OK, so we’re well into May, but better late than never for an All About Me April recap… right?!
For those playing catchup, All About Me April was something that I came up with to prioritise my health and wellbeing.
So how did I go?
I’m not going to lie: all did not go to plan.
Following a busy Easter long weekend away, I had to travel interstate and was really, really sick for 10 days. We also had a wedding, birthday and other social occasions pop up. Oh, and work of course.
Basically? Life happened.
So while I can’t claim to have had a “perfect” 30 days, I can say my imperfect April taught me a few things…
Don’t let rituals become obligations.
Rituals such as meditation, journalling, intention setting and affirmations can be oh-so-good for you – just not when you feel like you HAVE to do them.
When I read this Instagram post by Kyrie of Kindred Self, it made so much sense to me.
Here’s a little snapshot of what she wrote (though I recommend you pop over and read the full post):
“Rituals and routines are good but may not be for everyone, and if this is you please don’t beat yourself up about it. Go with what it is you need. Just like there is not one type of diet that is perfect for everyone, there is also no cookie cutter approach to self-care. Self-care is about learning to recognise what it is YOU need and honouring that!”
There were moments in my month where my rituals totally felt like obligations, so I stopped.
Instead, I tuned into my mind and my body and what they needed and wanted.
What I’ve found, particularly during times of high stress, is that sometimes listening to a podcast or even a meditation can be too overwhelming. Like I’m letting yet another voice into my head – telling me what to do, how I should think and taking on their energy.
So instead of doing that, I’d go for a walk with no headphones and just listen to nature. I’d breathe and be present. Let my mind wander as my feet did the walking. It helped!
And now? I’m going to get back into meditation and do it on the days I want to.
As for my journalling, I think I’m going to switch things up a bit and see how it feels for me – writing out some affirmations / intentions / whatever pops into my head at the beginning of the day and ending my day with my gratitude journal.
Ditch the guilt.
Holy heck, am I good at making myself feel guilty! How about you?
It could be guilt over saying “no” to someone, having an extra glass of wine, eating an extra piece of chocolate, missing a workout… you name it, I can make myself feel really, really, really bad about it.
BUT! As my good intentions fell by the wayside during April, I began to give less and less f***s.
Why? Because I realised that absolutely no good came from beating myself up about things. It didn’t make me feel very happy nor did it motivate me to want to try harder or do better.
So I started ditching the self-inflicted guilt trips and – WOW! – not only am I getting better at doing that, I’m also feeling better ABOUT myself which, in turn, inspires me to want to do better FOR myself.
Plan… but also? Just go with it.
No day, week or month is perfect – I’ve learned that time and time again.
Also, attempting to make grand plans, no matter how well-intentioned, is a sure-fire way to have life laugh at you and tip them upside down.
Instead, you’ve just gotta go with the flow. Roll with the punches. And plan in smaller increments.
I’ve now taken to looking at my time in one week blocks and asking myself:
- Where can I fit in exercise? Scanning my diary and scheduling workouts in as appointments – not exactly a new thing. The game changer has been realising that my workouts don’t have to be at the same time every day, just so long as I’m doing something active for myself each day. Whether it’s a gym workout or a walk, the main thing is I moved. I’ve also made my #1 reason for exercising to be for my mental health.
- Which tasks are my priority? These are the things that I need to do at the very beginning of the week to meet deadlines and feel organised. I tend to keep Mondays completely meeting-free so I can smash out this work – or at the very least, make a big dent in it. Once I’ve ticked off those high priority tasks, I move on to the next level of tasks. Working this way helps keep my stress levels down, too.
- How many meetings? With my business, some of my time is spent in meetings – monthly client catchups, meeting potential new clients or 1:1 social media coaching. What I’ve become more mindful of is to not overload my week with (unnecessary) meetings. They can either happen via phone call, Skype or email.
- Who gets my time? When it comes to my time: first in, first served. For example… if I have a window of time available to meet with someone and I’ve offered it up to a couple of people, whoever gets back to me first gets that appointment. I’m only one person, after all.
- Where’s my Me Time? Last but certainly not least, there needs to be a little time for me. To work on my business. To create my own social media. To blog! To have coffee with a friend I haven’t seen for a while. Or to do something nice for myself.
So as you can see, it’s all still very much a work in progress.
But that’s life, right? It’s a journey. We’re all learning along the way.
And recognising what we need to do for ourselves is constantly changing and evolving – just like we are.