End Of Year Reset + What I Learned In 2018

I’m guilty of pushing myself a little over the edge when deadlines, emails, and to-do’s become overwhelming. This past year of starting my own business challenged my ability to maintain a work/life balance and I’ll admit I fell into a pit of anxiety, adrenaline and non-stop stress. After experiencing unpredictable emotional breakdowns, panic attacks and shocks of pain throughout my body - it was time to listen to the signs and take care of my health. As 2018 is coming to an end, my body is craving a change of pace and I am allowing space in my days for rest and recovery.

This year I learned my work threshold - the thin line that separates striving for growth and running yourself down to the bone. I learned the importance of letting go and embracing the imperfection. I learned that some days you need to shut the laptop, put your phone on silent, get out of the office and just BE - just enjoy life, just talk to someone you love, and just step outside of your ‘control bubble’.

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In 2019, I’m setting myself up with a personalized recovery plan for “workaholism”. Mmhmm, this is the part of Workaholics Anonymous where I stand up and say, “Hi my name is Emily, and I’m a workaholic.” Not proud of it, but the first step to healing is admitting you have a problem. This new year, I want to find a happy medium between productivity and enjoyment. I want to re-learn what it’s like to trust myself and listen to my body when it needs rest.

I’ve curated my own agenda for the last week of the year to hit the reset button and feel at home in my body again. These tips are helping me feel a little brighter, energized, and lifted post-burnout.

Get out into the world and be present with what’s in front of you.

This week (despite the cold weather) I’m making an effort to get out of my everyday ‘habitat’ and experience a change of scenery. Sometimes the commute alone to get from point A to B is enough to open up my mind and help me step outside my internal monologue. Try working on your laptop at a local coffee shop, going for a walk around the little shops in your town, or going to the library to find a new read.

Leave white space in your calendar to breathe and reflect.

What if your Saturday didn’t have anything on the schedule until noon? Not everyone has a flexible lifestyle, depending on your job or if you have kids, but committing to not committing every second of the day allows you the time to do whatever is on your heart. You want to spend the morning organizing your closet, cooking a nourishing breakfast, or curling up with your coffee and a book? Setting a space and time to be free lets you tap into what you really need.

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Do some form of enjoyable light movement.

Endorphins from moving your body make you feel happy and lessen the effects of the low after a season of high adrenaline. Stick to light movement for shorter periods of time and tune into how your body reacts. You want to make sure you aren’t further tearing the body down or firing off stress hormones, so be sure to take it easy and rest well. My favorite forms or light exercise are yoga, pilates, and walking.

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Feed your body + fuel your brain with whole foods.

Stress often has a side effect of causing us to undereat or overeat the wrong foods. Food has a major effect on our mood and brain function - poor nutrition can worsen feelings of being down or exhausted. As part of healing and restoring your body to it’s thriving state, you have to nourish it with quality fuel. If you’re used to running on empty or processed grab and go food, adjusting your schedule to make time for grocery shopping, cooking, and sitting down at meal times is essential. Simplify healthy eating by focusing on a balanced plate, with a variety of colors. My go-to easy meal is a ‘nourish bowl’ which consists of tossing greens (spinach or kale) in a big bowl with coconut aminos or  a simple dressing, adding a carb source of quinoa and/or sweet potato, a fat source of avocado and/or almond butter, and an optional protein of tempeh, chickpeas, or salmon. Add extra flavor and crunch with bell pepper, cucumber, pumpkin seeds, herbs, etc.

Schedule in dates to catch up with friends and family.

Think over a list of people that make you feel like your brightest, best self and find a time to meet up with them. Try to get a variety of perspectives through meeting up with a friend who is financially savvy and purchasing their first investment, your grandparents who are happily married 50 years later, and a past coworker who became a full time mom. Hearing other people's stories and wisdom will help you navigate your own obstacles and remember that you’re not alone.

Things got real honest in this post and I hope it resonates with one of you out there. I never want you to read my blog and think my life is all uphill and effortless. Positivity keeps me going through the tough times but there are nonetheless seasons where you have to face the hard truth and take a step back before you can move forward. This being one of those seasons for me, I am committing to keeping my content transparent as I navigate healing and find balance in my life!

Thanks for sticking by me, you rock.  

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