A photographer recently sent me a DM on Instagram and asked if I had any tips for how to stay healthy during busy season… At first, I kind of chuckled, but then realized that I’ve learned a lot this year that I could pass along, so here goes!
I like to think I’m pretty good at stress management… especially when it comes to business! After 15 years of entrepreneurship, I’ve learned to let a lot go! But this spring, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease when a flareup caused symptoms. I was so confused. “I eat so healthy and limit my exposure to toxins,” I told them. (As if I were able to make my case somehow, they’d take this life sentence away.)
Instead, they said stress was likely a big factor for me! So, this year, I’ve prioritized caring for myself in some big ways and I’d love to share a couple with you so you stay healthy & happy — despite the chaos!
One of the first things I did was find a therapist who educated me on the effects of “invisible stress.” (AKA stress we don’t realize we’re carrying every day.) She helped me realize I like to take on the weight of the world and while I was doing a great job of setting boundaries in business, I wasn’t so great in my personal life… Whoops!
For you, this may look like being careful to how many social commitments you take on in your limited free time so you can prioritize rest! It may also be getting really honest with yourself about how many clients you can handle… and when you make yourself available. No more responding to clients at 8pm from your couch while you binge Netflix.
Eat Real Food
Coffee doesn’t count as a meal. Next question! (But seriously…) I know you’re swamped and have like 14 galleries waiting for you on your to-do list. But guess what destroys creativity and productivity? Hanger. Friends don’t let friends get irrationally angry when it’s completely avoidable.
Take 30 minutes to prep quick foods for the week ahead. You know… the kinds of foods that can be heated in less than a minute or honestly, not even heated at all! Need some quick ideas?
- Cut up fruits and veggies to pair with mixed nuts for a balanced grab & go snack.
- Try this Chickpea Salad or this Chicken Salad.
- Use mason jars to make yogurt parfaits ahead of time for breakfast!
- And when you’re really swamped, snag some Lara Bars or Archer Grass-Fed Beef Sticks.
As much as possible, focus on foods that are nutritionally dense so you can support your immune system when jumping from client to client!
You know you need between 7-9 hours of sleep and by this point you know how to sleep, so let’s just get real. This isn’t college and you’re not 21 anymore. All-nighters are not cute. You’re in charge of your deadlines, so if you’re not getting sleep (with the exception of mamas), you’re to blame. Set realistic turnaround times for your galleries so you can get through all of your editing without sacrificing sleep, sanity, or time with your family!
Okay, so I’m kind of surprised I’m even recommending this one and as a Christian, I feel it’s important to share that not all meditations are created equal. Be careful what you’re allowing into your mind. But, my naturopath actually prescribed me with 15-20 minutes of meditation per day, which sounds kind of wild. Sitting still and doing nothing? How can that possibly be productive?
Did you know that just 12 minutes of meditation a day has been show to increase attention span, creativity, focus, & calm? And that according to the University of Wisconsin, it may actually prevent colds / the flu? So, sit down, shut up (lovingly), and enjoy some stillness!
Spend Time with God
He calls us to be still, so I find that meditation and my time with God kind of go hand in hand. That said, I’ve noticed that anytime I feel my peace dwindling and being replaced with anxiety, it’s usually when I haven’t spent time with His word in a while.
Here are some easy ways to get some Jesus time in with a busy schedule:
- Listen to Jesus jams while you work.
- Attend church in person or virtually.
- Read a devotional or Christian book.
Drain Your Lymph
I could create a section about exercise, but I’d be hypocrite. Past walking Tucker, I don’t do a whole lot… I’m working on it! But, I do focus on lymphatic drainage regularly. Your lymphatic system is what moves the junk out of your body and helps keep you healthy. It’s kind of like your circulatory system in the sense that it goes through your whole body, but it doesn’t have a pump (like your heart) to move fluid around, so you have to help it out a bit. Movement is one of the easiest ways to do this naturally, but some alternatives include:
- Dry brush before a shower.
- Use my affiliate code CREATIVEBUSINESSCOACH to save 10% at Primally Pure.
- At the end of your shower, flip the water to cold for 30 seconds.
- Deep breathing exercises.
- Ditching tight clothes every once in a while.
How to Stay Healthy During Busy Season
Your basic human needs are not an inconvenience, so stop looking at them as such. In fact, I think without reading this you knew how to stay healthy during busy season. You just haven’t prioritized it… yet! But you’re here, so things change today.
You invest in lens calibration / cleaning, proper storage for your equipment, and so on. Look at these steps as an investment in your business as well. It can’t operate well without you. Invest in your health. You don’t realize how much you take it for granted until it’s gone.
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