As brilliant as my job is and as fantastic as it is to be a blogger, that doesn’t mean it’s not stressful. We’ve all got deadlines, our inboxes are usually pretty full and there can be a huge overlap between our work and personal life. Especially for those of us who run a blog alongside a full-time job, it can be hard to find a cut-off point.
Sometimes, we become so consumed with everything we want to achieve in our career and with our personal brand that we forget about our own self-care. If we keep on running without pausing for breath, it’ll hit us in a very negative way. We can’t keep performing at our best unless we look after ourselves. What we need to do is figure out when enough is enough. But no matter how much control we think we have over things, sometimes it all just gets on top of us.
Over the past month, I’ve been very close to the point where I’ve run myself so far into the ground that the climb back up doesn’t seem manageable. I'm pushing myself with my blog to publish content every day, because it’s a change I wanted to make. I'm creating the #BloggingBreakthrough eBook for you. And from January until March, I'm doing two to three evenings a week at my job meaning I’ll be working 12+ hour days – not including blog work.
By Friday, I can be absolutely exhausted. So lately, I’ve been making some changes so I can really let go, switch off and enjoy my weekend. Today, I wanted to share these with you, in case you have a hectic week.
#1 Set Boundaries
It was only in December that I talked about the importance of setting boundaries in the run up to the festive season – but this applies to all aspects of our lives.
We've got to find that cut-off point.
Building boundaries between our career, blog and personal live is something we’ll probably be trying to master for a long time. I'm still figuring it out. But I always try my best to ensure my deadlines and to-do lists don’t spill over into the time I dedicate to relaxing and enjoying myself.
If, like me, you've got a blog to run, we have to make our own rules. We have to decide how much work we’re going to do and when we’re going to stop so we can spend time with loved ones. Tom and I always give ourselves a deadline of when we’re going to stop working and after that, it’s our time. If we didn't have these things in place, we’d just work all night, which isn't healthy.
Don’t burn yourself into the ground. Your health and your relationships are more important than getting that blog post up within a limited amount of time.
#2 Create the Right Atmosphere
When you get home from work or when you’re around your house during the weekend, you want to try and make it as relaxing and as fresh as possible.
Also try and have a separate work environment. I live with my parents, so I have a desk set up in my bedroom. But when it’s my cut-off point I always pack everything away and spend some time in a different room downstairs. This allows me to switch off from the work atmosphere.
Light candles, get your favourite blanket, sit somewhere comfy, have the right lighting – everything will add to taking away your stresses and instead, allow you to feel calm. Your home is your place of escape. It’s designed to relax you.
#3 Make a Soothing Drink
If you don’t know already, I'm a big tea drinker and one cup is guaranteed to sort me out straight away. Whether you like lattes, hot chocolate, or whatever drink is your favourite, always treat yourself to one. It’s the first thing I do when I get in from work and the first thing I make every morning.
The hot steam and the soothing taste will ease your stresses straight away and soon enough, you’ll feel the tension disappear from your head. Don’t be rushing around why you’re having your drink – take time to sit down and really enjoy the taste and how it makes your body feel.
#4 Make a Meal That's Good for You
Eating well is something that is very important to me. I know I need good food to keep going when I’ve got a good few hectic weeks in a row. So during the week my meals will be quick to help me save time, but healthy too.
One of my joint resolutions this year with Tom is to cook more – mainly to prepare ourselves for moving out! So at a weekend, usually on a Saturday, we follow a recipe and make a great meal. A couple of weeks ago we did a big chicken stir fry with noodles and last weekend, we make a yummy chilli pasta bake.
Because I exercise so much too, I realise the importance of eating the right foods. It’s no good working out and not feeding yourself with food that’s going to help make a difference to your body. I’ve got loads of recipes saved up and I can’t wait to try out more of them.
#5 Pamper Yourself
I’ll be honest – I don’t spend a huge amount of time pampering myself during the week. My hair is naturally curly so I don’t need to wash it every day, and because I usually have a lot to do, I don’t want to spend half an hour in the shower! So at a weekend, I make sure to give myself a proper pampering session.
Whether you prefer a hot bubble bath or a steamy shower, give yourself a good scrub, apply a face mask, put a conditioning treatment on and really relax yourself. It’s one of the best things to do to get you feeling fresh for a new week.
#6 Do Something You Enjoy
This is probably the most important thing you can do to let go after a hectic week. Do something you enjoy. Bake, sow, write, go out for cocktails – anything that fills you with joy.
#7 Get Fresh Air
No matter what I have planned at a weekend, I always plan to get some fresh air. Tom and I are regular walkers and there’s nothing we love more than driving off somewhere to escape in our own little world for a while.
When it’s warm get your shorts on, and when it’s cold wrap up in layers. But breathing in that fresh air is one of the best things for your body, your skin and your mind too.
None of these might be as indulgent as a trip to the spa, but I bet they definitely have the same affect. The most important thing to recognise is that you want to let go. After that, it’s completely up to you how you refresh yourself.
How do you let go after a hectic week? What's your favourite way to relax?