Happy October, friends!
Many of us get excited this time of year because we’re starting to slide into the flurry of the holiday season. We all get a little busier as we head to school events, plan for travel and holidays, and get our homes prepared for spending more time indoors. As our schedules get more cramped, it’s important to focus on ways to increase energy levels and reduce stress. Here is what I do to beat a season of busy-ness.
For me, this time of year is also the busiest season at work; as an insurance broker, enrollment season is now just days away rather than weeks or months away. I feel that I’ve done a lot of work getting ready for the upcoming enrollment season. But this is the time to really clarify my schedule to be sure that I keep what’s most important in front me.
With that in mind, here are my Quarter 4 priorities:
I Fuel My Body Properly.
Last year, one of the biggest game changes for maintaining my energy levels was making changes to my diet. I switched to a Paleo Diet about 90 percent of the time and simplified meal planning (and grocery shopping) by subscribing to Prep Dish.
Continuing to meal plan and prep ahead is definitely on the plan this year. But I’m also making sure that I’m taking a multivitamin and fish oil supplement daily, and I’m focusing on maintaining hydration. For me, at least 80 ounces of water daily keeps the brain fog to a minimum.
Workouts are Non-Negotiable.
I’ve said for years that when my work schedule gets busy, getting into the dojo is even more of a priority. Regular exercise is a way of managing my stress levels, and the endorphins increase my energy and help me think more creatively.
And since many of us study healing arts in our martial arts school, I can ask for a treatment (read: free massage) when a good workout doesn’t seem to help me release the tension that comes with working long hours.
I Give My Mind a Chance to Rest
This goes beyond trying to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night, although that is a priority for me as well. During enrollment season, I also make a point to leave the office for lunch each day. I meditate more often, and I prioritize activities that allow my subconscious mind to free-flow a little.
For me, this means journalling (which is why I’m ordering a fresh Five Minute Journal) and trying new crochet projects. That creative time is important to avoid mental fatigue.
I Recognize I Can’t Do It All.
This is partly not committing to things that will drain me mentally. But it is mostly knowing when to ask for help. I’m fortunate that the Mister is totally willing to take care of household chores or cooking or running errands on those days (or weeks) when my focus has to be on taking care of work. We know that building our business is a team effort that will move us closer to our future goals.
In addition to knowing when for help, I’m outsourcing some of the planning/shopping through subscription services such as Grove Collaborative to send our household’s cleaning and personal care products on a monthly basis. Like having my grocery list prepared, not having to keep track of what cleaning supplies we need creates mental white space.
So rather than trying to be Super Woman and do ALL THE THINGS, I let go what doesn’t need to be done right this moment and I ask for help when I need it. And I say no to invitations or opportunities that will steal energy from me rather than grow it.