Welcome to my 23rd post documenting my weekly struggles, goals and achievements in business and life for the week of March 20 - March 26, 2017.
So, about halfway through this past week, I realized that it might be time for me to take some time off soon. I've been feeling really overwhelmed and stressed out, and I know from my past experiences, that if I keep going down this path, I'm going to reach a state of burnout.
Signs of burnout I've been starting to experience:
- Feeling tired and drained most of the time
- Change in appetite or sleep habits
- Frequent headaches or muscle pain
- Lowered immunity, getting sick a lot
- Loss of motivation
- Increasingly negative outlook
- Withdrawing from responsibilities
- Isolating myself from others
- Procrastinating and taking longer to get things done
- Using food to cope
- Taking my frustrations out on others
What's causing me to feel burnt out:
- Working too much without enough time for socializing and relaxing (I've been working 7 days a week for about a month now and rarely take time off to relax or hang out with friends.)
- Not getting enough sleep (I've been getting 5-6 hours of sleep a night on average and I need more like 7-8 hours.)
- Taking on too many responsibilities, without enough help from others (I run all of my blogs and do all of the work myself without any extra help... plus I work with clients to help grow their businesses on top of my own.)
- High achieving, Type A Personality (I'm a bit obsessed with achieving things that are difficult, I like to be in control, and I'm a bit of a perfectionist.)
With all of this on my plate, I understand why I've been feeling unhappy and why I've been complaining more often. But is this an excuse to continue down this path? I don't think so.
I'm the one choosing to do all of this to myself, so I have to take responsibility for the outcome, whether that is good or bad. I don't want to play victim to circumstances I created myself, so if I don't like something, I need to take charge and make a change.
So I started by loosening up a bit this past week and made rest and taking care of myself my main priority.
I purposely worked less hours and gave myself permission to relax more (which to me meant anything from going for more walks outside, to laying in bed watching Netflix for most of the day, to going out to eat, to eating more comfort foods that were over my macro/calorie budget.)
I did feel a little guilty about all of this at first, but then I decided to just let that feeling of guilt go. I did what I needed to do for me and that's what is most important! And you know what? I feel a hell of a lot better!
I may not have gotten everything done on my to-do list, but I'm choosing to not worry so much about that. It will get done LATER when I have the proper energy for it.
My goals are to feel happy and less stressed, but to still be able to achieve things.
After taking some time off to decompress and think freely, I think the best way to do that is to SLOW DOWN and FOCUS. Work on one thing at a time and make sure to incorporate a healthy work/life balance into my weekly schedule.
If I find that something is overwhelming me, it just means it's not time for me to do that right now. I need to give myself permission to put it on the back burner and focus on what's currently in front of me... until it's done.
I'm allowing this whole experience to be a lesson learned (even though I thought I learned this lesson before... but apparently, I must have forgotten it.)
Sometimes you win. Sometimes you learn. :)
Anyways, moving on...
WHY I'M CREATING THESE WEEKLY POSTS
- To help keep me accountable by posting my goals publicly.
- To give me a better sense of control.
- To give me something to work towards.
- To keep me motivated to keep improving.
- To help me learn more about myself, blogging & business (I LOVE learning & analyzing!)
- To help me break things down and simplify my to-do list, so I don’t feel so overwhelmed (the goal is less stress, right?!) For my goals, I'm giving myself 3 things to accomplish in each category in order to keep things simple. All I have to do are these 3 things and once I finish them, I'm done for the week and I can go do whatever I want.
- To give me an outlet to talk about this stuff ( I LOVE talking about business and blogging but I don’t have too many friends that can relate, and the ones that can are usually BUSY buildin’ their own thangs…)
- To help me with my monthly income report.
- To give me something to look back on to see how far I’ve come.
- To hopefully help inspire and motivate others who are going through the same struggles (and maybe help us connect if we don’t know each other yet?!)
The biggest struggles I'm working through this week in business and life.
I've been working too much for my own good. I've got client work coming in from 3 different design clients right now. I'm trying to build up my newly rebranded Whipped Dream site. I'm trying to write 2-3 blog posts on this blog each week. And I'm trying to write blog posts, manage and correspond to emails coming in from my other blogs: Uber Driver Referral and Herba Member.
