I think many of us are guilty of trying to do too much. Whether it's on a daily basis or much larger scale.
One of the reasons I retrained to be a Pilates teacher was that I wanted to find better balance in my life. My work in Theatre PR was brilliant but rather all consuming and I had got to the point where I had work or social plans every evening and all weekend and was hoping that someone would cancel on me because I was so shattered! It was also starting to affect my health as readers of my last blog will know!
Since retraining, I have been better at finding balance. Having always been glued to my phone and emails, just in case a client needed something, I had to learn to accept that whilst I was doing two jobs it was impossible to be always available. If a PR client needed me whilst I was teaching then they had to wait. They weren't to know I was teaching, I could have been in another client meeting. Just that change in mindset alone was a huge deal for me and very liberating.
The various lockdowns helped me slow down in a way, I didn't have a social life, but I was working very hard. As we've started to regain some of our freedoms and some kind of 'normality' I have started to find myself slipping back into old habits. Taking too much on, over committing myself, and most frustratingly working myself into the ground in the run up to a holiday telling myself I just had to get to that point and then I could relax.
By the time my recent holiday came around I was exhausted. I had worked myself into a complete state. Getting my flat ready to go on the market so viewings could happen whilst I was away; getting the Video Channel up and running so that my lovely clients would have access to Pilates resources whilst I wasn't here; combined with my regular work and family commitments, and my total and utter confusion and anxiety about COVID testing and travelling meant the day before I flew I had the most monumental migraine that took days to shift.
I don't really remember a huge amount about my first afternoon in Portugal because I spent most of it passed out in exhaustion on the beach (not from Gin and Tonics)!. The first night I went to bed I felt really unwell. I did start to gradually relax and unwind. I started sleeping better, and sleeping longer and I forgot to rush around and moved at a much slower pace. As is always the way, I only really felt the benefits the day before I was due to come home! Regardless I am very grateful for the break. Not just because I was lucky enough to get abroad in uncertain times, or because I enjoyed glorious sunshine whilst in the UK it feels like we've been waiting forever for a summer that has never quite arrived, or because I got to see dolphins in the wild, which was awesome. But mainly because it has given me a much needed reminder that I need to make time for myself.
I absolutely LOVE running my own business and wouldn't have it any other way but being a one-woman-band the buck stops with me and my working day is not just the hours that I'm teaching. I do it all, from managing the website, to marketing, to video editing, to the accounts and making the tea! It's also very easy to rationalise not taking any time off. If I don't work I don't earn anything. But my recent break has reminded me that I need to take time off for my own physical and mental well-being but also, taking time off, coming back refreshed and revitalised makes me a better teacher. Life is all about balance and like with Pilates, it's a constant work in progress!
I hope you have all managed to make some time for yourself this summer or take a holiday and are looking forward to the months ahead, whatever they have in store!