Confessions of a WERKaholic!
Ever had the feeling that you work too much? Every moment of every day is consumed with tasks. You buy planners, make lists. You set goals to stay organized. You even download apps to keep you notified HOWEVER you're not noticing the living breathing machine you've become. You try to maneuver daily without disrupting your plans. You try to support those that need you. You attend every girl's night out and masterfully keep your home in immaculate condition. BUT at the end of every day you start to notice that you're just plain tired. OR as tired as you feel insomnia starts knocking and you can't seem to get any restful sleep.
HELLO... my name is Stephanie and I'm a WERKaholic!
I normally like to describe it as my BUSY beautiful life! This is particularly because everything I give energy to has great purpose and is more than beautiful once the task is completed. This SYSTEM has successfully helped me to travel through my days rarely forgetting or missing anything. But imagine the pressure I(we) create for ourselves. I remember tidying up my bedroom a few weeks ago while my bestie's son was in observation patiently waiting to leave for the soccer game. He politely said "Miss Stephanie it doesn't have to be perfect. Everything will be ok." And just like that a 9 year old put me in my place and it was EXACTLY what I needed. I(we) subscribe to getting shit done by any means necessary or any other cliques we muster up to just keep swimming. But how do you recharge, refresh, and feel great with such a demanding work schedule?
One of the most important parts of my daily routine are check ins. Periodically throughout the day I "check in" to asses how I'm feeling or what my workflow for the day is like. Am I getting done what I need to accomplish? Am I taking time to breath or walk around? Have I responded to people? Am I feeling pumped that things are getting done or am I feeling drained and overloaded? You see ladies YOU are the biggest piece to this puzzle. If you're not OK the world around you wont be either.
But where do I begin Steph?!? Here's a snapshot of my day!
My morning beauty routine... Don't get me wrong I love makeup. I find it to be very therapeutic. My typical look is pretty simple. Quick. I'll use a face wash in the shower. A little toner on a cotton swab and dabs of moisturizer and I'm good. On those more sleep deprived mornings having an eye cream to soften under eye bags is always clutch. I also have nonexistent eyebrows, so I have to fill them in. A couple of squirts of MAC Matchmaster foundation, some Pro Longwear concealer, and simple eyeliner now I'm out of the door! In 7 minutes I've given myself enough glam without overdoing it because every day can't be the runway. Lesson: Be Realistic!
I start my day... with a smoothie and absolute silence in my car. I've learned that I am very easily stimulated and quite frankly distracted by my surroundings. Perhaps I'm developing my own attention deficit challenges in my aging , but I love the serenity found in just being quiet. Now that I think about it I better understand how infants feel as they're nestled in their car seats being massaged to serenity. It's pure nirvana! I also love working out. Secretly, I like to do it alone. I've never felt comfortable in a group membership setting. It's probably all of the eyes or maybe its the communal sweat. Either way... not for me. But there's something about taking a brisk run that really relaxes the mind and forces you to connect with your thoughts. I probably do the most of my life planning while running. An even greater favorite of mine is boxing. Your girl likes to hit things! I'm a natural at boxing AND I HIT HARD. The idea of being physically strong and capable of defending myself gives me a real sense of empowerment, which is so different from the profound vulnerability I have when I'm by myself driving or running. Lesson: Listen to your body!
My hair has... A LIFE OF ITS OWN. Being a woman of color there always seems to be a struggle to find the right product. So much trial and error (I might add) goes into finding a consistent item that doesn't leave my hair too flat or too frizzy. But it's grown so long so fast. It's now down to the middle of my back and I can attribute that to ItWorks Hair Skin and Nail vitamins, heavy water intake, and lots of clean eating (I'm trying a more plant based diet these days). Oh and scalp massages! I try to do as little as possible to it (my hair) - just use hair oil so it's not too dry. I definitely don't wash it every day, but do trim it frequently. So whether I'm rocking my natural coils or showing off my pressed layers I stay connected to my health from top to bottom. Lesson: Your hair is the MANE event! Chill out and have fun!
To relax... I execute the ultimate self care. I realized that I feel my best when I've had a good night's sleep. Every morning I need to be present for both myself, the people in my life and my clients. No one likes or wants a grumpy therapist! So before bed I shut down all electronics and ensure that the space I take rest in feels comfortable and clean. Ever notice that your instantly annoyed when you come home to clutter because you didn't have time to tidy up before you left? Feeling like you have more things to do on top of your already demanding day is not a good feeling. I like to be preventative so whether that is before I leave for work or before I go to bed I want my brain to feel at peace. Everything else is jotted down and carried over into the next day (I've also mastered the art of napping). Lesson: Find time to disconnect.
If I had more time... I'd give myself more space. Last year I did a huge amount of committing my time to others. Now of course I was focused on developing my private practice and tweaking the business infrastructure, but doing this while maintaining a full time job, a part time job, children, a significant other, and a dog was THE MOST. If it wasn't in my calendar it simply wasn't happening, but I remember feeling like I didn't have any space at times. But I've learned that its crucial at this point in my life to orchestrate work-life balance. I take more time to sit back and reflect. I'm reading more books and dedicating more time to ME. I'm discovering a lot more about myself and I pay more attention to the things that will shape what I do next. Lesson: You run the show!
So that's my story (or some of it) and I'm sticking to it. I'm getting to a place where I kind of recognize what I need faster. Now don't get me wrong I'm not saying don't handle business. That's the thing that makes women such a powerhouse. Be great as you walk in your purpose, BUT be aware of who's the boss of your life!