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Labor Day – A Time to Reflect
Labor Day is a time to reflect on the state of the American worker and the picture is pretty dismal. Most Americans are overworked, stressed out and don’t take any time off to recharge.
For me, this Labor Day is a different experience as I am now among the millions of self-employed and entrepreneurs in the U.S. And while being your own boss provides some freedoms and better control of your schedule, it also brings new stresses and worries which makes self-care and wellness even more important. I get it…easier said than done, Niki. I know that the struggle is real to find all the time needed to incorporate exercise, meal prep, meditation, relaxation, etc. in addition to work, running a household, being a parent and/or partner, finding time to volunteer or doing other things that bring you joy.
While carving out time for yourself seems selfish, and sometimes impossible, when there are so many other people and priorities in your life, it is absolutely necessary to give your full self to those other priorities.
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5 Self-Care Strategies
Not sure where to start or how to find that time in your super-hectic schedule? Read on, my over-scheduled friend.
Unfriend Social Media. How many times a day do you find yourself aimlessly scrolling Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? The average person spends about 2 hours a day on popular platforms. That’s plenty of time for a workout, shower and healthy lunch. Keep your phone in another room at night and get up and get moving before you become distracted by tweets, posts and pics.
Set Hours of Operation. Once you start putting the phone out of sight, send the laptop there too! Set “hours of operation” like any retail business would. Even if you bring home some work, pick a time that you will work, ex: 7-8 or 9-10 p.m. and stick to it. Otherwise, a few minutes here and a half hour there will completely take over your whole evening.
Work your Mind & Body Simultaneously. You don’t have to choose between exercising your mind or body. Like to read? Want to catch up on a podcast? Do it while you’re on the treadmill, bike or elliptical. Instead of sweating to 90s Hip Hop every morning (which is awesome, BTW), pick a few workouts each week where you’ll fuel your brain and work your bod at the same time and you’ll be better for it in the long run.
Get a Friend’s Status IRL. If you pause the social scroll, reach out to a friend in real life and schedule a wellness date to catch up. Take a yoga class together and then grab coffee. Or, do meal planning/prep at one of your houses with a bottle of wine and your favorite recipes. Make double batches of your healthy dishes to share with each other.
Plan with your Partner (and family). When your life is over-scheduled and non-stop, make it a point to have a planning session each week or at the start of each month to map out all the commitments. Then, find pockets for self-care and block the time for whatever recharges your battery. Be sure to post the calendar somewhere (or share online) where everyone can access it.
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New Season; Renewed Focus
There will never be time for wellness, eating healthy or exercise if you don’t make the effort to find the time. Look at this new season as a new start, like a new year and resolve to refocus, reset and re-energize your efforts.
Bottom line, you can let the season take over your life with work, sports and school or you can take control of the season to ensure you have time for the things that make you healthier, happier and more productive for all parts of your life.