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I Hit The Pause Button

It’s been such a while since I’ve written, shared, or to be honest even visited my blog. It wasn’t that I was turning my back on all of you or my dreams. I just found myself overwhelmed with all the things going on in my life. I tried hard at the beginning to stick to my routines and to push through the chaos but I kept sliding, feeling like I was in the middle of a meteor shower with all space rocks being hurdled at me. I learned quite a lesson about how self-care can mutate in our lives depending on what’s going on in our lives. At first, I lectured myself and felt guilty for not sticking to my tasks and my daily habits. I felt down and out and so stressed then I started letting things fall off my plate. (I had quite the process of the last few months happen in my mind). I started wondering that if by holding myself so strict to all of my habits and to my task list was hindering my ability to get through this stressful time in my life. I started allowing myself to let go and convincing myself that it was okay and I could come back to all the things I loved and get back on plan again once things calmed down. As good as I like to think I am, my brain just didn’t have the capacity to process all that was running through it. I needed to set some things aside. This was another lesson in my life about self-love and self-care. Giving up didn’t mean I was quitting, in actuality I was just putting some things on pause. The truth is that even if we are practicing amazing daily habits that are getting us closer to our goals, life still can throw some big curve balls at us and sometimes we need to shelf things…and that’s okay! It doesn’t mean we quit on our dreams or abandoned anyone or anything. It just means we are taking the time and space to deal with what’s in front of us at that time. I still have some hectic weeks ahead of me (I am sooooo looking to some slower schedules come fall!!!) but I’m able to see the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter so I’m slowly adding my habits, my tasks, and my goals back to the planner. I am looking forward to getting back to my routines and with a new perspective on life I am excited to go after them in new light! 

~ Much Love ~ 

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How To Be Productive On A Sick Day

So I found myself feeling down and out yesterday morning, less than motivated to get anything done on a very busy week. Sick days are never convenient especially for us “always keeping busy and always have something to do” types. But when your body calls for some healing time you shouldn’t ignore it. king at my to-do list, however, I knew it wasn’t a day I could give up completely to stay in bed. Luckily I have a job that I can remote into and work from home on days needed and with budget time approaching soon I couldn’t feel more blessed to have that option. I needed to create a day where I could take my sick time but also still push through some productivity and accomplish some tasks. 

How To Be Productive On A Sick Day: Tips and Tricks to Help You Take Time To Heal but Still Get Things Done

1.) Take it Easy – I chose not to shower and get dressed. I chose to save that energy for meetings later in the day. I spent the day curled up in bed behind my laptop keeping me warm and comfy. This gave me a bit of sense of security not having to face anyone in person when I wasn’t feeling my best. Write out a realistic list of tasks that you think you can accomplish throughout the day.

2.) Start Small – Take a peek at your to-do list and see what tasks range closer to the “easy” side. For me, it was tackling sponsored Facebook posts. The verbiage is basically copy and paste so I didn’t have to get much thinking going early in the morning. Chose tasks that are also self-sufficient. Like laundry, this is a chore that you can throw in the washer and then let the washer do its thing. Save any hand-washing for another day.

3.) Hydrate – make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day. This will help you stay more energized and it will help flush out the toxins. I am a huge fan of tea especially when I’m not feeling well so I kept a cup of hot tea by my side most of the day.

4.) Put on Some Background Noise – For me, this meant a good Netflix binge. The background noise kept me feeling more awake to work but still relaxed enough that I didn’t feel stressed.

5.) Take Breaks – Be honest about your limits when you don’t feel good. Take frequent breaks throughout the day. Remember a sick day is about resting so you can get better. Sick days are not the days to take over the world…save that for tomorrow when you’re feeling back to par!

Bonus – Go to be early! Remember that there is always another day, “what doesn’t get done today will get done another day”.

I knew I needed to give myself some extra self-care so that I could get better but I am also one that will stress about what I’m not getting done while I’m laying in bed being sick so I curated my plan of attack so that I could find the right balance to work for myself. This isn’t to say that every sick day can have this plan…some sick days you just have to let it all go and stay in bed! 

How To Recognize When You’re Doing Too Much

I found myself on my vacation day in bed sick, stuffy nose, achy, and exhausted. Darn, I had so many plans! I wanted to catch up more on office work, get more forms organized for my Blog, write more Blog posts, finish some paintings for upcoming art shows, start some new paintings, needed to do laundry, had some research topics to tackle, clean and organize my room, post some new items in my Poshmark Closet…the list was forever long (geez I’m tired just typing some of my goals for my vacation day!). Well my day rounded up with me in bed watching Law & Order all day.

