Hey kitty cats! So those of you who know me in real life will vouch for me when I say that I have a tendency to work full steam ahead, non-stop until I wind up exhausted. Why do I do this? Maybe it’s because I love what I do, I have so many ideas and plans for the future that I just get so giddy about it! Or perhaps it’s what I like to call ‘entrepreneur guilt’ – when you feel like taking time off from your work will result in nothing moving forward, a lack of income and that ever-present fear of failure -I suspect it’s a mixture of all of these.
So, this month I’ve really been trying to take more time for myself, in all aspects of my life. I’m not ashamed to say that I felt quite sad and homesick in January, so much so I was questioning whether I even wanted to live in Brussels for much longer. I’ve been back home for a couple of weeks, and I have to say I’m feeling better for it and I’m looking forward to returning to a less freezing cold Belgium very soon. Spending time with my family, and of course my beautiful cat Poppy does seem to ground me. And who doesn’t get the January blues?
Ultimately though, what I’ve been feeling goes deeper that just the post-Christmas grump. I feel I’ve been neglecting myself, and not paying attention to the other aspects of ‘Rachida’ outside of business. It’s actually quite a difficult thing to admit, and it’s something that affects entrepreneurs in particular, especially when your business or brand is ‘you-focused’.
The way I was living impacted my social life (read “I’m too busy, I have to work”), my fitness (again, too busy!) and my health, both mental and physical. I felt sluggish, drained, like a hamster on a wheel that wasn’t going anywhere fast. I felt like work was my top priority and that as business-owner I had to put in the hours or I’d fail…
Woah – it feels good to get this off my chest!
I bet you’re thinking how on earth did she get out of this awful mindset! Read on Macduff…
First of all I decided this needed to stop – asap. Again, I LOVE what I do, but I am more than just my business. I love art, culture, fashion, running, yoga, learning Italian, reading… many, many things that I just wasn’t making time for anymore. It’s so important to ‘fill up your cup’ with things that make you feel alive – because these passions will improve all the other aspects of your life.
Take time to enjoy your life.
Switch off the laptop and step out into the world.
As you know, after Christmas I went to the amazing Hencote Luxury Retreat, and there I met Liz Chate, who is genuinely one of the loveliest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. We really connected and swapped contact info and ended up doing a couple of mindset sessions over Skype. Liz is an amazing masseuse (seriously, I felt like I had a new back after the massage I had!), a personal trainer, mindset coach and all round good egg. She really helped me identify what was actually important to me, what my personal goals were and how I was going to achieve this. We worked on a series of measurable steps I need to take in order to get there. I wish I lived in London so I could go to one of her mindset workshops actually, that would be fantastic!
So I’m working on my mindset, which is easier said that done, especially when I’ve always been one of those people who say, “I’ll be happy when I earn X much”, or “I’ll be happy when I’m a size Y”… and in the meantime life would be just passing me by, day by day.
When you’re trying to implement a change in your life, it will never, ever work unless your head is 100% committed to it, if it isn’t, you’re setting yourself up to fail.
My promise to myself, is to include things on a daily basis that make me feel really good, and I’m actively seeking these things. So for instance, spending time making myself a lovely meal, even if it’s just for me, watching a favourite film surrounded by candles and my new oil defuser, treating myself to a massage, going for a run in the countryside… do you see what I’m doing?
I’m using things that are simple, inexpensive and good for me to further enhance my state of mind.
I’m making the effort to be kind to myself.
By learning to love myself enough to not spend 12+ hours on the computer, to eat wonderful, wholesome food and to reconnect with exercise, I’m teaching my mind that I do deserve these things, and I don’t need to feel guilty about it.
This self love journey won’t be easy, but it’s essential in order for us all to be happy and make peace with ourselves. I deserve it, and you deserve it.
What are your favourite ways to show yourself some TLC? Let me know in the comments!