5 Rules Of Self-Care When You’re On The Go
“Yea, sure. Let me see what I can move around,” I said and hung up the phone.
I was standing on a street corner, waiting for my Uber to take me to the next meeting. I had crisscrossed the city of Denver three times and it wasn’t even noon.
Mindless. I said “yes,” out of habit, instinctively.
I’m a recovering chronic over-committer. I like to live by the improvisation rule “YES AND!” (always adding to the idea), but I often forget to say “yes” to myself.
This summer, I put my Boss Business Lady Pants on and took SoulSpeak, a gathering where women speak truth, on the road. This was a step that was supposed to bring work and play together, sharing my work while visiting friends.
And I found myself in Lady Boss Trap, saying “yes” to everyone around me, and forgetting to take the necessary time to recharge by saying “yes” to myself.
- Meet you at St. Mark’s for coffee? Sure.
- A pre-dinner drink? Yep, I can squeeze that in, if my prior meeting doesn’t run over.
- Come by the office? No problem, I can cross town (again!) and be there in 20.
What’s really in the Boss Business Lady Trap? Shame. Brene Brown says that “For women, shame is, do it all, do it perfectly and never let them see you sweat.”
A secret: I hate people seeing me sweat. I don’t glisten, bosses. When I’ve really got a good workout, I’m dripping sweat by the time I’m done. I’ve left it all there.
That’s the way I roll in life, too. At the end of the day, I just need to drop into bed. I need to sit down in the quiet and I need a solid eight hours of sleep.
And in our society, the Lady Boss Trap full of shame has us saying “yes” externally first, without checking in with ourselves.
We can get so caught up in the “hustle” of our daily lives, our businesses, that we forget, or just don’t choose to say “yes” to ourselves.
So over the course of the summer, I came up with structures that support self-care while enabling me to show up fully while traveling coast-to-coast. These are my must-haves and signs of self-love that leave me free to connect with the wild wonderful people around me, no matter where I am:
Write every morning, in silence with tea or coffee.
At home, I’ve made a ritual of mornings. I use a practice from The Artist’s Way which has you write continuously for three pages. I open up a blank page and get to dream and scheme or whine and complain until it’s out of me. I need it. It’s the way I give to myself. I allow myself to feel without wondering what it means about me. There is no talking to anyone until after I’ve written.
Bring your favorite good luck charm along for the ride
Pack your favorite necklace, your sassiest nail polish, a book that just fills your heart or something that keeps your grounded in who you are, regardless of what is happening around you. I personally pack a few crystals that have intentions for my trip. The intentions might be about who I want to meet, see, or do. They also might be around how I want to learn or grow. Clear intentions help me ground back into the reason why I am where I am and give me purpose. For me, a crystal holds a reminder of the possibility of magic. When I’m out of my daily routine, I meet people that I might not have crossed paths with, and I need to remember that much can come from those interactions.
Set work hours + play hours
Part of the reason that I created this life was to visit with people that I love and do work that I love. I love both things, most of the time. In order to be present with whatever I’m doing, I need work hours and play hours. If I’m coaching and seeing clients, then I’m totally present with them. When I’m done, then I can play. It sounds simple, but I found myself mixing friend lunches into my work day and having to push back to-dos that really needed doing. Then they would hang over my head while I tried to enjoy spending time with my friend.
Set my number of external YES’s so that I can say YES to self.
I found that the more I was trying to pack in, I was just saying a reactive “yes.” There was nothing mindful or intentional about it. But old habits die hard. For me, I’ve got 1-3 external “yes’s” in me each day. Working counts as one thing. If I’m in my work hours, then I have two things left that I can do. That’s my limit, it’s where I’ve found I function best.
Get a room with a comfy bed and a door.
I love play and I love people, but I also need a place to go and just be still. I need to be able to hear myself in the quiet. I need to be able to shut off and make zero facial expressions. The right amount of sleep is crucial for me. Closing a door allows me to feel like I can be with myself without having to be “on.” And while I’m all about traveling on a budget, this is one of those lodging requirements I’ve realized is a non-negotiable.
I would love to hear from all of you bosses. How do you feel present and powerful when you’re traveling?
To the power of your mindful habits,
Jessica Leigh Lyons is a seeker & facilitator of joy with young professionals and one of Bossed Up’s featured Bootcamp Trainers. She is a Certified Life Coach through the International Coaching Academy and holds a masters degree in education from the University of Colorado, Denver as well as a bachelor of arts in international relations from the University of Delaware. With a decade of varied experience teaching & leading youth in a multitude of learning modalities, she has been coaching young professionals since 2013. For more details, connect with her here on her website.
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