End of the Year Hustle?
So is it me or is EVERYONE sick? Ranging from dying in bed with a fever to sniffles all over the place? Yeah, it's that time of the year where everyone gets cooped up for the first time and surrounded by each other nonstop. (perfect environment for germs- yum!) Or are you in the other crew that isn't sick (yet) but as been busting *ss for the past couple of week just trying to make it to the end of the year? Trying to hit your work goals, attend all the parties, keep off the hibernation weight and oh still sleep?
I think this year I fell strongly in both camps and it was due mostly to my lack of self care while hustling to the end of my semester. The weekend before my finals started I started feeling sick and by Monday I had a fever. Not only did I have 6 finals in 4 days and a fever but a fever meant I wasn't going to be working out that week. And while that isn't the end of the world, working out is one of my favorite stress relievers to keep me sane during finals week. So needless to say by the end of the week I was exhausted, half sick, had an adorable eye twitch and was so done with feeling stressed that I just collapsed into bed... never wanting to leave or interact with humans again.....
Thankfully my boyfriend pulled me out of bed for dinner and my roomies pulled me out for socializing. I slowly recovered but not without a massive week of self care. I had pre scheduled some self care appointments knowing that this finals week was going to be brutal and I was SO SO grateful I did that. (sometimes, I'm so smart I surprise myself ; ) ) I had a hair cut and color on Saturday from the most fabulous hairdresser ever and she gave me a brand new look..... that I didn't realize I needed so much.
I went on to an acupuncture appointment and some cupping before heading back to NY to see my family.
Our new traditions is to do girls spa day for my mom for christmas and I could not have been happier to participate this year. Sauna, steam room, body scrub and massage. THANK YOU, THANK YOU THANK YOU. (I think that's what my mind and body were saying all day) Lastly, a detox foot bath (my favorite thing to do when I'm home) and lots of sleep. By christmas eve, after a week of self care I finally felt back to normal.
Thankfully I had the time and resources to give my body what it needed after crashing and burning the week before but that is NOT always a luxury that I (or you) have. With that in mind I wanted to share with you some of my top tips to avoid burnout this time of year:
Ask my girl Jennifer Hanway how important sleep is. It's the time for your body to repair itself, rebuilding muscle, and forming new memories. I always know that if I skimp on sleep I will pay for it the next day or the day after that or after that. I might not feel the effects right away but they will catch up with me. Do yourself a favor and get some sleep. That extra hour of studying isn't worth it, from my experience: you probably aren't retaining as much as you would hope always. The exact amount of hours varies per person but once you know how much sleep your body ideally functions on, put your face bra on and get to bed loves.
2. Take a few moments to yourself each day:
Whether its five minutes or an hour take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to just sit with yourself for a moment or better yet lay down (and try not to fall asleep). So frequently at this time of the year we are overstimulated by lights, computer, music, constant chatter that not only can your body not slow down but your brain can't either. Taking five minutes a day to just sit and breathe with all other distractions gone can give your body the reset it needs. Sounds like meditation right? While I cannot say I meditate everyday (2017 dream/goal/desire), I do try and take time to just be by myself for a moment which is a mini meditation for me. Sometimes it is even in just sitting in my car before heading in to my next appointment or class.
3. Essential Oils for Immune Support:
Yup you guessed it, I used essential oils for everything! Especially to support my immune systems when I'm running around like crazy. My go to oils for immune support are OnGuard, Oregano, Frankincense and Arborvitae. I have a roller bottle of Frankincense, Onguard, Arborvitae and Almond Oil that I try to rub on my feet each night before bed. I learned the hard way that preventative self care is SO much better than playing catch up once your sick.
4. Essential Oils for Stress Relief:
Diffuse, diffuse, diffuse. I had my diffuser running 24/7 during finals. During the day I either had Balance or Elevation going to keep my mood uplifted and my mind calm and at night I at serenity going nonstop to soother me into deep sleep. I also made a spray bottle of what I call "Sweet Sleep" to spray on my pillows and blankets to aid with sleep.
Sweet Sleep Recipe
1 roller bottle
20 drops of serenity
20 drops of lavender
20 drops of Vetiver
Fill the rest with water!
My favorite way to prioritize is to make lists. At first it might seem overwhelming but once you have everything down in writing you can actually make a plan to tackle it. I even break my lists down into lists (excessive I know but it keeps me on track) to know what I need to do first versus which is low priority. Lists keep my organized and stop those panicked moments of "OMG DID I DO THAT YET?". and personally, I swear by hand written planners. I do have a google calendar but I constantly use my hand written planner. There is just something so satisfying about crossing things out once you are done for the day.
6. Move your body baby!:
I am a self proclaimed fitness junkie so take this with a grain of salt but to avoid stress burn out move your body. Release any negative energy/ extra stress/ extra tension. I know taking 30 minutes out of your day seems impossible when you are hustling but oh it is so so worth it. Working out can boost your memory, energize your body and mind and give you a quick brain break between tasks. And for added bonus, pick your favorite workout. Don't pick that workout you do because someone told you it's good for you but you really dread every second (ahem, my relationship with any treadmill). Pick the workout that moves your body and your soul, that speaks you you mind and body, that makes you smile and feel grateful for moving around.
As I write this I am hustling for a whole other reason. My boyfriend and I are in the process of outfitting a sprinter van to drive cross country and ski.. oh and we are leaving in 2 days. So its a sprint to the finish (no pun intended) to finish up the van so we can get in as much skiing as possible. Keeping these 6 things in mind will keep me healthy so we can enjoy our trip and make the most of it. (More to come on the trip as we embark)
By the way, do you or anyone you know live in Denver or Boulder? Would you like to gather for an in-person workshop about bringing essential oils into your life to support your physical and emotional well-being? If so, drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be in the area doing workshops for the next two weeks and would love to connect.
Okay, off to build that van life loves!