I needed to come to the realization that I had worn myself down. Maybe I picked up a virus somewhere too but I had worn myself out with late nights, early mornings, skipped meals, and a go-go-go attitude…and that was really why I was sick. I needed a down day and my body was telling me so, screaming it at me making it very obvious that my focus was to be to rest for the day.

We all do it, we get so excited,  or so inundated with a super long to-do list that we fall into just go do it and don’t stop until it’s done mode, and then we crash. We find ourselves so drained that we end up out of commission for a bit…and then we are at a stall, a stall in working towards our goals, a delay in life. We want so much out of life and we want to have it all done now that we push ourselves so much that we end up not functioning at all. We keep saying to ourselves “I got this”, and “Just push through” to stay pumped but are we doing too much? So how do we get it all done and not crash? We learn to recognize when we are doing too much, and then we shift, we re-adjust. To name a few, ones that I had to teach myself to be aware of:

  1. If you are finding yourself making silly mistakes – forgetting to turn the coffee pot on or put the K-Cup in the Kuerig before hitting brew, or you are making little slips during the like bad simple math solving or forgetting words frequently – then you are doing too much. Our brain starts having hiccups when it’s over-worked.
  2. If you are waking up in the morning feeling drained then you are doing too much. When I’m super busy I hate getting up in the mornings but when I’m on key I pop out of bed early happy to take on the morning.
  3. If you’re finding yourself having frequent negative thoughts or starting to dislike your daily activities. When you are over-exhausted you start to lose your passion, your drive.
  4. When you’re feeling cranky a lot or catch yourself snapping about things.
  5. When you feel so overwhelmed or so worried about meeting deadlines or completing tasks it’s keeping you awake at night then there’s too much on your mind.

So now what? How do we slow down? Each of us will have our own things, our own habits to put in place, that will work best but here’s my tips:

  1. Schedule a lazy day at least once a month. A day with nothing on the schedule, let the day lead you. If it turns out you curl up on the couch and watch a tv marathon then so be it. It’s okay to have days like this, it’s good to have days like this, not every day but a day here and there is healthy. Whether it’s once a week or once a month is going to be up to what works for you. For me I need to have one at least once a month, preferably I like one once every couple of weeks, that’s my balance.
  2. Drink water. I know you probably hear this one all time but hydration is sooo important. Water is a healing element, and it happens to be a big part of our natural make-up.
  3. Make it a habit to eat regularly, choose healthy and revitalizing foods – good proteins, fruits and vegetables, energizing grains. Keeping your blood sugars level will help you process things better and help you make better decisions. It keeps your energy levels even so you’ll have less dips and spikes throughout the day too.
  4. Make sure you do at at least three tasks or activities that bring you joy every day. Keeping your mind happy keeps you motivated and lessens the opportunity of emotional burnout.
  5. Stay organized. This not only keeps you accountable and more productive (so you can get more done more efficiently!)  but it also gives you awareness, it gives you an overall look of what all you have going on so you can assess the big picture. After being stuck in bed all day sick I was able to slow down enough to see how much I was doing day by day. I was able to put things into a better perspective and build a (more) reasonable timeline.
  6. Listen to your body. I’ve heard this so many times but I’ve finally started following that advice and it makes a difference. When my body is telling me I’m tired, I sleep. When I’m sore or achy, I need to rest my body. When I’m sick, I take time to recuperate. I fight the urge to ‘push through’ by reminding myself it’s better to rest now than crash and have to rest for days to bounce back.

I get wanting to accomplish everything, I really do. I am constantly telling myself not to fret that there is another day, “What doesn’t get done today will either get done another day or sometimes just won’t get done. It’s okay”. I have the kind of to-do list that is a rolling list, it just keeps going. This may sound like a very long list (which it usually is) but I’ve found it’s what works well for me. For me I’m creating an opportunity to keep working on this list, creating the expectation that this is a list that moves with me from day to day instead of having an end of day deadline (I put specific deadlines next to the actual task if need be).

Create a balance between a motivated, calm mindset and a well taken care of and rested body. With the Holiday chaos among us, we all know it can get even crazier but don’t set yourself out to have a burnt out January. Put together routines and set boundaries to protect yourself. Pace yourself to the finish line.

“Life is not a race, it is a marathon.”