Hello my loves! Sorry for the radio silence on the blog the past few days — a lot has been going on in life and in work, but we are back with some regular scheduled programming (YAY!). It’s honestly been one of our busiest seasons, with our clothing label getting ready to launch soon on SS Print Shop (so much to set up and figure out as we’ve never done our clothing on our own, I’ve helped design pieces that were sold elsewhere), our new shop website design (that I am doing myself), and we have a new blog design launching as well (thankfully I outsourced this, with ChloeDigital). Managing content, posts, our shop, e-mails, photoshoots, our home, families, marriage, health/well-being, cooking, cleaning etc. can be a little overwhelming at times. Somedays I’m on my routine — I feel good, productive and organized — and others are like the days I’ve recently had when it can feel like you’re drowning in it all or not being or doing enough. Man, I wish we gave ourselves more grace.
Yesterday on my IG Stories, I asked a question to you all to submit what topic I should cover this week. I so appreciate all of your participation and feedback, and I love speaking on new and different topics for you guys. One of my sweet readers asked if I could share some of my tips on how I manage a busy lifestyle. I thought to myself, how well do I manage this? Sometimes my laundry is up to my ceiling (I lied, it always is), sometimes I can’t get back to everyone in a timely manner even though I try my best. And sometimes we order pizza instead of meal planning a healthy dish for dinner. I am continuously striving towards a balanced lifestyle, but alas, running two businesses and having a lot of responsibility is challenging at times. Some seasons we get a good dose of both life and work, and sometimes work takes over, but I never want to forget what really matters in life. I need to be reminded of some of these tips (especially this week):
I am a people pleaser to a fault, and never want to let anyone down. However, sometimes you have to say “No”. I can’t run for everyone, while I am running on empty. This also applies to the business — I don’t take on everything that falls on my lap. I turn down opportunities that won’t be a fit either timing wise or content (irrelevant to my audience) and it allows me for more time to work on projects I AM passionate about and want to devote myself to. People who honour your “no” (that you can’t hang out this week or attend their event – obviously excluding milestones like weddings and what not, please never be too busy that you can’t attend your friend’s wedding!) are the people who respect your well-being enough to not pressure you, rather than looking to serve themselves. I am so grateful for the friends and family who understand when we are in these busy seasons, lift us up and support us. I also give that same grace to them in their seasons and don’t make them feel bad when they have a lot on their plate or need to take some time for themselves/their family. You have to the be the friend you want in return — not everyone reciprocates and that’s okay, but you don’t have to do things just to please everyone if that’s going to leave you burned out. I’ve been through a bad burnout (affecting my health) and it is not worth it friends, I repeat, it is not worth your health!
ROUTINES & RHYTHMS
One of the things that starts to spark my anxiety is when I don’t have any structure or routine in my day. I’m generally pretty good about my morning routine, but lately I’ve been sleeping at different hours (or not well enough), then rolling out of bed and having to go right into my work day. These are the days where I don’t feel centred, as my morning routine is something I need to jumpstart my day. I’m pretty spontaneous, and everyday of my job is different — some days are photoshoots, some days are filming videos, doing a pull for a brand or attending events, and other times it feels like emails and meetings take up my day. It all depends on the day, but when we have more set days that are focused tasks, and have start-end points (we like to try to turn off our work by 5pm and then cook/relax the rest of the night), I feel like I perform at my job better and can serve MY people well. It’s been hard to not work late at night, or fold laundry until 11pm because you’re just trying to get it all done in a day and there doesn’t feel like enough hours. I try to implement a cleaning schedule for our home (certain days are laundry days, cleaning the bathrooms, etc.), set hours for work, and turn my phone on airplane mode as part of my morning routine (so that I don’t go on social media and my emails right when I wake up). All of these steps lead towards a healthy balance, which leads me to my next point…
Rest is highly underrated in a culture that glorifies being busy and productive. Sundays are a sacred day for us in the week because we go to church, go for brunch, and just simply rest. It doesn’t have to be a Sunday for you, but find some day in the week that you can unplug. Neal and I are really simple and love being home, but I used to also think doing laundry on a Sunday was me “resting” – nope. No chores, no doing things around the house (just because you’re not out does not mean you are resting).
This past Sunday we had to film some content that was due for a brand (we try to not work on this day at all). We had to do what we had to do, but I’ve noticed how when we skip out on having that whole day to rest made me feel on the Monday and how it’s spilled into our week. We need to have a day where we aren’t strategizing, working, planning or running around from here to there. We need to let our minds take a break so that we can come back even more energized, clearer and generating better ideas. I used to think I needed to work everyday and every hour of the week to squeeze in as much as possible (this is also when my health suffered the most a few years ago with real burnout). I now value rest so much and want to protect it in our lives. I love doing boring things. I love when the pace of life can just be slow, because that’s where we really appreciate the meaning of everything we are working so hard for.
I hope you all enjoyed some of these tips and found it helpful! Let me know what you find helps you manage busy seasons in life down below in the comments…