The past few weeks have been somewhat surreal. Business trips. Long hours. Sleepless nights. The lifestyle of a publicist is exhausting. And yet I’m loving every minute of it, no matter how many self-medicating jokes I’ve cracked.
Wolf of Wall Street references — I make them ALL the time. #hustle #bigdreams
But with all the crazy, comes the realization that staying sane has never been more important for my well-being and my workload. I mean, I’ve legitimately become one of the characters I read about on the pages of my current steamy read: overworked single woman that sleeps, works out, and scarfs whatever food she can into her mouth in between. To the Bennett Ryans or Christian Greys of the world — you’re welcome to walk into my life any time.
So how do I keep from losing my mind? It’s simple. I keep my eye on the prize and I do make time for the things I need most.
Here’s my advice on how YOU can do the same.
Embrace Your Social Network
No, I’m not talking about Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. I’m talking about your REAL social network. The one you had before technology overtook the way we socialize. Or in my case, the friendships that rose from technology but deeply rooted themselves in the ranks of my friends I see every day.
Your best friends are your best friends for a reason: they are there for you in the highs and the lows. Despite the crazy, they will pick up that phone and talk you off a ledge if you need it. They will never make you feel like an inconvenience or a burden. As women, it’s in our nature to avoid saying “I may need you to tell me it’s going to all be OK” when we’re going through a rough time but it’s important that we do it.
My advice: Pick up the phone. Call a friend. You’ll be happy you did. And if they’re calling you in the middle of the night when you’re up working late before you’ve even declared the SOS? Especially keep those ones around. They’re kindred spirits.
Surround Yourself With Things That Make You Smile
My whole life, I anticipated the moment I had my own desk. One that I could personalize, keep a mug on, and have picture frames of people I love and things that make me happy. If you’re finding yourself spending more and more hours at your desk, it’s important that your desk is somewhere that will make you happy, regardless of whether the task you’re working on is.
I try to always have fresh flowers on my desk as they make a world of difference for me. I keep a framed photo of some of my best girls on our trip to NYC last year. I have postcards and souvenirs from amazing vacations and my favourite beauty essentials (Smith’s Rosebud Salve and Korres hand cream) handy for when they’re needed. Lastly, I always keep my Tumblr open on my 2nd monitor. Whether it’s nautical inspired posts or my favourite set pics of Christian Grey — it’s always a pleasant thing to look at and give my eyes a break.
My advice: A happy work space is a productive one. Do what it takes to make it that way.
Lose Yourself in a Good Book
I’m often asked — how do you find time to read as many books as you do? While the answer has a lot to do with my ability to read at lightning speed, it all comes down to prioritizing and multi-tasking. I’m online ALL day and many times ALL night. Whether I’m working, looking at all the pretty on Tumblr, or blogging — my eyes need a break from the computer screen. I’m not a huge fan of television (seriously, someone explain to me why I pay for cable) so reading is my escape and I try to carve at least 30 minutes out of my day to indulge in my latest book.
My advice: When I’m extra pressed for time, I squeeze reading in on the treadmill or in the bathtub. My brain is appreciative and my heart and imagination gets its chance to soar beyond deadlines and to do lists.
Keep Gratification Within Reach
All too often, we plan a vacation or a trip, a year or more out. Like right now for example, I’m planning a trip to Paris in September. This is my big 30th present to myself and I’m so excited. But September is a LONG way away. As busy professionals, reward and gratification is important. I’m a HUGE fan of instant gratification to reward myself for my hard work: a pedicure or a Kate Spade bag to celebrate a client’s success that I’ve directly contributed to.
But make sure to keep rewards within reach. Working your ass off for 351 days leading up to your two week vacation just isn’t enough for your body and mind to keep going.
My advice: Book a weekend away sooner rather than later. Get out of a town for one night. Splurge on a last minute seat sale to visit a friend or head to a spa. Last weekend, I booked a trip to Vancouver in May. I knew in my heart I needed a break before September and now the idea of spending the long weekend in one of my favourite cities with one of my dearest friends makes the long days and late nights a lot easier.
So. Next time life gets crazy and you can’t sleep at night, remember these four tips. I’m no expert on the topic but I do have a psych major and a ton of real life experience, so that makes me qualified, right?
And, when all else fails, well, there is a little thing I like to call tequila.
x C x