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Sunday, January 31, 2016

How Self Care and Traveling saved my businesses

"Caring for myself is not self indulgence, it is self preservation and that is an act of political warfare" 

Audre Lorde

Last year I was working on ten billion projects and would stay up very long hours, I had grants to complete, business meetings to have, articles to push out, a full on organization I was running, writing for various media platforms, and serving in my church . All of this couple with some major personal and work related changes left me overworked, and burnt out.  I would work work and work until finally one day, I was in my room the room started to spin, my chest became really tight and before I knew what was happening I begun to cry. In those few seconds which felt like hours, I flashed back to my graduate school career and one of my favorite clinical classes, I zoomed through the DSM IV pages and realized I was on the verge of an anxiety attack. I began to self talk myself and took really deep breathes and slowly my breathing as one breathe toppled over the other slowly came back to normal. I realized at that moment that I was burnt out! My body felt exhausted. Rewinding to a few weeks ago, I had been getting regular headaches, sleepless nights but ignored the signs. Ignoring the signs almost landed me in the hospital. That same day I had to push back a bunch of time lines, cancel meetings, and rest. I rested for about a week, my students felt it, my ministry felt it I had hit rock bottom. This wasn't good. How did I get here? What caused this? I realized I hadn't done a good job at taking care of self. What was even more ironic was that most of the sisters in my circle always came to me when they were burnt out and I helped them practically brainstorm solutions to getting out of burn out.

But when it was my turn it was like I had completely missed my own memo to self! During that one week period a good friend of mine wrote an article called Black Girl Sabbaticals , the article said everything I was feeling, I spoke to this sister of mine for a bit and told her how I was considering just taking a break and going away for sometime. She encouraged me to do so and that is exactly what I did! Sometimes even us ourselves can be so supportive to others and forget that we need to be supported as well through our times of crisis.  At first I began to talk myself out of going, that it probably wasn't a wise thing to do, that I could just go to a spa and be okay, but my community supported me through in various ways and said "No Moi you have to go" A week later with the support of my sister talking and encouraging me to go because "It will help you be healthy for your work" I booked a ticket to the carribean and decided I needed to leave and recalibrate. It was the best decision I ever made in a while. I came back refreshed and was able to tackle the rest of the year and had all the energy I needed. I share this story to say that sometimes as business women, creatives, and entrepreneurs it is quite easy to forget ourselves and keep pushing until our bodies hit a hard stop. 

I now schedule to take quarterly trips to rest recalibrate and re focus. Sometimes people think travel is an expensive ordeal but it really isn't. Sometimes my trips are work related and I spend extra time to just rest, and other times my trips are purely for resting and leisure. The way I manage to travel is simple I use my discretionary spending on my travels, I don't spend money on expensive handbags, shoes, etc and would rather on my self care through travel. I also use sites such as google flights, air bnb and apps such hopper app and kayak to track flight deals. I am also a very simple, no stress, minimalist. This means that when I travel I don't stay in high end hotels simply because I want to experience the culture and the people of the region. Trust me your body will pay you for it and even knowing you have a trip scheduled makes the work that much more fun to do. Most importantly your business will pay you for it.

This year I will share more of the self care activities to partake in  via our blog and encourage you to implement and make slight changes and see how your body, mind and soul will be rewarded. 

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