Plus, I'm trying to learn everything I can regarding business and blogging, in order to progress forward.
It's a lot of work and I'm starting to think about hiring out help, but I don't even know where to begin with that. The thought of trying to figure that out on top of everything else that needs to be done is too overwhelming for me right now, so here I am. Doing it all myself.
I realize I need to cut back on the amount of work I do in a day and take more time for myself to relax and exercise. So I'm planning on taking 2 set days off (Thursdays and Fridays) where I don't even open my lap top or check my emails on those days. I also plan on having an "out of office response" going out to anyone who emails me on those days so they know they won't hear from me until the weekend.
I've been struggling with the battle of stress VS. instant gratification.
Shopping and eating more are 2 things I tend to do when I'm stressed out, because they are ways I can create a sense of instant gratification for myself. I haven't been feeling happy, so my brain has been craving ways to make myself happy as quick as possible.
I've noticed I've been doing a lot of these things over the past week; online shopping, in-store shopping, splurging on things I normally wouldn't buy. I've also been insanely hungry lately, which has caused me to go over my calorie budget a few days this week (I'm thinking this also might have something to do with the fact that I've been walking more so I'm burning more.) I have also been choosing to eat more comfort foods, like ice cream, chocolates and peanut butter.
My motivation to go to the gym has also been spiraling downwards. I've still gone when I was supposed to and I've made progress, but I haven't been looking forward to going, which is weird for me.
I feel like I've been wound up really tight and now I'm unraveling. This isn't always a bad thing, however, I am trying to save money right now and also trying to do this 5-week personal nutrition + fitness challenge, which I've basically said "fuck it" to over the past few days. I feel like I've already failed at it and now I don't know if/how I should to continue on with it. I was also supposed to reward myself with squat shoes at the end of the challenge, but only if I achieved my goals of sticking to my plan. Now I don't feel like I've actually earned them, so what's the point?
My top 3 goals for this week.
- Take Thursday and Friday off completely and don't open my laptop at all Wed night - Sat morning.
- Only work between the hours of 9am - 7pm and incorporate more breaks throughout the day (go for more walks!)
- Focus on getting client work done this week (put my stuff on the back burner for now).
- Try to walk 10,000 steps a day.
- Try to sleep 8 hours a night.
- Do the couch stretch for at least 2 min on each leg a day.
What I’ve accomplished since last week.
Write my Review of Week 2 post for my Personal Nutrition + Fitness Challenge.(See it here.) Add something new to the Whipped Dream site.(I updated my subscription pop-up form.) Do not work after 9pm.(This really helped me wind down for the night so I could start getting tired sooner and fall asleep at an earlier bed time. Going to keep this up!)
Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night.(I got 3 nights of 8-hours, 2 nights of 7-hours and 2 nights of 6-hours... not as good as I was hoping but it's better than what I was getting so at least I made some small progress! Feeling a little better, but I want to feel a LOT better.) Go for at least a 30-min walk in the middle of every day to help stretch out my hip flexors + to take a productive break.(I did 2 days of 30-min, 2 days of 45-min, 2 days of 60 min and 1 day of 90 min! My body has been feeling looser and I've been experiencing less brutal pain... although there is still some pain.)
- Do the couch stretch for 16 min a day, every day, to help stretch out my hip flexors and quads. (This one was really tough to do... so much that it overwhelmed me and some days I just didn't do it at all. I think I need to build up to this. They say do 2 min PER LEG for each hour you sit, which means I need to do this multiple times a day, which is tough in itself. Or do longer periods at a time, but that is BRUTAL! I'll have to keep working on this...)
OTHER THINGS I DID WORTH MENTIONING
- I added a new blog post San Diego Lyft Referral Bonus $2,000 - March 2017
ONE THING I'M GRATEFUL FOR THIS WEEK
Being able to recognize that I need help and being able to figure out how to help myself! Writing my struggles in this blog really helps me analyze things so I can figure out where to make changes. :)