Reminder: Be Here Now

Be here now.

I know that can sound like some hippy fluff but when you really think about it, all we have in life is this moment.

How many moments have you let slip by without noticing them? I know I’ve let most days slide by without more than a minute of mindfulness at most. My excuse is always the same “I just didn’t think about it” or “I was too busy”. But the truth is that this is not a way to live. Humans are meant to spend time being present, in whatever way that resonates for them. Not only because we want to savor in the memories but because it will also make us more effective in every other aspect of our lives.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness or any form of metacognition (thinking about how we think) can help us combat anxiety, monkey brain (frazzled reactive thinking) and build our creativity. My Aquarius ass has always wanted to be more creative; it’s one of the reasons why I started this blog. I know that when I am on my yoga, meditation, exercise routine it is so much easier for me to create but I also know how hard it is to cultivate and maintain a routine in our fast paced society.

Being Busy isn’t Better than Being Here Now

To build this routine I had to make the conscious decision (with the help of a great presenter Sally Thornton at the HR West Conference) that being busy is not cool. By that I mean that being a workaholic won’t produce better results and that having a jam packed schedule doesn’t make me successful. A way to prevent myself from being too busy to practice mindfulness I schedule these things in to my day. Every night before bed I meditate. I try to schedule time on my calendar to brainstorm or think creatively AND I leave as much blank space in my days as possible.

There is nothing wrong with scheduling time for you to rest. Not only is it crucial for your mental health but it’s also kind of fun. Enjoy a glass of wine or read a good book, it’s good for your brain.

Be Here Now

Please take some time this week to be here, right here, and notice the world you are in at this moment. Meet yourself where you are and give your soul a big thank you for being here and getting you through the day. It doesn’t have to be all hippy dippy chanting or meditation (though I am always here for that as well) – just make it authentic to you.

Whether your mindfulness takes the form of a yoga with Adriene video, painting, guided meditation or an interpretive (or wildly improv’d) dance it doesn’t matter as long as you are present. Take a time out and after you do drop me a comment on how you feel.

Hitting Refresh

Lately, I’ve been experiencing professional and social burnout. I love my job and I adore my friends and family but I’m in desperate need of a looooong break. Why do adults not get summer vacation?

napping
I’ve suffered from burnout since 1993

2017 has been EXHAUSTING and I, as a perfectionist with anxiety, needed to hit pause. I spent July re-calibrating and trying to refresh. I fell off my morning workout schedule (don’t worry I still worked out in the evenings, I just gave up on 6am for a bit), I ate out a bit more (don’t worry I haven’t gone back to my old Domino’s antics yet) and I stopped writing for my blog (did you miss me?). I dropped all of my non-work responsibilities and tried to eliminate my stressors. Unfortunately, it did not work. Quitting on my “me time” schedule just made things feel worse. So, I’m back.

When you do not have the PTO or a flexible schedule I guess the only option with burnout is to power through it. I experienced burnout of a similar time towards the end of my college career and I know that my little break from the activity I was burnt out on helped tremendously. By the time I graduated I was exhausted from the papers, readings and studying. I had quit reading for fun. I had gone from being a bibliophile to a bibliophobe. But after I graduated, stopped panicking and found a job I rediscovered my love of books.

Sometimes we need a break from the things we love, and when we can’t take that break we have to remember why we love what we do. I’ve started writing down what I’m thankful for each evening again and it has helped shift my mindset a bit. I’m getting back into meditation and I’m focusing on trying to figure out what excites me outside of my daily activities. I’ve been obsessively watching the Great British Baking Show on Netflix and I’ve decided to try baking (pita breads are first on the list). Adding a new hobby hopefully will help light the spark I need to get me out of this burnout.

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Photo evidence of me “meditating” on how difficult life was circa 2011

All this being said my August goal is to meditate on everything I have accomplished this year, evaluate the goals I have set, and determine what I need to do to find my center. My goal of cultivating love and creativity this year has come so far and I refuse to let it fizzle out with this current bout of burnout.

Let me know what are some of your techniques for battling burnout in the comments below!

Is Getting Ahead Overrated?

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Actual photo of me resting

My goals for March we’re all about action which makes it a bit ironic that this is the time I decided to start honoring my rest days. It’s insanely important to balance action and activity with rest and relaxation though..so it’s totally okay and normal to require more rest than scheduled. A couple weekends ago I woke up wondering, is getting ahead overrated? Should Sunday’s be spent meal prepping and getting ahead or playing and relaxing (or both)?

 

I gave myself a break last weekend and this is what my Sunday consisted of:  

 

Sleeping until 9:30am

Playing an entire level of Peggle (in a unicorn onesie)

Adventuring to Coffee Bean

Exploring at the park (check out my cute video of B in the park on my instagram!)

Brunch!!

Meal Prepping for M-W lunches.

Making delicious chickpea crisps (recipe here).

Binge watching LOVE on Netflix.

Free writing for posts/creative projects whenever I felt like it.

Reading Jen Hoffman’s guide to plan my attack for the week (and resonated with the section about the need for self-care).

 

What I planned to do.

Write multiple blog posts

Edit a friend’s creative project

Work on my creative projects

Meal prep/plan for the week.

Study for the PHR

GET AHEAD GET AHEAD GET AHEAD.

 

Even though I did not do everything on my planned list I managed to be insanely productive without stressing myself out. I always try to save my relaxation time as a reward but maybe it’s better to just let the day unfold itself and to be present. I woke up and decided to take the day off from writing but ended up writing more (and having more creative ideas) because I decided to be present and found inspiration in my daily life. I spend so much of my time in an office or doing mindless activities making it harder to focus on the here and now. I let myself be aware and awake on Sunday and it was relaxing.

 

I think this is a sign from the universe to slow down, so instead of making new goals for April I am going to continue on taking action for the next month and balance it with loving kindness through rest. I’m going to meditate on my goals and what I have accomplished and what I aim to do.
So I suggest to spend your Sundays doing whatever you feel like. Go on a walk, take a nap, read a fucking book, bake cookies, take time to just be human. It will make you more creative and productive in your everyday life.