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As the seasons of the year change as do the seasons of our life. We have seasons of change, happiness, uncertainty and those seasons when we feel like we’re always on the move; where everywhere you turn there are another ten things to add to your ‘to-do’ list…
Busy seasons are inevitable, and providing that they are just that - seasons - and not a permanent state of being there’s nothing to worry about. But, during a busy season in life, we can often get lost in the whirlwind, lose sight of what’s important and forget that creating a little time for rest gives us the strength and energy that we need.
It took me a long time to understand the importance of rest and it’s essential role in our lives. I don’t mind admitting that in my younger years I saw it as weakness; I felt like I shouldn’t need it and that pushing through without it was somehow more honourable. I think in some work cultures this is still the mindset that they promote BUT there’s another way that doesn’t lead to exhaustion and burnout.
Creating time for rest isn’t difficult when you’re armed with a few tips to help you through and so I wanted to share the things that help me during the busy - and even not so busy - seasons of my life
It sounds obvious, right, and it reminds me of one of my favourite quotes from Peter Drucker…“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all” I love this so much I keep it written in my day planner!
I appreciate that you might be thinking that you already have this prioritisation thing sorted; you do it in your head every day and it works most of the time. I get it, I used to think the same until I wrote it all down on paper...that’s right, I wrote down everything that was in my head. No doubt, you’ll need a few pages, a hot drink and an hour or so but it’s a great use of time.
Once it’s all down, do through and mark everything in order of importance - 1-5 works well - 1 being the highest and essential to get done but anything marked 5 you could try to discard or delegate if possible.
No matter how many times I do this, there’s always something else that can be made simpler. Look at some of the tasks in your life; both at home and work. Could they be made simpler? This could be anything from having the weekly food shopping delivered, creating a simple capsule wardrobe of workwear or creating a weekly family schedule so that everyone knows what’s going on at home.
Of course, you could look at some of the processes that you use during your workday too which is always helpful but even getting started on some of those smaller things can help to streamline your day.
When your schedule is already full you have to start saying no more often. There’s nothing wrong with saying ‘It’s not the right time for me at the moment’ and making a note to check in at a later date if it’s something that you want to do. Of course, if it’s not then saying no is a blessing and helps you to stay focused on your path.
When we’re busy we can be reluctant to create space for ourselves and yes, our time for self-care might be a little reduced during these times but it shouldn’t be non-existent. I learnt this the hard way and neglected myself for far too long...I know that you’ve probably done the same and we both know that it doesn’t feel good. So, when you’re planning your week or month be sure to create space for the occasional slower pace; maybe a quieter morning, a walk at lunchtime, an evening to enjoy a long bath and your latest book. Be sure to write these things into your day planner and there’s a higher probability that you’ll do them.
Busy seasons of life are to be enjoyed too, maybe your children are small, your career’s taking off, you’re spending every night writing that book you’ve been meaning to...the reasons are endless but these times in our lives can also be enjoyed. Taking time to express gratitude can help us do this. Try a mindful gratitude ritual at the start of your day - or the end - by listing at least three things that you’re grateful to have in your life. If you have chance, it’s also wonderful to start a gratitude journal, to have something to read over in years to come. Here’s how to start practicing gratitude.
During those busy seasons of life, it can be more challenging to switch off our minds and enjoy the restorative sleep that we need. And those sleepless nights soon catch up with you. What can you do though? Well, it sounds simplistic but an evening routine works wonders - nothing too complicated but a warm shower, calming aromatherapy candle, switching off your phone can all work wonders...read more about how to power down and sleep easier.
So, is there something there that you could try this week? I hope so because although the busy seasons in life are inevitable they don’t have to be a struggle and cause us to neglect ourselves...please remember that rest is essential and gives you the strength you need to support yourself and others during this time in your life.
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.