on: work-life-rest balance
Originally posted in the Digest August 2017
I have to be real, no matter how many times i do it, it takes me time to come back down to earth after a hectic work travel trip. Literally!
This particular trip had me feeling like a wet wipe.
I think it was the usual combination of the travel and logistics combined with us being in between eclipses and a retrograde to boot. Events on the planet - Charlottesville, Sierra Leone, Grenfell, timelines infested with racism and reallife confrontations with bullies have had me feeling some kind of way...
This trip i felt really lucky that for the first time, the work was only focussed on djing and creating a space (often, it’s a combination of dj events till the early hours followed by early morning yoga workshops which, to be honest, is a fun but challenging mix!)
Although focussing on just one type of event was helpful in many ways, it also meant i had to put all my other projects on hold for a couple of days.
...And it wasn't long before the feeling of “i have so much work to do...” was creeping up on me ---- and you know i am really not about glorifying that “i’m so busy” mantra!
For example, I had the intention to send the Digest between flights and gigs and really, truly, there simply wasn’t time, unless i was willing to go another sleepless night. And not so long ago, i totally would have done that (sorry adrenals...) But practicing setting boundaries around these intense trips has really helped me to create more balance.
Although, upon landing back in the UK, even though i knew i needed to rest, the voice came back, louder and more demanding.
I explored it - of course, the pressure i was putting on myself was rooted in guilt - guilt at letting people down by not showing up in their inbox.
Or replying to every mail within 24 hours.
Or doing all the tasks on my to do list.
Or balancing all the work and life and family and friends.
...Think that´s a big one for so many of us.
So, as hard as it was, and as much as i fought myself, i took a step back.
A semi step.
Laptop in bed style peppered with the occasional animal vine.
On paper, i told myself i was "relaxing", yet found myself staring at my to dos, growing increasingly frustrated that i didn´t have the energy to get it all done.
I explored the guilt further and asked myself "what’s the worst that could happen?" then reminded myself of the people in this Digest gang - that’s you- and why i want to send this mail out each week.
And that has always been about sharing offerings for you to feel good, or at least to feel better.
To create space and to connect.
In a way that is fully present and authentic.
Being tired and low on stocks wasn’t giving you my best - that was where the frustration lay. So i needed to give myself space and work on dealing with the guilt and voice of my inner critic.
And that’s the offering i wanted to share with you today:
5 tips for managing work-life-rest balance
When guilt has you feeling a little blocked up but you have gallons of stuff that needs to get done, here’s some suggestions to help you get clear, recentered and back in flow.
Stay in your own lane and focus on being present with what’s here and now as opposed to comparing yourself to others or even to yourself when you’re in a different mode. Feeling guilty about not being in a productive space won’t help. Of course there’s always something we can be doing with our time, but creating a rhythm that’s sustainable will mean we’re in it for the long haul and not burning out trying to be somewhere (or someone) else.
Cut down the noise. If there’s a tonne of stuff calling for your attention, chances are it’s going to render you immobile as you try to figure out how you can get it all done yesterday. Step back for a moment. Close the tabs on your browser (i use the Chrome extension One Tab to minimise a load of tabs quickly and save them in case i really feel i have to go back to them). Try to avoid social media that makes you feel a bit naff (a feeling of not being enough is a great sign to look for when letting things go!). Get quiet and present with yourself.
Get really clear on your priorities. Grab a piece of paper and jot down everything that’s pulling your attention right now. Look at what can be culled and circle your priorities for the week. Tbh, up to 3 goals a week is a good place to start, anything else is a bonus! Then pick one of those goals. Break that into bite sized chunks and start there, one step at a time.
Rest rest rest! Look babes, your body doesn’t lie, (really resisting launching into Shakira here…) if nothing is cooperating, the best thing you can do for yourself is to step back. Way back. Surrender it for a while (properly, like, no side projecting with emails open kind of thing), then come back to it and feel it out when you have more beans. Really don’t recommend sitting through it trying to force stuff to happen cause it’s likely to feel just that. Forced. And what you produce with be coming from a place of lack as opposed to a place of abundance. We can’t be running at 100% every day and that’s ok. which leads me to.....
....Talk to yourself nicely throughout it all! Seriously. When unhelpful thoughts come, try to catch them and reframe. For example: “I´m crap because i didn’t reply to that person already and they must think i’m awful” can be replaced with “I’ve had a really challenging week and worked very hard. I deserve to pause to restore, before returning to my tasklist, because i know i will feel more energised and present and focussed to deal with anything efficiently and effectively that way. People will understand and if they don’t that’s ok, i need to take care of me, first.” Practice self acceptance. Especially in the challenging times.
Really hope that helps. Let me know how you manage the never-boring juggle of work/life/rest balance!