We’re not superwomen [and why we’re allowed to stop trying]

 Deep breath. This is a post I’d hoped I’d never write.  Or at least not publish because the in-between of my drafts folder and actual posts is immense. Yet the reason I’m churning my thoughts out loud today is that a) I’m hoping this will make me accountable to follow through with what I’m about to say. And b) my intention has always been to write the kind of blog I’d want to read and I’ve been glad to see similar posts around the blog world.

Thinking-Out-Loud

If something is on your mind and influencing your day-to-day life significantly you know there’s a point when you can’t ignore it anymore.  Ooookay …

The good news: After a recent stint of writer’s block I’m currently on a roll with blogging. Several drafts lined up, more ideas [even recipes – when was the last time I posted one??] in my head.

The bad news: I’m scrambling to balance blogging and life [and don’t like admitting it].

For the past weeks, no, months, I’ve had a hard time living up to my own expectations/assumptions of blogging. That would be posting a minimum number of days per week, replying to comments  [I know I fail there] and stay in touch with other bloggers. Here’s the deal: I absolutely enjoy all of these “tasks”. They don’t feel like duties – unless life takes over and time become a rare good. And with the move and a new job with irregular work hours just that happened. Cue frustration.

Or to quote a fellow blogger: Blogging isn’t your full time job (right now!), it’s a hobby. And she’s unfortunately right there. The main point is I have yet to get used to my work schedule – that in this job will actually never be consistent – and figure out a daily structure. One that helps me find my balance againone that will include blogging. If you find yourself stressed out by too much on your plate the advice is usually: Look for something to go. None of us need to be superwomen or -men.

 

My intention here isn’t to whine and ask for sympathies. Rather, I want to apologize for probably commenting and/or posting a bit less in weeks to come and encourage others to take time for self-care above all else. Over the weekend I got thinking – a run helped – and realized a few things. None of these are partcularly new or sensational but I have an inkling I’m not the only one who needs a [not so] subtle reminder for one or the other.

Tea

  1.  All good advice at hand is useless if we don’t put it into practice or Practice what you preach: I often find myself saying ‘yessss’ to it, add it to my ever-growing collections of good good links – yet more often than not don’t follow suit.
  2.  Taking time for self care is not selfish: Whether you’re a single lady, too, or not: the only person who can first and needs to ensure your well-being are you.  If we don’t take care of and show ourselves respect – why should others? It’s similar to what Carly said in her recent post [though on a slightly different topic]: People learn how to treat you based on what you accept from them. So let’s all take some me time in every day.
  3. You’re allowed to feel stressed: Sounds odd? Here’s what I mean: for the past months I’ve kept telling myself that – compared to others – my life was not stressful enough to be exhausted or allowed to complain. Compared to some serious superwomen who juggled being a mum/wife/puppy owner [<- kudos to all of you!!] I felt I shouldn’t complain. I blamed myself for not managing my time the best. If others could why didn’t I? The truth is: we all have a different stress tolerance. What some can work with 24/7 can leave others dragging along by the Wednesday. I know I’m at a point where I need to make changes if I don’t want to drive myself into the ground
  4. Sleep is crucial: I guess we’ve all read those facts before? And probably promised ourselves we’d get more shut eye time … tomorrow. Only tomorrow never happened. I’m vowing to really make an effort to improve here. Keep your fingers crossed for me 🙂 !
  5. Sometimes we need to re-think priorities: This one’s a real dozy for me. If you asked me to tell you my priorites in life to help figure out which tasks I could lay off for a while I’d be stumped. Keeping in contact with others, blogging, working out, preparing healthy food for work, finally fixing my printer, … Everything seems like a #1 priority on my to-do list. But you know the saying: Something’s gotta give.

