I don’t mind saying I’m obsessed with always being busy.
I like the hustle and bustle of a busy life, mostly because it makes me feel like I am being productive. But I am fast learning that being busy and being productive means two different things.
I’ll say this: I’m a single mother of two girls, I am a university student, I am an ambassador and a social media coordinator for a charity, an author and a founder of a self-love brand. I’m touching on all of it very briefly here, but there is always, always something to do and I love that I never get bored.
My friends urge me to slow down and rest, but I don’t listen much and I carry on with my busy lifestyle because it’s like I am convinced I am some kind of super-being who doesn’t need sleep or rest or downtime.
But recently I was struck with a horrible, horrible viral infection that meant I had to shut down from everything. I know I don’t take my health seriously but the arrival of an ambulance at my house was warning enough from the Universe for me to start taking better care of myself.
I quite literally had to switch off from everything, even from posting on social media, and take time to relax and recover. This involved a lot of laying down and sleeping because I was unable to do much else. I had to rely on the support of a great friend to take my daughter to school and bring her home because I was way too weak to walk the 10 minutes it takes to get there. I couldn’t cook and barely do much else, this was not at all the outcome I wanted for having focused so hard on my goals.
So there had to be another way.
Since having that time out, I have come to the realisation that I have to be smarter about the way that I do things. I know for sure that I can’t carry on in this way. It doesn’t make sense because I’ve ignored the advice from friends and demands from my body to rest, and gotten myself into a right state and unable to do much at all. Not ideal, especially for someone who has so many goals to work towards.
I have to commit to loving myself in all ways, and that includes allowing myself to unwind and unwind often.
I have to make some improvements in my life because I don’t want to be ill like this again. Everything has come to a standstill and that is not what I want at all.
Here’s how I plan to do it:
1. Introduce a morning routine that helps me prepare for the day ahead. This includes meditation, reading and setting daily goals.
2. Eat healthy more often. It’s just not okay that I have 6 chocolate Bourbons sometimes and declare that as my dinner. I know I can do better and I can actually cook. I need to prepare meals for myself with the same love that I cook for my children. How on earth can I expect to feel good when I’m not even fuelling my body properly?
3. Plan ahead. I think I waste so much time by going with the flow and not following a particular structure for the tasks I need to complete.The summer holidays threw me off but the new educational year is here and I can finally use that to create some order. If I plan ahead, I’ll know what to prepare for and so that every task is completed with full efficiency (rather than throwing myself in the deep end and winging it completely.)
4. Social media detox. I don’t do this enough. I believe I need to introduce at least one half day of social media detox each week. I am on it all the time and it is a complete love/ hate relationship. Currently, I am finding my addiction so annoying and I believe I spend way too much time checking all my social media pages. While I was ill, it was actually refreshing to have some peace and not feel obliged to check my notifications or reply to anything.
5. Introduce a bedtime routine. As I type this, it is 3:07am on a weekday and I went to bed over 3 hours ago. I was way too stimulated to sleep, no matter how exhausted I actually am. I have tried breathing exercises, writing, eating, drinking and now I’ve given up because I know I need to tire myself out. I need to give myself a set routine every night and commit to it because I have to switch off so I can sleep. Doing the school run on three hours sleep has never been a fun thing to do. The suffering I will experience tomorrow morning is pretty much self-inflicted and I am so not cool with that.
So me writing all this here, letting you in on how rubbish I am at taking care of myself is like I’m allowing you to hold me accountable for the improvements I said I’d make. It’s not good enough just going to bed early or eating what I want, I need to allow myself to slow down and switch off sometimes. I need to take steps to settle a chaotic mind and find peace in stillness.
And I need to sit still long enough for that to happen.