Today after an extremely stressful workday - one when many of my friends had the day off or spent their brisk Thursday shopping for holiday gifts - I had a mini meltdown. Nothing crazy, mind you, just one of those silent-white-knuckle-wheel-gripping-don't-you-dare-cut-me-off drives home where you stew over everything that didn't go as planned and wonder if it's too late to completely change career paths and become a ballerina after all.
Yep. This was me fours ago. Just not bald.
Nobody really discusses how to properly balance work and life. As a woman in my late twenties it seems like you have two options - successful workaholic or a domestic life raising children. If you know me at all, or read this blog with any regularity, you know that I fall into the former category and find as much satisfaction in being good at my job as I imagine parents feel when they teach their kids to spell. While I am sure every good business person struggles with work stress, it's important to remind yourself to unplug and take care of yourself. Usually these little reminders and de-stressing ideas are are crucial not just for the health of your career but for the health of, well...you.
So how do you slow down when there is always something to be done? Here are a few brilliant ideas that I wish I could take credit for:
- Step away from the computer and the phone. This is almost impossible with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and email just a click away (I am as guilty as the next girl), but seriously take time to smell the roses versus taking a picture of them and uploading to Instagram - your senses will thank you.
- Clean the house. When I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed I crank up the Rolling Stones and rock my way to tidier surroundings. When my environment is in order I feel much less chaotic.
- Stop holding yourself to such high expectations.
- Take time to reflect. Mediate. Write in an actual journal (not a blog) and chart your course for the day.
- Exercise. We all know it's good for us and if you are mainly stuck in front of a computer all day like I am, you are much more sedentary than you think. Workout atleast 4x a week and not only will you feel better, you'll look better.
- Evaluate your goals and make sure you're still aware of while you're chasing them. Why are you pursuing your career? Take stock of the things you've already achieved and make sure you aren't excelling just to excel.
- Take the time to regenerate and allow for periods of stillness. I read a National Geographic article about soil and farming once, and the point is for food to grow not for it to grow all at once and never again. Soil does its job, but unless you let it rest it can't regenerate its own materials and do the same thing again. You just have to let it lay there under the sun, dry out, get rained on, and be still for a little while.