Working Wellness Into Your Day
A little over a year ago, I went to my current chiropractor for the first time, sat down, and told her that I thought my work was killing me. That's me being a little dramatic. What I really meant was to discuss the effects of having a desk job. At that point, I could barely get through fifteen minutes of work without laying flat on the floor in sheer pain. My muscles were strained, my posture wasn't great, and it radiated throughout my body day in and day out while I constantly wondered how I would keep this up for years to come. Spoiler alert: a LOT had to change in order for me to feel good again, both mentally and physically, and kicking old habits has become a regular part of my everyday routine.
First, I started going to my chiropractor regularly. In the beginning it was a few times a week, but eventually, we got it down to about once a month. I also started practicing yoga at home, almost daily. The two of these together, as well as bettering my posture, helped me rid that pesky back pain once and for all. At least that's what I thought. I enjoyed a good three months of being pain free before my husband and I were rear ended at a stoplight and pushed into the car in front of us by a guy going 25. Just like that, I was back at square one.
Healing this time was (and still is) quite a bit different. As much as I wish we wouldn't have been hit (duh!), our accident taught me that you can't just put a bandaid on wellness. The health of your mind and body are both extremely important and it's something that you should be working on every. single. day.
Running your own business is already hard work. And if you aren't taking care of yourself, how do you expect to take care of everyone you work with? Below, you'll find a list of ways to incorporate wellness into your daily routine. If YOU are feeling good, your business will follow. :)
01. UTILIZE YOUR BEST WORKING HOURS: Whether you're running your own full-time business or freelancing on the side, YOU have the power to choose your own hours and you're most certainly not bound to the typical 9-5. I've discovered that I work best in the mornings, so that's exactly when I schedule all of my bigger to do items on weekdays. This way, my afternoons are a bit more flexible, allowing me to take breaks or work on personal projects.
02. GET OFF THE COMPUTER: This is one that I still personally struggle with, as 90% of what I do requires some sort of screen. But recently, I've started following a simple piece of advice from The Effortless Everyday (a great book by a past client of mine): taking a one hour break, every day, to do whatever I'd like. This gets me off the computer, whether I'm going for a short walk, practicing yoga, or reading a good book. And ultimately, it gives your eyes, back, and mind a break so you can refuel creatively.
03. GET A MASSAGE: I've been getting bi-monthly massages ever since our car accident eight months ago and it's been a game changer. I never thought I'd be one to promote massages, but seriously, they help. I like to schedule mine for Fridays when I'm the most tightest. Plus, it's a nice segue into the weekend, treating yourself for a week well done!
04. DIFFUSE LAVENDER: If you've never really paid any attention to the essential oil trend, I totally get it. I thought it was "trendy" for the longest time ... until I tried it. Now, every morning when I get into my office, I plug in my diffuser, refill it with water, and add 8-10 drops of lavender. It's an extremely simple way to create a relaxing environment to work in. And if I'm having a painful back day, I'll rub a few drops of peppermint oil onto my skin for instant relief.
05. TRY A STANDING DESK: This is something that I'd like to do more of. I tried it a few weeks back, and only lasted for 1.5 hours before my legs were killing me. Quick tip: if you're not ready to invest in a standing desk quite yet, make your own! I used two crates and a flat piece of wood to literally rise my normal desk, which was easy enough to take down when the going got rough. But hey, if you can slowly mix standing in with sitting, good for you. It's good to mix things up!
Integrating wellness into my every day is something that I've been working on quite a bit recently, so I'd like to share my story and findings with you all, right here on the blog. There's lots of advice out there that's all about the hustle. And while that's fine and fair, there's much to be said about wellness as well. Running your own business requires you to carry a lot on your shoulders, but you absolutely do not need to hit burnout status to be "successful." It won't do you any favors. Trust me, I've been there, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
If there is anything specific that you'd like me to write about, please let me know in the comments or contact me directly. We're all just figuring it out along the way, and I love opening up discussion on important topics us creatives face.