The irony in wanting to do 75 hard then being completely knocked on my ass for over a month now does not escape me, as I recall the little voice in my head, telling me this will not serve you, abort mission. Big universal ha-ha.
April has been weird and great and sucky and awesome all at once. I feel like I’ve lived a year in April, whilst battling Covid and the repercussions of the damn thing.
She finally got covid and when she got it she GOT IT. Going on 7 weeks, I’m still recovering but that’s not the point of me jumping on for the month, to complain about my woes, I won’t let it be.
I live a full life. I follow every passion that knocks on my heart. What has come with this over the years is burnout, over and over again. During my bout of covid, I have learned that I cannot continue to push through it. A lesson I have been up against for the last 5 years. I simply cannot defy the odds as much as I would like. I have finally, FINALLY come to accept this. I have had to re-work my entire life to support myself. I have had to shed some nasty habits. I have had to dig deeper in a genuinely spiritual sense. I say genuine because I will admit, my spirituality in the past has been light, fluffy and surface, even when I truly believed it to be deeper. I finally dug in. I think of myself as a multi-fasciated and passionate human, majoring in creativity. My career is my songs. To support it, I work full time. A chosen endeavour because I believe I’m worthy of it all. But, I have had to learn to manage stress. Here’s what I’ve learned in a month.
Here are my 10 top tips for becoming your most consciously high achieving self
1. Start each morning supporting your mind
I was a classic for the minute my alarm went off, was to the minute I began trying to squeeze in reading, journaling meditation and going to the gym and had no time for anything else. It was a well oiled, highly stressful machine. Turns out I am able to do those same things with a sense of calm. The only thing I changed was my mindset and intention going into the day. If I feel a little more tired, I’ll sleep an extra half an hour. Then I’ll read but I might read a little less and pick up my journal. Then, movement time. I’m not full swing back into the gym yet but I’m slowly getting there and as it turns out, I’m still at work by 8am. But, I’m more calm, more intentional and feel more in control of my nervous system.
2. Movement is important, but not at the expense of your health
Movement is crucial for our heart health. Functionality AND brain health. A mix of resistance training and cardio is the perfect prescription for ultimate health. Keeps our body happy, our minds sharp and our hormones happy. But, what I have learned is there is a fine line between pushing your limits to see what you’re capable of and pushing yourself into an overactive adrenal system and nervous system, in turn rendering yourself useless. This is counterintuitive and very common with over achievers. There’s a disconnect between our ability to listen to signals our body is telling us and trying to achieve the goal in record time or, having a do or die attitude. I have done this cycle so many times it’s not even funny. I think I have finally learned and I am excited to adjust this and really lean into it. How does my body feel today, over, I need to achieve XYZ.
3. Schedule your days but allow room for fluidity
Hands up who schedules their day down to the minute? Including morning routine, work and dinner, family, life. I have my music career and am currently working in the family biz so this takes quite some planning and scheduling. Only thing is, we cannot plan for curve balls. It feels like nearly every second week this year I’ve been on a plane for something last minute, my weeks are all over the shop and as much as I try to control things, they often are completely out of my hands. When you plan, schedule your heart out but always know that life happens in the best ways when we can let it happen for us and nothing magical never happens within the confines of our schedule. I’ve been making lists, prioritising five things for the week and then if I get to the rest it’s a bonus. Also, I’ve been making reasonable lists. Not ones with 20 things that take a team to achieve. I also have been writing personal lists too, because I became very well functioning in work life but personal things fell by the wayside. This helps me to remember what’s important and grounds me back to reality.
4. Fuel your body for functionality, not just aesthetic goals
Protein, carbs and healthy fats. Yes, this is important but consider the source, always. Have a heavy focus on your micronutrients from food sources and not just supplements. Lately I have been doing soups and pre prepared salads with diversity. Easy to prep and add things like protein to, on the go. They also last nearly a week and you can freeze soup.
5. Pray/ connect to something higher
I will admit, my spiritual lens has changed a lot. I have simplified it yet magnified it. No matter what you believe, incorporate a practice into your day. Whether it’s a quick prayer, giving thanks to your choice of God or Goddess and focusing on what you would love from your day with loving intention. That’s as simple as I can explain it for me right now and I’ve never felt so supported.
6. Have urgency but don’t signal to your body its an emergency
Simple, yet so complicated. We live in a world that supports urgency, stress and heightened anxiety. You can have urgency without signalling to your body that it’s an emergency. I would feel I needed to reply to people instantly, I needed to get things done immediately and that unless I was flustered and fast that I wasn’t doing a good job. Turns out it’s super unproductive and leads to adrenal fatigue and crashing around 2pm. By being calm and intentional in my day I am able to produce calm intentional action in tasks. Less room for error, supports the body and allows the mind to focus more. (I struggle to focus big time so this was a game changer) I also can show up for people much better.
7. Factor in your family and support networks
Potentially the most important on the list, without a support network you will fail. Period.
8. Don’t let the stress of life impact how you treat people
9. Stop waiting for ‘the perfect moment’ to be calm and slow down
‘I’ll be more present when things slow down’ or ‘I’ll make more time for friends when things slow down’
Honey, take it from me. Shit doesn’t slow down all by itself, you have to slow it down yourself by being intentional and cater to all facets of what it means to be human.
10. Don’t be so busy making a living you forget to make a life