Do you ever feel like the hustle catches up to you? That one moment you have all these plans, and the next you're just trying to catch your breath, make sure you're getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and keeping up with everyone?
It was toward the end of my two year grad program that I really felt the hustle catch up to me. I worked full time, attended a part time grad program, and in between tried to keep up with a direct sales program, blog(s), and make time for family and friends.
Rather than presenting a thesis, as many others do at the end of their masters program, we had a comprehensive final: one part paper and one part presentation. Our dress was relatively relaxed throughout our program (music industry and all) but I knew that I wanted to look as professional as possible for the final presentation, so I pulled out my suits and slacks to see what would work.
I couldn't get my slacks on .
It was at that moment I realized just how much I had ignored my personal wellness over the previous two years. Yeah, I knew I was less active since I wasn't riding horses and working at the farm anymore, but I was walking to class, running once in a while, and going to yoga - shouldn't that have helped? But I was also sleeping far less, eating quick meals from fast casual restaurants, and stressing out because I waited until the last minute to complete a paper.
I knew that I had to make a change, not so that I could drop back down to my goal weight or to fit back into the clothes that made the journey cross-country with me, but to feel good about myself, to have more sustained energy, to be less stressed and anxious, and to feel strong and physically fit again. What I also knew was that with my full time job and grad school coursework, I just didn’t have the time to focus 100% on my wellness.
What I did have time for though, was small changes to each of my pillars of wellness: mindset, fitness, nutrition, and time management (plus sleep as an added bonus).
The first change I made was to slowly increase my workouts. I re-subscribed to ClassPass, a fitness membership (app at the time) that allowed me to choose a package that worked for me, and attend classes at various studios around the city. I also started walking outside on my breaks and lunches at work.
Next, I analyzed my diet and began to meal prep each week to avoid buying calorie laden lunches and dinners. For 5 days, I journaled everything I ate so that I have a full view of what as going into my body. I noticed I was grabbing a bag of chips each afternoon for a pick me up, and substituted that bag with an apple and almond butter. Instead of frozen meals or eating out, I meal prepped and portioned it out. And what was truly amazing, was that from making just small, healthy changes to my meals and snacks, realized I actually had a dairy and gluten intolerance that impacted my energy and overall health.
I found mental clarity through meditation (and guidance from Headspace) and setting small goals and milestones. Rather than throwing a broad goal out there and hoping for the best, I set small, incremental goals and milestones to reach my ultimate goal. I also found inspiration and motivation from some incredible female authors, podcasters, and entrepreneurs. By incorporating a chapter of a book, a podcast episode, or a blog post a day into my morning or evening routine, I felt motivated and inspired to pursue my own goals and dreams.
Notice that I didn’t make a huge change at once. I didn’t put myself on a crazy diet, cutting out all sugar, carbs, etc., or start hard workouts or going all in on HIIT, but instead I took my time, slowly substituting healthy foods that agreed with me for sugary, fatty foods that my body didn’t like. I slowly upped my fitness routine, adding in more steps and additional workouts once I met small goals I made. I found ways to incorporate inspiration into my life, and to take even just 10 minutes for myself to focus on breathing and being in the moment.
Going from zero to sixty on any training program is a recipe for overwhelm. When you can make each small change a habit, those new habits and routines will start to add up. That’s when you’ll see the big impact on your mindset, your fitness, energy levels, and your mental clarity.
Managing your personal wellness is like training for a marathon: you don’t just get up and run 26 miles on a whim. You slowly train for it adding one mile at a time, adjusting your diet, and cross-training with other workouts. When managing personal wellness, we take it one small step, one small change at a time to build up good, lasting habits that can completely change how you feel and think long term.
Are You Ready to Take Charge of Your Personal Wellness?
The hustle of the music industry can make it incredibly hard to manager your wellness, especially when you’re working odd hours, working full time then heading to gigs that end in the early hours of the morning, or sitting in a studio for much of your day. But it’s not impossible to make a change, especially when you set small goals and milestones, and create healthy habits as you progress.
I understand the overwhelm, which is why I created the Managing Personal Wellness 5 Day Challenge. Each day for 5 days, you’ll receive an email from me with quick wellness tips that helped me manage my own personal wellness. It’s designed to get you thinking about your own daily habits and how you can make even just one small change to one of your pillars of wellness to see an incredible result.
What do you already do to manage your personal wellness? What do you want to change about your current wellness program?