The hustle of our day-to-day lives does not make it easy to create time for ourselves. I am the CEO of writing a plan to better myself and leaving that list untouched and unseen for a week. It's never my intention to not actually follow through with my plans, but what can I say... life usually gets in the way.
With the hecticness and complete unknown that came with a global pandemic, of course panic hit me first. Self quarantining and social distancing sounded daunting. Once the first initial shock of it all passed, I told myself this is MY time to set forth a plan and FOLLOW it. For me specifically, this meant focusing on my artwork and solidifying my online presence to show my creations to the world.
Let me set the stage here so you can get a little insight on my pre-pandemic lifestyle. I worked an 8-5 Monday-Friday job as a graphic designer and pre-press operator for a printing company. This means I would receive artwork already created for a client and my main duty was to set it up to be printed on our large-scale mass-production printers. There was little room to show my creative voice, but since it was in a field I studied I figured "I'd better stick with this". I tried to spend my free time creating art and an Etsy shop on the side, but after a long day of working, cooking dinner, and trying to squeeze in any type of small workout, putting in more hours of work just never made it into the cut. Like mentioned before, I'd have this list of goals and feel excited and inspired by them, but they always went untouched or incompleted which brought down the way I would talk to myself internally. This cycle left me feeling crappy about myself daily.
When the pandemic really hit and non-essential businesses were ordered to close, I was laid off from my full time job. I knew that if there was ever a time to focus on myself it was NOW. I had no more excuses in my way and it felt like somewhat of a blessing amongst the craziness of it all. I took what money I had and invested it in a few small things I had previously told myself that were too expensive and brushed off to the side. Honestly, "too expensive" was another excuse I made. If I wanted to sell prints buying a small home printer is absolutely reasonable and a neccessity. I was done talking myself out of these things. I could not live with myself any longer knowing that I wasn't actually trying.
My favorite ways to invest in myself:
1. Work & Goals; these can seem hard and out of reach, but starting is the most important step.
2. Physical Health; eat some greens, get your body moving.
3. Mental Health; set some boundaries, and talk to yourself nice!
4. Personal Growth; find a new favorite Podcast or link up with others in your community.
For me, the biggest way of investing in myself is literal, investing money in things that will be worth it in the actual scheme of things, but this is not the only change I'm making. I am putting myself as a huge priority on my list. I've learned that it is ok to be selfish sometimes. Taking a portion of my day to work on my physical health and my diet is hugely beneficial. Setting personal boundaries between what does and doesn't make me feel good is perfectly fine. Listening and learning from others who have similar interests is eye opening!
Now, I challenge you to complete one thing you have been putting off for the last few days, weeks, months. There really is no better time than the present, especially if you have been blessed with some extra free-time during all of this! When you complete it; write it down, check it off a list, share it with a friend or a family member, celebrate all wins - big or small. You owe it to yourself to be congratulated. You have made it this far, and you are doing awesome!