Today was the first official day of fall. The kids have been back to school for three weeks and everyone seems to be finding their new routines. All around me it feels like the pace and tempo of life has quickened and there is much to do.
Life is busy. My business has a new focus. I am in the process of finishing my website. I’m creating information sessions to share and teach people about grief recovery. I’m prepping for my first retreat that I’m co-hosting with an incredible and dynamic entrepreneur, and I belong to several networking communities that have been in full swing since September arrived.
My daily work fluctuates and I love that I have the flexibility to arrange my schedule around my clients and activities. One of the biggest challenges I have is how long it takes me to write and create my projects. “Why is this taking me soooo long?” is a frequent lament. Out loud. To myself. In my office.
I have to admit that I have a lot of judgement for myself around the length of time it takes me to complete my various tasks. I have spent entire days in my office, working my way to completing what I need to do, but missing doing those activities and good habits that help keep me healthy and happy. There are days that my Fitbit has registered less than 5,000 steps for the day! Which doesn’t feel good for me.
I have self-care practices that I have been less than consistent with over the summer. I had to remind myself that before I can show up in life for others, I have to first show up for myself! So, at the beginning of September, I re-committed to these practices. Taking care of my physical body and my mindset first helps to set me up for the day in a positive way. I’m grounded, better able to deal with the unexpected, have better clarity and focus, and I just plain feel good!
The first thing I did was recommit to my meditation practice. As soon as I get up, I sit and meditate for 15-20 minutes. Not being fully awake allows me to be more open than later in the day when the monkeys in my brain are in full swing. Meditation helps align me to my inner self and tap into what I want to create. Being quiet and calm allows my intuitive voice to rise so I can hear the message.
I love this quote by Prasad Mahes; “The mind is like water. When it’s turbulent, it’s difficult to see. When it’s calm, everything becomes clear.”
Throughout the summer, there were times I fell off the meditation wagon. After missing a few days I would notice that my mental energy was more easily scattered and more prone to being triggered. Every time I began to practice again, I could feel that sense of grounding and peace. It may not always last throughout the day (working on that!) but it is a fantastic way to start the day.
The second thing I re-committed to was my fitness routine. In the last 5 years in my policing career, I was in the Training Bureau where we re-qualified our officers on their force options as per Ministry guidelines as well as training new recruits. We only sat at lunchtime. In my eight years as a personal trainer, I was on my feet the majority of the day training clients. I rarely sat.
Now, as an entrepreneur, I spend most of my time on the computer, at networking meetings or meeting with clients. I sit a lot! This is a huge change for me and it’s one that I’m not overly happy with. So, after I finish my morning meditation and read a chapter of an inspirational book, I head to the gym. I get there for 7 am, train, and return home to shower, make a protein smoothie, and be in my office for 9 am. I am alert, energized and ready for the day!
The last thing I committed to was a 21-day reset of my nutrition. I have a holistic nutrition background and usually eat clean. But during the summer, there are barbecues, pool parties, cottage weekends and all sorts of social activities and fun to partake in—which I did with no regrets!
However, I also noticed that along with the decreased activity, more time sitting and not eating as clean as I could, I was feeling what I call “fudgy”. So, ten days ago I started my three-week reset. I’ve taken out gluten, dairy (common inflammatory triggers), caffeine, alcohol and sugar. On day two I had a headache that by bedtime was banging pretty good from the caffeine withdrawal. I only have 1-2 cups in the morning, so I was surprised that my headache was that bad. The next day I was fine and I’m still caffeine-free.
The toughest part of the reset for me is sugar. I have always had a sweet tooth and while I’m not into candy or cookies, I never met a piece of chocolate I didn’t like. Berries and green apples are acceptable on the reset so I’m enjoying these as my afternoon snack. I’m sleeping better, my energy is even throughout the day and I’m down a few pounds of water retention…bye-bye bloat!
All of these practices allow me to take care of myself so that I can show up as my best possible self for others. Making self-care a priority is necessary for everyone. It may not be the gym or meditation, but whatever feeds your mind, body, and soul. I’d love to hear what practices you use to bring balance and self-care into your life.