Gimme a break
Kit Kats are optional
Time for a quick throwback…
(Admit it, you’re humming the Kit Kat song now, aren’t you?)\
You may be wondering, “What’s an ‘80s candy bar jingle got to do with me, Amy?”
Glad you asked, my coruscant friend.
This is easily the most stressful time of year, so anything that promotes a little sweet relief (pun intended) is gonna get a shout-out from me.
As much as I love the holidays, and Christmas in particular, I always seem to be in super-crunch, get-it-done-before-the-festivities-begin mode.
Even this year, where I planned ahead, shopped and wrapped early, prepped a reasonably easy-to-pull-off Christmas dinner we’re hosting, and worked with my clients (who also are in their own super-crunch, get-it-done-before-the-festivities-begin modes) to accommodate multiple last-minute scheduling changes and deliver quality content, I feel like it’s déjà vu all over again.
(Oh, not to mention dealing with that pesky ongoing pandemic thingy. Seriously COVID? Another holiday with you? Enough already!)
Phew! It’s tough to be captain of Team GSD. No wonder I’m tired. I’m sure you are too.
And aside from crawling under the covers with a dozen Kit Kats (I’m not NOT saying I’d do that), there’s a better way to protect, preserve, and improve your well-being and happiness.
Here are five easy ways to incorporate self-care into your routine, particularly during periods of stress:
1. Dispel the myth that self-care is selfish
Self-care isn’t just about spa days and mantras; it’s understanding that being “selfish” about it means that you’ll show up fully energized and as the best version of yourself, ready to tackle challenges and to help others without sacrificing your sanity or health in the process.
2. Practice self-compassion
Self-compassion is about treating yourself the supportive way you would a treasured friend or colleague. This means being kind and caring toward yourself and framing supposed failures as opportunities to learn.
3. Use your words
Your words have power and significantly impact your potential. Replace negative self-talk with supportive phrases, and clearly articulate and communicate what you need to allow colleagues, friends, and partners to understand how they can assist you. Remember, too, that saying no to the people and things that don’t serve you allows you to say yes to those that do.
4. Protect your time
Take back your calendar and schedule blocks of uninterrupted time to be quiet, slow down, and make room for insights. Protect your time by understanding who and what in your environment boosts or drains your energy so you can adjust accordingly.
5. Replenish yourself
Listen to your body—are you having frequent headaches? Exhausted? Unmotivated? It’s probably time to replenish yourself. Nourish your body with proper rest, nutrition, and movement. Enrich your mind with educational and uplifting content. Recharge your spirit through meditation or prayer, experiencing nature, and visiting with friends and loved ones. Or, for my introverted friends, do as my teen daughter suggests and “recharge your social battery” by giving yourself the gift of quality alone time.
In a world that glorifies nonstop hustle and grind, taking an intentional break may be the ultimate career hack.
Contrary to popular opinion (and what social media would lead you to believe), nonstop hustle doesn’t always lead to success.
ICYMI, in my recent Forbes article, I shared a four-step process for maximizing the power of the pause.
And since this is my last full-length newsletter of the year* (see note below), I’m giving you a double-dose of article goodness.
One of the benefits of taking a break is that it gives you space to reflect on what matters most — like creating your desired future.
In my latest—my 200th and final one of 2021!—Forbes article, I share the best way to do that.
P.S. Now that we’re inbox-exclusive (love that about us!), you might want to follow my musings across the interwebs on Forbes, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.
P.P.S. When I’m not writing this newsletter or taking a break (probably sans Kit Kat, though they’re pretty tasty), I’m a social media ghostwriter. (Yep, that’s a thing). I help founders, entrepreneurs, and CXOs craft their stories to communicate and connect better by magnifying their reach and impact. (Think personal branding and thought leadership.) Learn more here.
P.P.P.S. You, my coruscant friend, have great taste in newsletters—thanks for subscribing! You are subscribed, right? If not, let’s fix that; click the blue button.
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*Woo-hoo! It’s finally happening!
TOMORROW I kick off THE 12 DAYS OF ILLUMINATION, short doses of inspiration and easy-to-incorporate insights delivered to your inbox daily from Monday, December 20 through the end of the month. (This means that ✨Illuminate Me✨ will deviate from its regular weekly Sunday morning schedule for the rest of the year.)
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