Confession: I’m not at the point in my entrepreneurial journey where I can take a week off for bereavement. It’s me, myself, and behind the keyboard so taking time off to grieve over the loss of my Mom isn’t really an option. I still need to show up for it all, including homeschooling our children and running my business.
If you’re grieving and trying to do all.the.things, here are five ways I’m managing emotions and exhaustion during this time, maybe they’ll help you (or a friend) too.
1. Everyday is different. Accept that. You can stick to your routine and to do list but each day you’ll feel different in your grief. Give yourself permission to accept that and don’t beat yourself up about it.
2. Everyone handles grief differently. If you know someone still rocking their business during a loss, skip the comparison game. It’s not healthy when you’re not mourning so let’s not even go down that road while you’re actually grieving. Stay in your lane and put the blinders on.
3. Extra self-care is necessary. Schedule it. If you find you need a nap in the afternoon, take it. If you find you need to dial back your usual networking, there’s no shame. You’re better off taking the time now than running yourself completely ragged and having an even worse meltdown later.
4. You don’t need to explain yourself to anyone but you do need to communicate. No is a complete sentence but if you feel the need to elaborate, simply be honest. You don’t have to give all the details but enough so the other person understands you need time and or space.
5. Your to-do list needs to be shorter. Pick ONE thing to get done each day and focus on that. Multi-tasking is for computers.
If you could use some help staying in your lane and keeping those blinders on, let’s chat. Email me.
I have decided to give you a little sneak peek into my weekly mentoring call with Tom Ziglar. Each week we go over one spoke on the wheel of life, here is a great tip for your “personal” spoke. This is a simple and practical list of choices and habits that will give you a much needed energy boost. If you are feeling drained between work, teaching your children, and all the things that are part of your usual everyday routine you can choose to rest, reset or quit.
Instead of quitting and starting all over again, try to rest and reset with some of these...
20 choices and habits that will give you energy
1. Choose to care for yourself
How can you help others if you don’t take care of yourself? There are many forms of self care from physical to spiritual to financial...
2. Develop a "habitude" of gratitude
Fear and gratitude can’t live in the same place. So make sure you’re finding at least three things to be grateful each day. This simple exercise is even more powerful when you write those three things down.
3. Intentionally learn something you can share that will help someone else
Serve someone! You’ll help another person and improve your outlook on life...
4. Find a hobby
Don’t forget to have fun! Comes in handy with #13 too.
5. Plan think time
Get up and own the day before it owns you or set aside some time during your lunch break
6. Plan to worry
If something is pressing on you and you’re finding it hard to focus, schedule a time to worry! When the thought comes, make a note that you’ll take the time to worry about that at 10am. You’ll probably find that when that when 10 rolls around you won’t need to sit and “worry”.
7. Plan in advance how you will respond to life’s upsets
Life happens and even the best laid plans will get interrupted with family emergencies or job changes. But you are in control of how you react - will you fly off the handle or take the change step by step and ask for help or delegate?
8. Start your day right
It usually starts the night before with #11. Here’s a simple morning routine for you - it’s my focused 30.
9. Write “I like because…” notes and make a victory list.
“I like” notes are a lot of fun to share with your family and co-workers. And don’t forget to celebrate your wins, big or small, at the end of each week.
10. Text some love and appreciation
When you think of someone, go ahead and tell them! Chances are they need to hear it.
The amount of sleep you get determines your performance, mood, and even your weight. Get a solid 7-8 hours! (Moms, resist the urge to stay up and go “mom”-bie at night, you’re better off working on #8.)
12. Make sure you are not whining to yourself
13. Paint a fence
Stuck on something? Do a chore or a project unrelated to what you’re stuck on and disconnect for a while.
14. Walk in the woods
Or the beach - go outside! Get some fresh air and enjoy God’s creation. Plus, sunshine helps your body produce its own Vitamin D which boosts your immune system.
15. Take short exercise breaks
Take a break from sitting and stay flexible.
16. Intentionally daydream
I had a coach tell me to just sit and look at my vision board daily - you know what? It’s fun and improved my mindset!
17. Learn a word a day
And if you have children, have them quiz you on the spelling and definition. They'll learn something too.
18. Create your playlist
I’ve got my library on YouTube. When I need a pick me up, I just pop in the earbuds or turn it on while I’m driving.
19. Get out of town
Sometimes you just need a change of scenery to get some perspective
20. Putting it all together - the power of multiplication
Combine some of these - for example, exercise outside while you listen to your playlist
When one area of your life improves, all areas of your life improve. Which one of these choices will you implement this week?
