All work and no play makes for one hell of a frazzled mumboss.
The thing is, if you don’t take time out from your schedule to wind down, you, and your business inevitably suffer. You’re not a robot so it’s vital you don’t treat yourself as one.
I know all about working hard and pushing myself-it’s the hard work that garners results but I also know about feeling stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted because the juggle is real. I used to work 15 hour days as a director in the TV and film industry and I regularly burn the midnight oil and work crazy hours as a full time blogger and vlogger.
I do however, know that after bouts of rigorous work/deadlines and shoots, it’s vital that I slow down or take a day off when I can, so I can catch my breath before getting back on the saddle again. It serves my life, my kids and my work: my art.
It actually took me turning off all tech at 8pm last night to read and rest to feel inspired to write this post. The idea came to me whilst I was zoned out. How ironic. Coming off the treadmill allowed me the space to feel inspired and create again.
It’s like exercise, you go for a run, then have a stretch to recover. This is usually followed by a day of rest.
If you forget to stretch, you feel shattered and in pain. Apply this metaphor to your life. All go and no chill, makes for a grumpy, uninspired creative. You need to LIVE life to WRITE about life.
With this in mind, give yourself a break, literally. Stop working on your lunch break. Go to bed earlier. Pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read. Actually call and don’t text a friend. Run in the park (without your phone), get that boxset you’ve been meaning to start on. Look, I jump out of bed, excited for my day because I do a job I love but not actually running to my phone the minute my eyes open makes for a more relaxed day. I get the kids ready before my husband does the school run, we have breakfast together and I start work when the door closes.
I’m not the Prime minister, I don’t need to be ‘on’ 24/7 even if it looks like I am thanks to scheduled tweets (there’s a reason Social Oomph exists). I don’t need to actually personify that piece of tech.
Still don’t believe me? My friend, Dr Juliet McGrattan has this to add,
‘It’s vital to make time for yourself and women are notoriously bad at it. We often feel guilty and see it as indulgence so it drops to the bottom of our priority list which means it rarely gets ticked off. Taking time away from work and other stresses is actually a very productive thing to do and should actually sit near the top of the list. A change of activity for just a few minutes refreshes you and you find yourself working more efficiently and effectively on your return. Longer periods of ‘down time’ are important for stress levels, physical and mental health. Doing something you that you enjoy causes the release of your body’s happy hormones; this might be exercise, being with those you love or just having a good old laugh. A good dose of these will leave you calmer, more able to concentrate and happier too – a great recipe for a productive work session’.
So go smell the roses more. Your mind, body and business will thank you for it.