Pitfalls and pivots. Those bumps in the road could have become major roadblocks, but I chose to look at them as blessings in disguise (and most of the time they were!), and those pivots became adventurous plot twists as I navigated this new path we were taking. But let’s be real here: between the blessings and adventures, there were a couple of nights featuring tear-filled Taco Bell Party Packs washed down with vodka with a twist (or two!) Breakdowns happen, especially when you a type-A, boss level planner, with a vision who runs up against some unexpected WTF moments. If my unlucky husband happened to return home during one of these moments, he had the good grace to not touch my tacos, listen to my frustrations, offer just the right amount of advice, and pour me another vodka-twist. Because you see, he knew that at that moment, a breakdown was just what I needed. It was like a splash of ice water to the face, helping me shake off the initial shock, reframe the situation and plan out the next move. Plot twist!
As soul cleansing as a breakdown can be, they aren’t healthy to be having on the regular, so I did a little audit on my daily habits (as a personal stylist you know I LOVE my audits!) and pinpointed some of them that were triggering an emotional response.
- I am in high drive all the time. I am motivated and I want to do it all, but trying to do it all leaves me scattered. I am learning to say no to good things so that I can ready for the best things!
- I have a “Just One More” habit. I start my day intentional with a daily calendar review, and my MITs (Most Important To-dos) written out. But then they hit….Just one more task, one more email, one more phone call...so long after my work day should be done, I am still at my desk, eyes bloodshot, temples pounding, and my patience thin.
- I eat while I work. Mindless eating is bad for your mind! Studies show that you can increase productivity and stimulate new ideas just by giving your brain a break while you eat lunch!
- I’m a master multitasker (say that three times fast!)- My brain has learned to function while juggling multiple tasks and while it gets the job done, treating my brain like a hamster in a wheel hyped up on Mt. Dew, isn’t the most efficient (or peaceful!) way to operate.
I KNOW that my brain and body function better with breaks, but the Virgo in me (plus the 3,000 things on my to-do list!) can shift me into in overdrive mode. In the past, it was my greatest struggle, but now I have a few weekly rituals that help me keep from jumping back on to that hamster wheel when I have a lot to get done.
- I use an online calendar to keep track of scheduled appointments, but my physical planner sits on my desk where I have written annual, monthly and weekly goals and MITs. This helps keep me focused, allowing me to create, track and reach those goals without getting scattered.
- I break up my weekly MITs into daily tasks. These are the hard must-dos for the day. I put my phone on silent to minimize distractions, close my office to door to help ignore outside energies and let my team know not to interrupt.
- I even add non-scheduled items to my daily calendar, like my meditation and small errands so that they don’t get lost in the hustle of finishing bigger tasks. These are things that are important to me but can be moved to another day if need be. While this has helped, I still fight that go-getter in me to not try and do it all!
- One item that is written in daily is my 30-45 minute sanity break. A 30-minute neighborhood walk, fresh air and a book or sips of ACV tonic are my go-to sanity refreshers. This can be moved as needed, but it CANNOT be shifted to another day! Often times, it might be work (a podcast, a business book or a work-related magazine) but it MUST be enjoyed out of the office! This has been my best tool against my “Just One More Thing” habit!
- I schedule at least one weekday, non-work related, social gathering each week. A pedi with a pal, a hike with my homies, brunch with my favorite boss-babes...I really value these longer mindful breaks with people who recharge my soul.
- Workouts are imperative to me for mind, body and spiritual health, so I schedule in 5 per week! Weights, walking and yoga are my favs.
- Most importantly, I do not let my phone ring, ding, or sing at me before 7 am or after 9 pm. This is my treasured quiet time, and only immediate family has access to me during these hours.
I hope that sharing these with you can help you pump the breaks as needed when you are feeling like life’s road is tossing you too quickly around its curves. And if you do find yourself at the crossroads of breakdown and breakthrough, let me know. I will raise a taco in solidarity with you my friend and I’ll root you on as you sketch out your own revised map to your future!