It seems like all we know is busy sometimes. Rushing. Achieving. Maximizing. We are packing in 36 hours worth of work into 24 hours days. We resent our limitations of time and physical form. If only we could have more energy. If only we required less sleep. If only we could cut out all the extra fluff around the corners. Fluff like laughter. Fluff like creativity. Fluff like eating, drinking, sleeping, breathing deeply and moving our bodies. We research the fastest routes. Order our coffee ahead of time. Drive through instead of dine in. We order online. We text rather than visit. We carry out instead of cook. We spend our time figuring out how to juggle multiple jobs, side hustles, group fitness classes, appointments, and networking events.
I'm all one for working hard. Currently- I having been working 12 hours a day for the past 8 days, I'm managing 3 social media accounts, and am writing a post for the blog that I consider my side hustle. Dreams are good. Working hard is good. I naturally have a desire to try to make everything work. I love surrounding myself with young achievers and doers who are making it all work. But as young leaders, we have to learn how to be sustainable. If we really believe in the work we are creating, then we should be learning to make sure our work out lasts us. So many young hustlers are creating brands, materials and even ministries that are dynamic and growing with serious momentum before they have established personal and industrial foundations in order for them to be successful for the long run. Do you want your art to outlive you? Do you want to rise to the top super quickly and then die off due to stress, over-working, adrenal fatigue and personal neglect? Thats no one's intention. We were never meant to be weeds that grow quickly and blow away with the wind or shrivel up during the next drought. We were always created to be "Oaks of Righteousness". Deeply rooted, fruit bearing, shade providing, resourcing oaks of righteousness that persevere through every seasons. Our young days of hustling are the days we establish health rhythms and habits that can carry our creations beyond even our own leadership.
So, let me ask you this- when was the last time you really felt someone? Hugged them long enough to remember what they meant to you? When was the last time you drove with the windows down, stuck you arm out and noticed the cold air? Do you wake up, and notice the birds outside? Do you actually taste your coffee? Did you comprehend anything you last read? Or have you been consuming life without actually digestion it? As you achieve, hustle, and make that money- are you noticing your life flash past you?
Healthy Rhythms You Can Begin To Create Now:
1. Establish a morning routine- one that doesn't include scrolling on Instagram for the first hour our eyes are open. Wake up, open your blinds and notice what you see for a moment. Pour your coffee and really taste it. Try to take a moment to NOT multitask. Read something. Take a few breaths. Use this time to journal for 25 minutes. Start your day off being mindful. This doesn't have to take up too much time from your day and you don't need to wake up at 5am in order to be mindful. Just wake up and start your day being intentionally aware.
2. Practice the Sabbath- Wether your religious or not, you were created to work hard, rest, and play. The sabbath is your day to do the two latter. In order for us to be effective, focused, and powerhouse hustlers we HAVE to have an outlet to laugh, let off steam, and rest our minds, bodies and spirits. Especially as young leaders, we have hormones, angst and energy that has to be released somewhere. You aren't above fun. And, no matter how high achieving you think you may be, you are not above rest. Schedule in one day a week to only do the things you love. Hike, read, wash your sheets. Sleep in, go on a date with your boyfriend, workout or don't.
3. Take care of your body- In college, so many people told me that they didn't have time to workout, meal prep, or get enough sleep. There was simply too much to do. The backwards logic of this is, is that if we were to take an hour to move our bodies, eat a little healthier, or get a goods nights rest we would actually be twice as effective the next day than if we continue to push through our work on no sleep, no nutrients, and stiff muscles. Take the hour to exercise. Your mind will be so much more engaged after. You will notice your creative and problem solving skills firing are all engines. Take the hour to meal prep on Sundays and watch your increased energy take you through out your entire week. SLEEP. Being able to pay attention in class, meetings, and when you're working on your side hustles because you chose to get a good night sleep the night before will make you so much more effective.
4. Know when to say NO- When you're a bright young professional or just someone who has multiple passions, its easy to find yourself in a position of being over-booked and spread thin. Learning how to say no, allows you to choose the best option between a multitude of amazing opportunities. Choose according to your values and let go of the things you have to say no to. I promise, opportunities come back.
5. Practice giving the gift of presence- In today's day and age, eye contact is a luxury. Practice putting your phone away and giving your friends your present and undivided attention for awhile. I know we have a lot of things to accomplish but take little moments (a lunch date, girls night, a night in with your man, to practice being present to one another. Learn to listen well, asking curious questions, remember each others likes and dislikes, look one another in the eye and really BE with one another. You have no idea what this will do for your relationships, much less your anxiety levels!
Establishing healthy rhythms when we are young can be difficult. We have a million things in the world right now pining for our attention, money and value. But when we are intentional to make decisions that will set us up for a healthy future, we can assure that we will be sustainable leaders, professionals, friends and healthy people. These are 5 little tactics that I am focusing on practicing everyday in order to prioritize my physical, spiritual, emotional and mental health.
What habits are you working on in order to bring healthy balance to your life?