It’s been two months and I am only just starting to feel like myself again and starting to settle back into full-time work and getting back into the swing of the Monday to Friday 9-5 grind.

My last contract ended mid-February and the plans were set to travel Europe, enjoy a retreat in Bali and then come back to look for my next role and get back into a new contract. The two months that I initially planned to be off work, turned into four months (due to recruitment processes) and so I lived a very basic but stress free life. I wasn’t earning an income, so I was living very minimally to sustain the money I had left over.

Days were spent waking up when my body wanted to wake up (still before 8am, just saying) and having breakfast at a pace that doesn’t involve scoffing it down at a desk before going to a meeting. I spent my time writing blogs, searching for work, reading, cleaning, and laundry. My favourite part, taking Duke on daily walks or trips to the beach. That’s the dream life.

Now, I’m two months in and I am only just starting to adjust and feel like myself again. The first month back at work, I was completely miserable. I’m not going to lie. I was exhausted, I was asleep by 8:30/9pm each night and barely able to function come Friday night. I was overwhelmed with coming back to work after 4 months, learning the ways of a big company, constantly meeting new people and getting back into my HR thinking brain again. I didn’t want to blog or even socialise.

To make matters worse, it was the middle of winter in New Zealand which means leaving for work before the sun rises and getting home after the sun sets. Now, I’m not saying I have it the hardest – by all means. I don’t have children and I’m not having to work two jobs, but it was hard for me and probably others.

I felt like I lost myself, myself that I spent so much time finding over the last few months. I felt like I lost so much of my go go go work mojo as well and I still haven’t quite placed where it might have gone.

So…. finding balance again has been more important to me than it probably ever has been before. I’v started to really tune into what I need physically and mentally and it’s forced me to really look at what parts of my life I was missing, the parts that make me ‘me’.

Over the last month (after Kyle told me how much I had changed – read “cranky and tired” LOL) I have been focusing on things that I know bring me happiness and things that make me ‘feel like me’.

Adequate sleep, always

Seriously, if I don’t sleep at least 8 hours a night, watch out – I’m a mess. (Kyle could speak to that for sure… poor guy). We are told so many times that adequate sleep is the foundation of productivity, success and happiness, so why is it that that’s the first thing we cut short when life gets busy? I have intentionally created a routine where at 9pm, I start to get ready for bed, I stop watching TV/working on my laptop/scrolling Instagram, I shower and get into bed with my Kindle or journal and I read and write. I stop looking at my phone to help settle the mind before I nod off. I’m still trying to find my commitment to meditation that’s gone down the drain.

This is practice is possible even if you have children. If your kids go to bed at 8:30pm, use this time to start unwinding yourself, spend time with your partner away from the TV, have a bath, have some QT time, just take the time to be present.

Exercise

Besides my sleep routine above – exercise is the other thing that makes me happy, makes me feel alive and helps me sleep more soundly. I’m three months into Crossfit and I LOVE IT!! I’m not quite Crossfit Games level yet, but you wait! No seriously, Crossfit at Kia Maia has been incredible, it’s high intensity training that incorporates weightlifting and it does wonders in releasing high amounts of endorphins. When I first started back at work – I didn’t want to train. I wanted to home, eat and go to sleep, but slowly, I started to go back and it’s helped in so many ways. Find what makes you feel alive and prioritise the time to make it happen. “Busy” only takes over when we let it.

Eating well

Food is life. It’s really is. Without good food, we can’t expect to function well. The last thing I’ve wanted to do lately is cook. I don’t even want to make breakfast. But Kyle and I have found that cooking double batch dinners means we have good food for lunch, without giving up more time or money to have it. We also make overnight oats the night before so we have breakfast ready to go as we walk out the door. It’s hard to find really good takeaway food at reasonable prices, so for us, thinking ahead and planning has helped me so much to ensure I’m eating well and can function well everyday.

I can’t say I’ve gotten my balance right just yet, but I’m working on it. I’ve also adjusted my working hours so that they are a bit more ‘living friendly’ for me and I am finding that has really helped with making time for the other good things in life.

If we don’t look after ourselves first, it’s harder to give our best to others. The intention I try and set every day is to be happy and healthy and by focusing on the three areas above, I find myself closer to that intention.

— TashTasticNZ —