I wake up. I look at my phone and I check my emails – oh look there is a text message from my friend Alexis.
Wait a minute…can someone tell me why she is texting me at 7 am?
Oh well, I guess I will respond and reminisce about the days when it was rude to call someone before 9 am or even after 9 pm.
But wait, does that only apply to phone calls? Is it not considered rude because she sent me a text?
No, that’s not it. Someone called me last night at 11:00! Don’t people sleep?!
Sadly, these days we are constantly connected. With cell phones, social media, email – you name it – we are always expected to be “on”. These expectations tell us we “should” be answering our phones at 11:00 pm and we “need” to answer that text or email right away.
But what about what’s going on with my life? Don’t I have other things going on without having more expectations and obligations of getting back to someone right away right when they need me?
But what about the 10 million other things I have going on in my life? Don’t I have other things going on without having more expectations and obligations of getting back to someone right away right when they need me?
While an “always on” lifestyle isn’t ideal, it is becoming our way of life.
I’m not saying we should adapt to it. No, not at all! It’s too stressful.
I’m saying we need to start creating our own boundaries instead of being sucked into the way the world is growing in this fast-paced-never-turned-off world of ours!
One of the main reasons I believe we need to take a few steps back when the world is going 100 steps forward is because of stress.
We all know what it is and at some point in our lives, we all have experienced it. It can happen at anytime, anywhere. Usually, it happens when we are overloaded with pressures that can come from our day to day lives, family, work and other responsibilities.
Not to mention, we want (and sometimes feel like we need) to get it all done right now! Heck, you might be stressed right now thinking about it!
Don’t get me wrong, stress can be good for you. It’s constant stress that is not. It can do a lot of harm to our bodies when we don’t do anything to remove the stress out of our lives.
When ignored, it can compromise our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. When it becomes a chronic condition, it can contribute to a variety of physical and mental health problems like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, and anxiety.
Needless to say, nothing good comes from long-term stress! So, how do you find time to manage it?
It’s not like our life and our careers are going to start demanding less of us! Our to-do lists are never-ending. There’s always going to be more stuff to do than there is time in a day, and everything always takes 2-5x longer than we think.
Now, factor in the impromptu emails, texts, status updates and phone calls and I don’t know why we don’t have 48 hours in a day!
This brings me back to the boundaries I was talking about. We need to start thinking of our lives as a marathon. We need to be conscious of our time and know that we can’t get it ALL done in one hour, one day, one week or month. We have to pick and choose what we allow into our lives!
Basically, in our life marathon, sometimes we have to run as fast as we can – and it’s exhausting – but other times, we should stop and think, and take the time to take care of ourselves.
A great way to start is to begin practicing self care. Why? Not only it’s the new health-care, it can reduce our stress levels significantly when we start to become mindful about how we go about our days to manage our stress because staying stressed is what causes damage to our overall well-being.
In this busy life, self care should be your number one priority because it is the best care, for you. When you take care of yourself and put yourself first – you become more successful and less stressed because you are bettering your life and the lives of those around you.
Self care looks like anything you LOVE to do for yourself that is not work-related! You can go on a walk, you can read a book, you can take a nap. You get the idea.
The best tip I can give you is to make it simple. For example, you can create a short morning routine that will set your day up for success and less stress.
Your morning ritual can include looking outside before looking at your phone (that way you won’t feel obligated to text so-and-so back!), stretching, reading, eating a balanced meal and drinking lots of water.
Not a morning person? Create a nighttime routine that can serve you just as well. All you need is to create a custom self care routine in your life.
The important thing is to start practicing self care.
I will leave you with this: it is the small little changes that make a difference and you need to give yourself a break because breaks now are better than breakdowns later.