I recently polled you guys asking for blog topic ideas — things that you would be interested in reading about or having me write about — as it is always SO helpful to know what you want to read and how we can best serve you through the blog!! So please, keep the ideas coming (you can comment on this post!!) or always feel free to send over suggestions in a message, on social media, etc.!
With my recent post, a lot of people commented asking questions about self care: how to find time to take care of yourself during the busy season, how to prioritize self care when you work from home or are your own boss, etc. I think this is so good (and also SOOO tough!!) — a topic that I am constantly mulling over and checking in with myself on (<— I think this is self care in its essence, right?! ; )).
Today I want to share some tips for self-care during a busy season. We are currently in our busy season with 95% of our weddings/work happening between May-October so this topic is super relevant for me right now! Of course, these tips can be applied by anyone — not just wedding photographers — who find themselves in a busy season of life.
Four Tips for Self-Care in a Busy Season
1. Get moving when you feel unmotivated
For me, I generally feel the most unmotivated anywhere from 1-3 PM, after I have put in several hours of work and am feeling a bit antsy. This is often when I start thinking, “I wish I wasn’t sitting at this computer any more … I am feeling a bit exhausted mentally … I want to be outside …” — soooo, I say DO IT! Get outside and get moving. I have found that this works best for me to get re-motivated when working from home and having to be my own boss. The temptation, almost daily, is to go take a quick nap instead, but getting outside and doing something active is always a win-win for me because I find that I end up having MORE energy (research proves that working out GIVES you energy) and I get a daily workout in!!!
2. Follow ONE (maybe two) people who inspire you on your health journey
Your entire life is a health journey, am I right? This is so important. There are a LOT of awesome people to follow for inspiration and tips on how to get healthy, be healthy, stay healthy, etc. But I’m going to be honest in just first saying that I don’t have TIME to truly follow and read the content that 10, 15, 2o different health-inspirers (<— yes, I just made that up but go with it!) put out daily. It can be overwhelming to get so many ideas thrown at you and sometimes, this overwhelm causes us to take no action at all because we either don’t know where to begin or we can’t keep up with all the tips and ideas.
Instead, I follow TWO health and fitness bloggers that I love — I connect with them personally and something about them just “clicks” with me. They inspire me the most and when I’m feeling unmotivated health-wise and their words of wisdom and encouragement are always swirling around in my head motivating me to make good, healthy decisions (Thank you Amy and Bri!!!). Find one or two people that you connect with in this way and get inspired!!
3. Take time off
During our first two busy seasons, we didn’t take any time off. We literally worked seven days a week to keep up with all the tasks of such a busy season of shooting … or at least we THOUGHT we had to work seven days a week to keep up with everything. Working seven days a week is not normal or healthy. Let me repeat — working seven days a week is not normal or healthy!!! I remember just feeling so exhausted and thinking constantly that there was no way I could keep up with the demands of an “entrepreneur lifestyle” because I wanted to have time off to hang out with friends in the summer, take a day trip bike ride, etc.
Let me be the first to tell y0u that it’s 1,000% possible to be an entrepreneur AND have time off in your busy season. When we finally said, that’s it, we’re taking one day off a week in the busy season — no ifs, ands, or buts about it — not working at ALL, just resting, spending time together outside of work, hanging with friends, taking that day long bike trip, etc … everything changed!! Having that one day off gave me SO much joy and energy EVERY. SINGLE. week. It was so revitalizing and honestly, it helped me to work way more efficiently the rest of the week. I learned how to manage my tasks better so that Thursdays could be completely off. I now feel SO great about my workflow, what I do each day of the week (Thursday off being one of those things!), AND who knew that I am, in fact, able to get the SAME amount of things done in LESS time than I was those first two seasons where I was drowning!? ; ) Time off to rest is so, SO important!!!
4. Care about your sleep
Taking time off during busy season and focusing on your sleep habits are the two self-care tips that changed my life (and happiness) during the busy season more than anything else. My friend Amy (who I mentioned I follow above for health inspiration!) is also a nurse. I knew getting good sleep was important but after hearing her give a talk on the vitality of sleep to our lives and our performance in our work, I was forever changed (she actually blogged about that talk here!).
What I took away from the talk was that I can stay up late (and get less sleep) to try and get MORE work done/get ahead in the busy season, but actually what’s happening is that I could probably get everything done that I need to in a day if I got proper sleep (8 hrs/night) and didn’t stay up late because my brain would be functioning and performing at a higher capacity and I could get more (and BETTER!) work done in a shorter amount of time with more sleep.
She was right. When I started getting 8 hours consistently, I found that I was working more efficiently and getting more done in a given day because my brain was rested and functioning at its highest capacity. Boom. Win-win (again!!!).
(Photo of this amazing charcuterie board by Fromagination because eating this on our porch at sunset with Caleb is DEFINITELY my kind of way to end a day off in the busy season ; ))!! Happy self-care!!!!