Balancing our work life and personal life has its ups and downs. Add in Crohn’s Disease and it can feel like a roller coaster. Add in television news and I hope you know a good therapist! All joking aside, it can be stressful working in any field while dealing with a health issue.
I remember a doctor telling me once that I should consider another career. As much as I wanted to be angry at her, I knew she was just looking out for me. She told me the deadlines, the early hours and the crazy competition of television news just wasn’t healthy for me. Honestly, I agree with her. I am sure if I was a massage therapist or full-time yoga teacher, my colon would thank me. The reality is I have a passion for TV journalism, so I’ve had to figure out how to balance my health and my career.
After 6 years in the business, I finally found a healthy balance that works for me and I want to share it with you. These 7 daily goals help me remember to take care of myself before anything else, so I can be at my best.
1. Be honest with yourself. I used to push myself to the edge. I didn’t listen to my body when it would give me signs that I needed to take a break. I have learned to be honest with myself. If I feel tired, I take a break and I don’t feel guilty about it. If I feel sick, I don’t pretend like I am feeling great. I let people around me know I am not feeling well.
This is one of my favorite mindfulness quotes. I remind myself of this at least once a day.
2. Make a to-do list and don’t stick to it. I type a new to-do list on my phone every Monday for both work and personal goals. I used to get so mad at myself when I didn’t get everything finished by Friday. Now, I don’t try that hard to stick to it. If I don’t get something done, it’s usually because it wasn’t that dire to begin with. Most of the stuff on my to-do list doesn’t have a hard deadline and the things that do I always seem to get done in time.
3. Find a passion outside of work and do it everyday. All I used to do was work. I went to work, came home and thought about work, then went to bed and dreamed about work. Once I found a passion outside of my career I actually started to excel more at work. For me, I love to read and practice yoga. I read a chapter of a book and practice yoga every single day. It helps me feel creative and allows me to slow down and become more present.
4. Drink plenty of water. And then drink more water! When I stay hydrated throughout the day, I have a noticeable increase in energy. I avoid caffeine (Yep, only decaf coffee over here!), but you don’t have to. Just make sure you drink plenty of water all day.
5. Exercise 3x a week. Exercise is the best way to stay healthy, especially if you have Crohn’s Disease. It makes you feel happier, more energetic, have better memory, and it is proven to help prevent symptoms of chronic illness. I know we are all super busy with work, kids, doctors appointments, etc. Try your best to do some sort of physical activity at least 3 times a week. I lift weights every Wednesday and practice yoga every day.
6. Relax on the weekend. I used to plan every minute of my weekend with dinners, parties, and brunch dates. This really broke me down. Now, I treat my weekends like personal therapy and I don’t make a lot of plans. Instead, I treat myself to activities that re-energize me. Sometimes this means just chilling on my couch and binging on Game of Thrones all weekend!
7. Give yourself a win at the end of every day. Every night before I go to bed, I tell myself one thing I am proud of from my day. I used to lay in bed and go over all the things that went wrong and this kept me up all night. Now, I praise myself with one positive thing and then try to shut off my thoughts. Listening to relaxing music or white noise really helps with this. I am able to sleep better if I end the day on a positive note.
If these goals seem overwhelming, it’s okay! You don’t have to practice them all at once. Just concentrate on one at a time and over weeks and months you will be able to add more into your weekly routine. The most important thing to remember is to take care of YOU. In the end, you are all that matters. You are the one who will take your career to the next level. You are the one who will deepen the relationships in your life. So be kind to yourself, be honest with yourself, and give up on trying to be perfect. Your body, mind, career, friends, family and strangers will thank you!