Ironically, writing this post already has my mind spurring with ideas for a little blog series on self-care. Once I’ve figured it out better myself [re: practice what I preach 🙂 ]. Take that as another sign I most definitely won’t stop blogging anytime soon. My inner wannabe superwoman just needs to take a chill pill and refuel – mentally and physically. All so I  can keep flooding your  Bloglovin’ feeds with deeper, delicious or downright goofy posts.  Long story short again: I’m not going on a blogging hiatus – just trying to balance on- and offline life. Stay with me?!

Happiness-inducing today: A lot of laughter and joking around with colleagues at the office. It was a very busy day that flew by but busy in a very good way.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

As always: Share your experiences, advice and any other thoughts on the topic!

Benefits of Rituals + Three of Mine

Let’s get to the mot important part for many of you today first: Happy Thanksgiving! We don’t celebrate it over here but I hope all of you doing it have an amazing time filled with family, food and all other kinds of wonderful Thanksgiving rituals.

Rituals.  That word makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  Not only because it’s the name of the store where I got one of my favourite scarves. Though that probably adds to it. Consider thinking out loud on Thurdays a ritual, too. Thanks to Amanda for creating that one with all its benefits.

Thinking-Out-Loud

The real reason I’m a huge fan of rituals is their ability to give me instant comfort. The moment I start one of my daily rituals the World – no matter the outside conditions – becomes a blurr and I’m at ease. Or at least in 92% of the cases. There is a lot of evidence on the importance of rituals for mental and physical health.  Just naming a few:

– They reduce stress in speaking to the creature of habit in all of us.
– once a ritual is established it allows you to run on auto-pilot and perform tasks faster

– rituals help create breaks and room to breathe because you don’t need to think

– Help turn bad habits into healthy ones.
Happiness-incuding powers: Like some of my examples below show rituals can be something you know will happen at a certain point in your day/week so you’ll be able to look forward to them when time seems to pass extra slowly [who doesn’t feel that way at work at times?!]
– The timing factor: If you’re like me and prone to running late rituals will help you get more structure into your day. After performing a rituals a few times you’ll know pretty much exactly how long it takes. Proof is that I leave the house at closely the very same time every day.

[Sources: Lifehacker, feel happiness. Marc and Angel, Lifehack, Huffington Post]

Depending on the individual ritual there are obviously even more rituals. Journaling, writing gratitude lists, praying, going for a walk during lunch break, calling a friend at a specific time every week … the list is endless as are the benefits.

Here are three of my daily rituals:

1. Morning routine: Right when I wake up I walk to the kitchen – dark at this time of the year, light a scented candle and start  my breakfast prep. Then I head back to my bedroom for a little morning stretching to wake me up. I finish this one by holding the  child pose for at least a minute.  Then dry brush,  get dressed, pretty up,  eat breakfast.

Candle

2. Car drive back home after work: This one’s funny because it’s relatively new. The moment I hop into my car for the 30-minute commute home I pop a gum. Funny because up until now I never chewed gum – and still only do while driving.  But now I do as I’ve found it keeps me awake and focussed. I usually take a second piece – why are they that small?? – after I leave the highway. That’s because the highway is pretty easy to navigate but after-work traffic in the city can be a pain in the butt and requires all of my attention. Chew gum, breathe, relax.

3. Dinner routine: With my breakfast being semi-savoury and lunches decidedly hearty I crave a sweet dinner in 99 % of the cases. Okay, and I’m lazy and   Brinner?! Cocoa banana oat bran with almond butter – and as of late coconut oil, too – is my heaven in a  bowl  pot [unless I’m eating out or with others]. If you asked my family they’d tell you the way I prepare this is a ritual in itself already. More important to calm down,  though,  is the way I eat it: a newspaper or one of my favourite magazines  on the side I’ll start by reading a few articles. The finish is a sudoku or crossword puzzle. Again, this is something I look forward to all day.

Oats

There you have it: more glimpes into my weekday life and routines. Now it’s your turn…

Happiness-inducing today: Mails from blends and joking around with colleagues.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

 Tell me some of your [daily] rituals!

How do rituals help you?

What does your night time ritual look like? Mine is a work in progress so I wouldn’t mind some inspiration.