Are you craving self-care or are you intentional and scheduling it? You've heard the phrase: you can't pour from an empty cup. In other words, how can we expect to give our best to our family and career if we can't even give the best to ourselves? Here are two important steps I took to build self-care into my day, which helped me level up my mindset, health, and, yes, my work.
I remember chatting with a group of moms not too long ago and most of them said they didn't take time to wash their face daily. If you're a mom, especially of littles, you're probably nodding your head "yes" right now. Taking care of my skin is now an important part of my day, it rejuvenates me and boosts my confidence, but when our boys were babes I felt I was lucky if I got to take a shower. Should we be lucky to take a shower?
If you can't find a little bit of time to take shower, then, please, sit down with a pen and paper and write a timeline of your day. Yup, actually write down how long it takes you to do what you normally do... including scrolling on social media - eye opener! My guess is you'll find some things you can cut out completely, cut back on, or, dare I say it, ask for help with...
Now that you've found more time, take a closer look at batch working. It is NOT multi-tasking. Doesn't it make sense that you'd be more productive if you followed through on a task to it's completion before moving on to the next? If you want to know more about it, listen to Jenna Kutcher's Goal Digger Podcast on this topic. Batch working has helped me organize my week. I have power hours four times a week and themes for each day so that if the unexpected comes up or the boys need more attention, at least I know to pick up where I left off.
Let's assume you have trimmed down your daily routine and laid out your batch working schedule. What will you do with this precious time you've discovered? (Mamas, resist the urge to empty the dishwasher - don't be afraid to delegate, again, more time!) Is there a goal on your list that you're not taking action on because you keep telling yourself there is no time? Time to take action. Do you want to travel but you have no idea how much your dream trip will cost or when it will happen? Time to make a plan and stick to it. Or is it just a good time to sit and sip tea in the sun? (Yup, I love that.) Hey, even Jesus created alone time (Mark 1:35)!
Self-care is your fuel so schedule it into your day. If you're like me, you'll find that you're better at all the roles in your life because you're fueling yourself up first. Remember what they tell you on an airplane, put your oxygen mask on first, then help the person next to you.
Yeah, morning routines are a thing and there is no denying they’re important.
I remember when I was a kid I was an early riser and usually the first one to appear in the kitchen. My mom was already up, sitting at the kitchen table, reading the paper or making a list while she sipped her Salada and my Dad was almost done getting ready for work.
When I was older, I asked her why she got up so early and she said, “it was the only time I had to myself.” Well, don’t I get that now that I am a mom! She was a school teacher and mother to six so, truly, there were no breaks…
It’s definitely taken me some trial and error to nail this down and now that our three boys are school aged, a morning routine is more realistic. When the following things happen before the boys are circling for breakfast, my day, and theirs, is all around better. When I don’t hit this list, I’m, how shall I say this, yelly. Enough said.
1. Start the night before.
My best mornings actually start the night before. I actually set an alarm on my phone so I stop working (or more than likely, dozing on the couch) and get things together. Taking some time the night before can change your morning. I lay out their clothes and mine, take care of my skin, brush my teeth, take a look at the my calendar and read before I go to bed.
2. Get up before they do.
It’s kind of like the airplane thing, put your oxygen mask on first before you help those around you. By waking up early, there I said it, you’re not trying to meet everyone’s needs before your own through sleepy eyes. (Though if you need an ah-mazing eye cream, I know a girl.) Typically 45 mins to 1 hour before the brute squad rises is ideal for me. Gives me plenty of time to do 3, 4, and 5 on this list and put myself together.
No, I don’t work out this early but I do stretch. I do some simple range of motion exercises my chiropractor gave me and I BREATHE. If you're not up to a full work-out, at least try stretching, it feels good and it's a simple way to take care of yourself.
I don't look at my phone yet! I sit in silence and get my mind together, this includes prayer. You can pray, meditate, journal, or make a to-do list, whatever helps you set the tone for your day.
I try drinking some water first. When you sleep, your body uses up some water so give it a boost before you drink coffee or tea. Do you struggle with just water? Get a fun tumbler and straw, and try infusing it with fruit.
Maybe you need to do these in a different order or maybe your five are completely different but figure out what works for you and be consistent! On the days I’m intentional and get to do this list FIRST, those are the days I’m a better wife, mom, and businesswoman. You can’t control everything that happens in your day but at least prepare yourself to navigate through it…
I’m Liz Montigny, a boymom and entrepreneur who loves tea and statement earrings. I hope you're always working to level-up because I that's what I'm all about...