Everyone at some point in time has felt the pressures of adulting. It makes you wonder why you ever tried to rush adulthood in the first place. Oh, I know why. As youths we were focused on the rewards and not the responsibilities of being an adult.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my life and all the blessings that God has bestowed upon me. And…life can be hard sometimes. Sure, there are some curve balls that come out of left field that leave you feeling a certain way. But oftentimes it’s just simply the weight and responsibility of being great in this world that leaves us feeling depleted. That’s why it’s so important to our general well-being that we take a moment to pause and reflect, restore and replenish.
Let me tell you what prompted me to take on this topic in Golden Life Musings. First, I reject the term that I’m “busy.” I like to say that my life is full. I have worked very hard to maintain some type of balance in my life between a strong work ethic towards my business and other pursuits along with dedicated time to my spiritual, social, physical health and volunteer commitments. And most of the time, it works. But honestly, when all of those worlds collide and require more of me all at once, I get overwhelmed and my body will quickly let me know.
Every area of my life went into overdrive in September. And I said yes to everything, filling every single space on my calendar with what I called my priorities, except for myself. Towards the end of the month, I looked up and realized, I had not had one day to myself to just pause and regroup. I kept saying, if I can just get to this planned vacation in October, I’ll be good. But you know what happened? I wasn’t good. I didn’t make it really.
A few days into October, I developed the worst back pain of my life. As someone with scoliosis, I’ve dealt with back pain here and there my whole life. But this was different. Despite doing everything I knew to do to make it better – yoga, chiropractic treatment, massage, jacuzzi bath (which I never made it to, but that’s a story for another blog) – it continued to get worse until I landed in the hospital. On my vacation.
I asked myself, how did you get here? Once I realized that I had to be sat down to reflect on this question, I came up with some lessons for myself that I thought could benefit you too.
- Learn how to say no. This is my number one challenge. One of the reasons why I’m a multi-passionate entrepreneur is because a lot of things interest me. I’ve always felt restricted by having to pick one thing I want to pursue. I’ve been like this since I was a child. I come from the philosophy of “you can have it all.” Well, when you take that philosophy into your world practically, you can get burnt out pretty quickly. Truth is, you cannot have it all, all the time. You have to say no to some things, even if it’s for a season. So, when you are faced with how to juggle multiple things that are going to require your time, energy and head space in one moment, be sure to prioritize and choose wisely which one makes the most sense at that time.
- Set and protect your Sabbath. If God took a day to rest from all of His work to create the world, so should we. Unfortunately for me, I got to the end of September before realizing I had not had one Sabbath the entire month. And I had no one to blame but myself. If you are someone like me who lives by their calendar, you know what you should do? Put yourself on your calendar. Even if it’s not for a whole day, perhaps it’s a four-hour time block. But block out that time that no one can touch. Do something that relaxes you, that gives you peace. It could be nothing at all. But whatever it is, let it be yours.
- Know what gives you energy and draw from it. This past weekend I took a road trip up to New York City with some of my girlfriends to help one of my dear friends celebrate a milestone birthday. It was a 24-hour trip up and back from D.C. but it literally gave me the best energy that I needed. I literally laughed so hard my cheeks were hurting upon my return. I had been in a very funky place over the past few weeks because of the pain and other stress that was weighing me down. My mood completely changed upon my return from that trip. You’ve got to know what gives you energy and life and seek those moments out when you’re feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders.
Of course getting the proper sleep, exercising and eating healthy can all support your general health and well-being. All of these things matter. But when it comes to the wonderful world of adulting, there’s nothing like simply giving yourself a break from the cares of life to keep you being great.