Written by Ali McDowall, Co-founder of The Positive Planner
Mixing parenthood and business is no easy task. As mothers and business owners ourselves we are still learning everyday that compassion and planning is your best friend when trying to spin all the plates. That’s why we created The Positive Planner in the first place. Both overwhelmed with the constant lists running through our minds and also trying to squeeze in self care so that we could stay afloat mentally too. The truth is, there is no right or wrong way to keep productive and manage the load when so much is going on. The best you can do is learn to ride the wave and even a spot of open water swimming! However, there are some things that can help you stay positive and allow you to maintain your sense of wellbeing when it all feels like it’s getting too much.
Here are our Top Tips;
Put your gas mask on first…
Self care with out the guilt really is a great way to keep yourself mentally healthy and able to show up for your work and family in the best way you can. After all if you don’t work, not much else will. This is imperative and as the time is no longer marked out clearly ‘for you’ we suggest planning this in and most importantly if that means you needing help from your support network to make it happen, then just ask! This is getting used to the idea of Self-maintenance, we suggest self care little and often to help you stay grounded and in control. Of course this looks different for everyone but what ever allows you to feel calm and nourish your soul are the activities you are looking for! Even simple things like moving your body, drinking plenty of water and quiet time count. So make it happen!
Feeling out of control is a really horrible feeling and can add to the sense of anxiety you may have around your daily tasks. Get Bullet journaling to help you manage day to day things that you have to achieve. We suggest trying to look forward as much as possible and really planning your positive to help you feel in control, it’s very empowering and the simple act of making lists can help your sense of wellbeing and improve productivity.
Boundaries are incredibly important as they help us keep everyone aware of what’s happening and clearly define what is ok and what is not ok for us. When trying to collaborate with everyone around you it’s important you verbalise what you need, and ask for cooperation. Setting healthy boundaries and even recognising what they are for you takes practice, but as soon as you have them in place you will soon start reaping the benefits.
Go with the Flow
All of this requires a healthy dose of flexibility. Without this you will become resentful and frustrated especially when everything around you is in a constant flux and flow. There will need to be a certain amount of bending and shapeshifting as you adapt to the different needs each day brings.
It is tempting to squeeze work in to every free hour you have, but being over productive and over worked only ever results in one thing, burn out. Whether you choose to rest or have an outlet like reading, gardening or baking, this down time will actually make you more productive in the long run, spending time doing something that brings you joy means that you are processing all the other things going on in your life too.
Embrace your inner imperfections
This is all about just understanding that we are all just trying our best! Even just having awareness of these imperfections can be so life changing and when we treat our imperfections with kindness and compassion we are able to allow ourselves to be more authentic and truer to ourselves. We can’t be good at everything, it’s not in our nature. Embrace what you do have and honour the parts of you that show up and try anyway!
Ali McDowall is a mental health campaigner and the co-founder of www.thepositiveplanners.com