It’s 6:40 pm and I’ve been sitting right here since 7 am, at my desk, fingers on my keyboard, directing a pencil, reaching for a file, answering a phone call. A couple ups and downs for tea, or a swath of ChapStick, or water. Lunch, almost forgotten, at 3pm.
This is often my day. If not at my office desk, then at the Dude Girl shop, where there are more ups and downs to greet customers, and then I find myself darting home to tackle more office work before the day shuts its eyes.
I always begin, mind you, with the thought (and need) to get outside and move my body. I know it’s essential for my health, well-being and happiness. And yet, here I am, at dinner time without a drop of sweat to show. And, now, an email introduction that needs to be written. It has to be written. And I have to prepare my oral presentation for a French final exam on Tuesday. And a house move all weekend.
Life as an entrepreneur really is a roller coaster. On my up days, I’m electrified by possibility, creativity and the joy of collaboration. On my down days, I’m overwhelmed by examination of my ability (or inability) to build a business that doesn’t disconnect me from the things I love and the true purpose of the business. Can I help others find joy if I’m not connected to my own?
I know there are those who never miss a workout. But I have to believe there are a few of you out there who, like me, struggling to carve out your personal wellness time in the midst of all the demands of the day.
A friend just told me about a book called What You Can When You Can. I’ve not read it, but the title is a reminder to not get overwhelmed by the big workout or hour on the mat. Just 20 minutes can leave you refreshed. Can we not take even just 15 minutes for a quick walk around the block? Or push the chair away from the desk for just 8 minutes of focused breathing or meditation? These short bits can do far more for our sanity and health than we give them credit for. When you break it down to 15 minutes or less, the answer is usually, “Yes, I can do that!”
Also, ask yourself the question: If I spent an hour to care for myself instead of ____________, what is the worst case scenario? It’s often not as bad as we build it up to be.
On my best days I exercise for at least an hour, usually with a friend. Studies show that connecting with others extends longevity — I know I feel more content when I’m able to connect with friends during the week. When I get stuck in the “I don’t have time” trap, I like to notice if there are distractions disguising themselves as busy-ness, or “lazy moments” in my day that make me feel like I don’t have an hour. Often times, I can identify a chunk of time when I could have squeezed in a run, ride, swim, hike or yoga.
There’s still 30 minutes of daylight. I’m tempted to “find a recliner,” but I’m going to dash outside and escort the sun over the horizon, instead.