During my tenure as President of my chapter's Florida Public Relations Association, I've challenged myself to explore this year's theme: Finding Your Balance. For this month's writing piece, I stumbled across this quote:
You’ve gotta nourish to flourish.
What a great statement. We are constantly challenged to be better, be more efficient, be more present, just be more. And, I don’t know about you, but I want to be more. I want to tackle challenges. I want to flourish in my career.
Sometimes though, we need to take a step back from trying being better all the time, and pause. What makes us happy? What makes a smile? And, I don’t mean just finding what makes us tick -- even those things can be draining. I mean a "relaxed" happy, a calm "happy."
What gives us peace? What are some ways we can slow down and appreciate everything?
Personally, I had to figure out how I can calm down in those high-stress events and projects. And part of the process was knowing when those moments hit. I know I will always get an adrenaline rush when we open gates for our festivals. I will always tense when I hit “send” for an email campaign blast or a press release. I will always pace. I will always have a plan b, c, and probably d. I will always overcommunicate.
But, I need to be able to stay grounded. I need to be able to figure out how we can get back on track when something isn’t going the way I want. I need steps to refocus. In order to be better, I need to figure out how I can maintain a healthy heart, soul, and mind.
I’m by no means suggesting you should quit whatever is problematic in your life and max out your credit card at the spa. But, what I am suggesting is to take 10 minutes, every day, to take care of your head and your soul. Start small, and maybe you can establish a few rituals of your own.
Here are 8 ideas you might be able to use:
1. Take back your mornings, and maybe your evenings too!
Have you ever tried this? I’m experimenting with just that. Mornings are becoming much more important to me. I need to get myself ready for the day. I need to get all the thoughts I’ve had overnight, or while I was in the shower, down on paper or typed in a note. I need time to be thankful. I need to move around. And that might even mean getting up a little earlier for this night owl.
2. Challenge yourself
The above link is from 2014, but I still find so many things relevant today. When’s the last time you did a crossword puzzle? Or tried brushing your teeth with your opposite hand? These are small, simple challenges for your brain.
3. Read more
I don't think I can accurately convey how creative I become after reading a good book, even sometimes a bad book, or re-reading a classic favorite. It just does something to my brain, and I’ll pull out a paintbrush or open my laptop and start writing. Maybe you could even join a reading challenge. I’ve completed 7 of my 48 books for the year.
I’m also trying to shake up my normal reading habits by reading things other than fiction. Right now, to brush up on my wine knowledge before our big festival, I’m reading: Rose All Day!
4. Step outside
I am so fortunate to live in this beautiful area of the world. I am literally steps away from turquoise waters and white sandy beaches. I challenge myself everyday to get out and enjoy it. Maybe you have a place you can enjoy. Walk on the beach. Ride your bike around the neighborhood. Drink your coffee, or enjoy your lunch, on a patio. Breathe in the day!
5. Surround yourself with people you love
Spend time with those that nourish, those that make you feel better about yourself. Hang out with people that want to have a quality conversation, and who care about what you say and think. Don’t force yourself to be around those that don’t.
Can we all join in with a Lauv sing-along- “I like me better when I’m with you?”
I "unplugged" about two weekends ago. It was fabulous! If you are exhausted, or just need a break, hide your phone. Turn off your notifications. Use the do not disturb feature, and only allow emergency contacts to call you. Don’t check your email. Or maybe only check your email in the morning, or in the evening. And if you cave and just have to check it during your break, try to only respond to emails that are actually pertinent. I promise the others can wait.
Can you say spring cleaning? Time to purge! I’ve tried several methods on this because I’m very sentimental with my stuff. For example, I was holding onto a dress that I wore to my first Auburn football game, and – regardless of the fact that it definitely did not fit anymore – I couldn’t even tell you if we won while I had it on! Why did I need it? If you need to tell your stuff’s story, invite a friend and have a party – with plenty of garbage bags or donation bags around!
8. Be kind to yourself
I saved the best for last. The best thing you can do for yourself is to be kind. If you need rest or a break, take it. If your pants are a little tight, put on a dress. If you forgot something, apologize and move on! You are your best cheerleader. And you’ve got this!
I hope you will try to nourish your head, heart, and soul this month. This is how we find out balance and flourish.