I wish I could tell you that I am a creature of great habits, but I haven’t had a normal schedule for some time now. In high school, my friend described me as the girl with two hands who juggles 10 things at once. I was really unaware of how much I liked to keep my weeks completely rammed, with little down time. If I wanted to do something, I always just did it, not thinking of the consequences (ie. exhaustion and lack of sleep), even doing things alone when no one was going to join along for the ride. Working out every morning before work, spending 70 hours a week at a job, going out 3-5 nights a week to events or seeing different friends eventually started to take its toll. I never thought it was easy for anyone to become great at anything or cross everything off on their bucket list. Afterall, anything worth having in life never comes easy, but that doesn’t mean the ride to your destination needs to be boring or miserable.
I enjoy work, the extra things I do and being overworked is something I know too well. After years of attending different events on a regular basis, I actually found myself needing to introduce new things almost every week to stay entertained and stimulated because I had become accustomed to changing environments with the way I was living. When life got too busy though, it became difficult to continue this lifestyle that I loved. I thought I would share my own tips on keeping things fun, fresh and exciting when you feel like you have no time and are feeling overworked. We work hard and deserve to enjoy life’s pleasures. If I could help prevent you from burning out, I’d like to share that with you here.
How to Keep Things Fresh & Exciting When You Are Feeling Overworked
1) Always Take Breaks.
It seems intuitive and everyone knows this, but I will tell you that I didn’t always do it, or make the most of it. When I’m working on something, whether that be a project for work, writing for the blog, planning the next trip, putting together the house or editing content and pictures, I find it incredibly difficult to stop and take a break. I always want to complete the task as soon as possible (and I have this feeling you might feel the same!) When I don’t take those breaks, I feel exhausted and burn out by the end of the day.
We have to remember that it’s okay to step away for small breaks and come back refreshed. Your body gets tense and your mind needs to be recharged. If you don’t, it can really take a toll on your body. Add stress to the mix and you start to feel like you’re physically sore and mentally stuck to one task for too long. Get up, stretch, go for a walk, grab a tea, dessert or coffee and return with fresh thoughts and new perspective. If you can make it fun, by bringing in some new snacks you want to try every time, introducing random quirky 5 minute games/activities, or make your entire team work towards something like a 5 minute plank as I had forced my prior colleagues (sorry, not sorry old friends!), then it’s a great bonding experience a good reason to chat and always an entertaining experience. Plus, you might be surprised to find yourself working better and faster each time you return to work.
2) Make Your Breaks & Time Off Count
When I was working 70 hours a week, I knew I needed to put aside time to continue doing the other things I enjoyed just so I’d feel like I still had a social life outside of my career! With much needed beauty sleep, this really didn’t leave much time to do activities, which meant I really had to make what little spare time I had count. I love checking out new restaurants, going to galas, fashion events, launch parties and flying to new destinations, so I made sure to select activities that would incorporate as many of these as possible. To keep things interesting and fun, I never chose to do the same kind of activity over and over again. This made me feel happy, refreshed and grounded.
If you are taking a break from work, going out for lunch or taking a day off, make it count. Do something you love, but put a fresh spin on it. If you workout, try inviting a friend so that you’re socializing and challenging each other. If you blog and know of other bloggers, meet at a new coffee shop and do it together so you can enjoy your breaks & socialize together. If you like to travel, reward your hard work with a day trip in an area you haven’t explored nearby. If you love music, check out local live bands, concerts or special appearances in your area. Just select things that require little planning on your part, so you can remember to unwind and enjoy!
Tom and I try to have some level of predictability when we’re busy, but it’s really always changing. Lucky for me he is always open to trying new things! (Just one of the many reasons why I knew he was perfect for me.) We often try to select a new spot or enjoy an entirely new experience every week. Now that we’ve moved, we’re always discovering new places, but we’ve really made it a point to treat the city like we’re tourists all of the time. Last weekend, he made reservations to Cecconi’s West Hollywood which had been on our list for quite some time. I got to try a restaurant I’ve been meaning to check out, spend the day with my best friend and do something for my blog all at once, a triple-win situation. The experience at Cecconi’s West Hollywood was really nice. The staff was attentive and the manager even came to see how we enjoyed the night. When you have a night out with good food and exceptional service, it makes the new experience even better, am I right?
3) When You’re Done, Turn It Off
If you take a break or when you finish work, turn it ‘off’. I don’t mean physically. I mean mentally. I know it’s hard and I even still have to constantly remind myself to do this. When you’re with friends, loved ones or even on your own, you need to turn that ‘on’ switch in your head ‘off’ so that your time off is truly time for you to enjoy, otherwise you’ll be scribbling down notes all of the time and can’t be in the moment you’re in. This works for me when I’m working out, planning a trip or funny enough, when I’m doing my nails. Yours might be completely different, but if you don’t know it yet, I highly recommend finding something that lets you turn it ‘off’. Whether those activities are related to fashion, food, music, travel or sports, you can mix things up, visit new spots, experience new, as though you were a new to the city.
I ended up multitasking this weekend, but had a great night. Can you tell?
There you have it! Those 3 things above are what keeps me going and help me feel more connected to the lifestyle I desire without burning out. I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please comment below. If you have your own tips, I’d love to hear as well!
Outfit: Dress by Olivia Palermo’s Chelsea28 available here. Shoes by Mango, similar for under $50 by Asos here. Faye Bag by Chloè available here. Earring from part of a my earring crawler set by Olivia Palermo X BaubleBar here.
Photo credit to my one and only, Rise Again BJJ