Spring is my favorite season. In my natural habitat, it means round robbins, budding greenery, muddy boots, and windswept hair. In my professional landscape of higher education, it signals multiple projects, deadlines, and the urgency to meet enrollment and development goals. Normally, I feel spread thin around this time of year, not fully able to stop and smell the daffodils. However, this year I’ve tried something different. I decided to come face to face with my own BS and give it up in an effort to give myself what I was truly craving.
What had to go:
+Thinking about work 24/7.
+Letting my self-care habits slide in the name of “stress” or “busy”.
+Excessive social media scrolling and/or Netflix binging .
+Social obligations that leave me feeling depleted.
+Processed carbohydrates + sugar and the energy roller coaster they leave behind.
+Long ass to-do lists (I gave myself a limit of 4 things on my daily list).
+Over planning (my inner Leslie Knope was distraught).
+Attachment to specific outcomes.
What I let in:
+Starting each morning with my ritual couch sit, candlelight, coffee and dog snuggles.
+Setting a stopping point with my work each day, and letting it be enough.
+Built-in practices to help me stay present: studio yoga, meditation and friend time.
+Setting a 1-hour social media limit on my phone, and mostly respecting it (progress, not perfection).
+A new habit of asking myself “how is this making me feel?” while scrolling my most addictive app (Instagram) and choosing to shut it down when the answer is “shitty/drained”.
+Making time for inspiring friends & co-workers: our lunches, yoga dates, couch confessions and shared cups of tea gave me life. Thank you all 🙏
+Eating real food via the Whole 30 and feeling my energy soar (hello 🐯 blood!).
+Filling my to-do list with essentials only (mostly food, clothing, yoga and cozy related).
+Asking “how can I care for myself?" throughout the day and then following through.
+Choosing indulgences mindfully like allowing myself to watch the Amy Schumer Netflix special or a few episodes of Shrill cuddled on the couch with my dog Ella and a bowl of berries.
+Committing to “one day/task at a time” re: less planning to stay in the moment and not freak the eff out.
+Reserving time in the evening for rest. A cup of herbal tea spiked with CBD oil, reading fiction in bed, going to restorative yoga or again, my favorite thing: cuddling on the couch with my dogs and doing nothing.
What I got out of it:
Solid habits that love me back and a surge of rebel energy. In the face of stress, the act of slowing down and saying yes to myself despite all the other stuff I could have let consume me was so empowering. It turns out babying myself made me feel like a total badass.
Interested in learning more about habit creation? I’m teaching my “Sustain don’t drain: creating energy giving habits that stick” class at the Rochester Brainery on May, 16!