Let me start with a general disclaimer. This post should be consumed with an awareness that no one anywhere has their shit 100% sorted. We all have areas that need improving and sometimes those areas are so large they are pretty much cover everything. At different stages in life we have different levels of commitments and some are more demanding than others. Although I have no kids (nor do I have kids in my future) I look on with admiration and respect for those who choose to tackle this full time commitment, and complete awe at those who choose kids, work and any other commitments (do these people have some kind of superpowers they aren’t telling us about?). Anyways. Provisos aside I thought it might be nice to share some of my tools for tackling a life full of commitments in a way that can make you look like you know how to multi task like a pro, even if on the inside you want to build a blanket fort and hide in it for a week reading your Enid Blighton book collection. So here it goes, post one of a series on how neurotic over-scheduled Virgo’s like myself manage to get all the shit done. I’ve split them up because otherwise it would be one massive and overwhelming post! No one want’s organisation overwhelm. Post number one is all about person number one… YOU!!!
You are number one regardless of how busy your schedule looks.
Your top priority should be you! If it’s not you will unravel quickly. It might seem selfish to make sure that your needs are being met all the time, but realistically there is only a limited time frame in which one can give 100% of themselves before they are running on empty. You have to take time to recharge your batteries. My top two suggestions are meditation and sleep. If you are a parent the sleep bit might be difficult but for most part the majority of us could find a way to beg, borrow, or steal eight or so hours of sleep (even if it cuts into Netflix time) and meditation is surprisingly easy to fit into most days with the aid of some headphones and the right app. I currently use YogaGlo for most of my meditation needs but also YouTube (my fave is Sarah Hall) or just sit quietly with a timer app. Without my morning meditations I’m a mess. I always though that sleep was my most important tool, but I’ve discovered of late that I can function after missing a few hours of sleep but fail miserably without my mediation time.
Have some kind of routine.
Freelance life is hard. Work life can be hard. Uni life is also hard. FIFO life (in my experience anyways) is the hardest. In a life where the only guarantee is change (yes…. that’s true for all of us) having something that you do daily without fail can give a feeling of safety, security, familiarity and predictably in a world that’s increasingly more hectic and changeable (like evil clowns and Pokemon go… that shit seriously came out of nowhere???). If you can have (or trick yourself into thinking you have) control over just one little part of your life then the changes in the rest of it don’t seem to bad. Your routine or ritual could be as simple as a bath followed by a scented body moisturiser, or a cup of tea with the morning newspaper. Whatever it is make it your ‘normality’ lifeline. If things get tough go back to it even if it’s not the normal time of day you would do it. Say your stressed one evening after a scary traffic incident. Heading home to the security of a herbal tea and the newspaper would bring a sense of calm in an otherwise scary day.
My routine is a long and drawn out morning that I make extra time for regardless of my start times. I meditate, do a short yoga class, write in my diary, do some blog writing (depending on my mood) play with some oracle cards (not at all scientific of me) have a leisurely breakfast and then start my day. This can take up to two hours but I make time for most of it nearly every day. If it’s a huge day or we have guests or interruptions I try to fit in at least half of it and meditation and a smoothie are non negotiable in my eyes. While all of this might seem a little selfish, once you have your cup full you are more able to give. It also means that when you don’t get everything ticked off your list (and you never will because your to-do list is for life) you won’t feel so back because you have had some time for rest and recovery in between. Doing things you enjoy doing reduces stress and considering you will NEVER complete everything you need to do, having done at least one stress reducing activity will help you deal better with life endless to-do list. So go do something for you right now and don’t feel bad about it. Do that same thing again tomorrow without guilt.