My tips on recharging your batteries this summer
Back at the beginning of July I mentioned on Instagram that I was feeling super burned out. I’d done my quarterly planning and worked out all of the projects I was going to work on in June and then, on a whim I decided I’d move my website over to Squarespace and give myself a couple of weeks to do it. That was on top of all of the other projects I was working on oh and plus working part time.
In hindsight this was such an obvious error!
This resulted in a big case of burnout with a side order of anxiety which bubbled away for the whole of July. My body’s way of letting me know everything was getting too much.
I quickly found out that there was no quick fix. I’d lost all of my creativity and enthusiasm and it wasn’t going to reappear after a long bath. So I had to get intentional about my self-care and make it a priority. It’s taken a good 5 weeks to get back to feeling myself again, in that time I've learned a whole lot about looking after myself and what works well to help me relax and switch off, which I hope you can take some value from too.
1) Getting super-strict with my routine
Working from home has some easy pit-falls. I used to hop out of bed and immediately start working, which is easily done when you do what you love. However I realised this wasn’t serving me. So for the whole of July I got up, got dressed, walked the dogs, had a good breakfast and enjoyed that first cup of tea of the day. After that I’d get to work. What I found was that by taking my time over my morning rituals I was more productive throughout the day and had a calmer mindset. After a few weeks of doing this, the routine is now pretty embedded and I’m really feeling the difference.
2) Working with your body’s ebb and flow
I had some days when I wanted to just sit in the sun and daydream. This is really unusual for me, I’m terrible at switching off and can’t even sit through a whole film without getting my laptop out, so I knew that if I was feeling this, my body needed to rest. So I bought trashy magazines and ice cream and sat in the garden for long periods of time and completely relaxed.
I personally think that walking is the best therapy. Now, I have dogs which make a good excuse for going for a walk but if you don’t have a dog, still have a go at making this a daily part of your routine. Try it for a month and see what difference you feel.
4) Catching up with friends
I’m an introvert so this was a surprise for me, but being around friends distracted me from everything else that was going on, made me laugh and helped me feel energised again.
I’m not good at doing nothing so meditation or other mindfulness excercises just weren’t for me. But I found a weekly yoga class that runs in a converted barn just down my lane (what are the chances!?) and I love it. Focusing on breathing and moving my body really helps to relax me and it's something I'd love to include in my daily routine, once I know what I'm doing.
6) sleep and listening to my body
Getting a good amount of sleep is something I've always seen as important, I am useless if I get any less than 8 hours. But last month was feeling extra exhausted, so rather than fighting it, as I would have done before, I let myself sleep in a bit when possible and I took naps. My plan is to make my bed into a giant marshmallow before autumn sets in so that I have a really inviting bed to get into at the end of the day.
7) gratitude and being in the moment
This is a tip that I got from Becky Cole (who was also on episode 3 of my podcast). She said - all that we have is the moment we’re experiencing right now. This really helped me to stop looking to tomorrow, next week and the future all of the time and appreciate what was right in front of me. Whether that was being grateful for where I live out in the countryside, being grateful for my hilarious and supportive friends or being able to work from my home with my favourite tea on tap. This really opened my eyes to how it’s the small things that make me happy on a daily basis.
I hope you’ve spotted a few ideas in there that you’d like to try. As a creative business owner you are your most important asset in your business, so do make your own self-care a priority.
I have a free workbook in my resource library which I made just for you so that you could start to make your self-care time a priority. To get your hands on my free ebook, just sign up to my side-hustle letters below.