At the end of 2018 I was embarking, so I thought, on a new direction. I had been out of work (voluntarily) for a few months and was beginning a new phase of my life. I had decided to retrain as a Life Coach (see first blog) and was embarking on this in a positive and enthusastic way.
I had reconnected with someone who had done the training and was working as a Life Coach herself, until life got in the way. She now works full time – corporate training within an organisation – mindfulness and life coaching related courses. When I say life got in the way I mean – making a living and being able to manage those responsibilities with what you feel is your right path. Sometimes the two just don’t gel. Or not immediately. And so life gets in the way.
But it doesn’t need to completely. What I’ve found is that, for me personally, I get distracted very easily. I have ‘things’ that need to happen in the course of my day and as a result I don’t allocate my time effectively. I’ve boldened that wee line because that is the issue – I just don’t allocate my time effectively.
We’ve all read books and articles, listened to podcasts, etc., etc. Reminding us that there’s 24 hours in a day and what we do with those is our choice. Well, choice is a bit bold because quite frankly I know women (& men) who have most of their time allocated to just getting through the day. And any free time they have is taken up with even more external duties eg: spending time with our kids, walking/feeding the pets, trying to juggle the mental list we’ve created for the ‘downtime’ after work AND just getting s**t done. And then when we finally collapse either on the sofa or in bed – we are mentally and physically spent.
So what happened to that extra hour or two to do what we wanted? Exercise, meditate, study for our future career? Well we allowed it to be eaten up by things that maybe just maybe we can delegate, or just stop worrying about.
Some people, bless their cotton socks, are able to do just that. Delegate some of the things we overburden ourselves with, say NO to the kids constant demands for time and attention, and just shut ourselves away to nurture ourselves both mentally and physically. So why do so many of us feel guilty doing that? I think it’s because we are raised to feel that unless we are ‘doing for the rest’ all the time we are therefore selfish and self absorbed. Granted there are a few of them around and I’m sure we can name some, however, it is proven in numerous academic studies that unless we nurture and care for ourselves, then we ain’t gonna truly be any good for anyone else.
So little steps folks. How about you revisit what makes you happy? Do you even know what really makes you happy? or if not happy – a bit contented? Something that takes you out of yourself and into a plane of contentment and relaxation – even if there is madness around you – the ONE thing that can allow you to distance yourself from that.
Physical exercise? We all need it and it’s proven that we now can get our physical exercise in smaller doses – it need not take an hour and a half. We can exercise in blocks of 10 minutes a few times a day and that goes a long way to improving our health.
Sleep? One of the most important things we can do for ourselves is dedicate time to sleep. We should as adults get an absolute minimum of 7 hours a night. So, if you need to be up at 6am – then off to bedfordshire by 10 or 11pm … that allows for the downloading of busyness from our brains so we can start to relax.
Reading? Well if you need to read a few pages before bed – try and make it something light – not something horrifically violent or disturbing, and definitely not the report you need to finish before you head to work the next day. Light, refreshing and easeful. That will not leave you thinking about it long after you should be falling into a restful snooze.
Try a few things to make the bedroom, the relaxing room, and ease on in to a good nights sleep.