me a more well rounded person and has given me a true appreciation for leaving a mark on your time on Earth. From owning a business, I’ve realized that my personal life can often collide with my professional life. These are my “Top Five Tips” for igniting selfcare in a world that can easily feel chaotic:
1) Wake up the same time everyday – This creates consistency. From consistency, I am able to go to bed at a certain time and ensure that I’m ready to rock once my alarm goes off.
2) Get outside – Walking my dog in the morning BEFORE checking my emails has made me a better, more focused worker. When I sit down to work, I’m relaxed and present.
3) Say No – I’ve always thought NO was me being negative. Or me not being a team player. But that’s only when “No” becomes about the people I’m saying no vs. how it effects me. Saying “No” has allowed me to take stock in my schedule and my bandwidth and see what is genuinely leftover for the people I love and want to share my life with. Without the power of “No,” my world will be crowded, chaotic and exhausting.
4) Meditate – I used to hear this all of the time. “Meditate, Annie, it will change your life.” I never listened until this year. And everyone was right. There is something about giving yourself 10-30 minutes of silence, mostly with how much information we receive daily. My brain shuts down. It’s healthy to give my brain a real rest outside of sleep. It has changed my life.
5) Bring snacks everywhere – Gone are the days that I go 5 hours without eating. This made me tired, cranky, and not as sharp. Now I bring a little bag of snacks with me everywhere, i.e. nuts, dried fruit, dried snap peas, granola, etc. And I hard boil eggs, which makes it easy to grab something full of protein whenever I’m on the go.
How do you make your time count? I’d love to know? We’re all in this together, so feel free to share and inspire.
With love and care and “felt time” to spare,