How are you?
No, I don’t want to hear “fine”. Really, how are you?
It’s been quite a ride the last couple of years, a global pandemic, a war in Europe and all the financial ramifications of those events. Navigating times like these, balancing our business, our families, our health and keeping our loved-ones safe has taken its toll on us all.
What about you then? Are you looking after yourself? We all know how easy it is to put everything and everyone else first. With all the day-to-day stuff, all those balls you are juggling it’s difficult to take a step back and identify your real top priorities.
What happens if you start to drop those balls?
Mistakes, the plates we spin fall to the ground and smash. Our clients may become unhappy with us and leave. We may feel exhausted, depressed or even experience a burnout.
So many women struggle with saying no. Most of us want to help out, to people please, to leave a good impression, to be helpful. We were brought up to be and to do all those things. This is the fast route to burnout. There are only so many hours in the day, and only seven days in the week. It really is ok to say no.
Working out what you want to stop and what you can actually stop won’t be easy, but it can feel very liberating when the decision has been made. It may be that you decide to stop working with a client who regularly encroaches on your personal time or no longer fits your ideal client profile. You may decide to cut back on the hours you spend on a volunteering role. Whatever you decide that’s ok. You don’t need to justify that decision or feel guilty.
No is a complete sentence.
Now I want you to take some time to sit down and prioritise your time. What really matters to you? What makes your heart sing?
It’s important to acknowledge that most of us are not in the position to just drop everything and head off to a tropical island to sip cocktails for a fortnight, however lovely that sounds. However, there are lots of smaller things we can all do to find a little time and space for a bit of self-care.
Schedule a regular haircut, those 30 minutes in a salon are perfect to switch off, have a chat and feel a little pampered.
Get your nails done. Those few minutes pouring over the colour selection mean that you leave all the other ‘stuff’ behind, and you leave feeling glamourous, even if you are heading home to load the dishwasher.
Take a walk, if you have a dog then take the dog too! Thirty minutes in the fresh air will do wonders for your mood and we all know that walking is one of the best forms of exercise for us.
Treat yourself with a delicious cake from your local bakery or a chilled glass of wine and chat with a good friend. Maybe you would prefer a nice long bath once the kids are in bed or to snuggle up with a good book? Anything that nourishes our souls.
Reading these suggestions what comes to mind? What did you immediately think of? Now schedule some time to do whatever you thought of, do it now. Do it this week.
The thing is, if we don’t look after ourselves, we can’t look after everyone else and we certainly won’t be giving our best to our clients and families.
I wish you a wonderful summer. I hope you fill it with lots of little (or big!) treats and moments that make you happy.
Translation: Jennifer Chamberlin