Being a remote worker and someone who feels familiar in the unfamiliar, I find myself on-the-go more often than at home.
I have found truth in the saying, “Get lost, only to find yourself.”
In all this wandering though, it can be tough to remember to take care of myself. It’s easy for my daily rituals and routines to get lost in the hustle and bustle when I’m home or get left behind in a TSA bin as I rush to catch another flight.
I am also part of a team that needs to be able to trust that, despite me being on the move, tasks that are vital to our success will be completed.
I’d like to paint a picture for you of one of my best days, not just for work, not just for travel, but for everything. It was an ideal harmonious day for me, one where a lot of things “clicked” that I’ve been able to bring back to my life, even when I’m not in Bali.
Location: Sanur, Bali
Date: November 14, 2016
4:00 am: Wake up naturally as I went to bed when I was tired at 8:45 pm. Watch the super moon set from my balcony. Listen to the sounds of the day slowly begin. Water flowing. Roosters crowing. Birds chirping. Notice the shade of blue of the sky begin to change. It is all gradual. Natural. Exactly how it is meant to be, in the perfect order it was designed.
5:30 am: Bike to the beach. Catch sunrise. Bike ride along the beach as the sun continues to brighten the sky.
12:00 pm: Take a dip in the Bali sea and collect a few shells. Be it sweat, tears, or the ocean, salt water cures everything. Take a beachside bike ride back to where I’m staying.
12:30-3 pm: Do some photography work for myself and business. Swim in the private pool and take some pics monkeying in the tree hanging over.
Shower in the secluded outdoor shower adjacent to my bathroom. Get packed up and ready to head to Ubud.
3:30-5:00 pm: Catch a ride to Ubud with some locals I got to know over the last couple days. Continue to work on some writing offline while in the car. Get settled at a beautiful villa in Ubud.
5:30-7:00 pm: Explore central Ubud for a bit, and grab a quick bite to eat.
This was one of my best days ever. Does the location i.e. being in Bali, help? Of course.
But, am I learning something to bring back to my daily life at home? Definitely.
I was in Bali and it felt like life couldn’t be better. Seriously.
What I began to realize was how much easier the tasks of life are when approached from a place of balance and renewed energy.
In less than 24 hours of being in Bali, I had met the friendliest of souls, listened to a late night thunderstorm while watching the lightning from my balcony, meditated, ate delicious, real, fresh food, rode a bike all up and down the beach, went to two yoga classes in a bamboo made studio, and opened the door for a collaboration with Rebel + Connect.
In just 3 days there, as well as over 24 hours of travel time, I was able to focus more on current work projects than I did at home. I felt more organized and full of focused intention than ever before.
Despite my body clock being off kilter, I remember feeling more rested than I had in a while.
While my eating habits were slightly off, both due to travel and the shifting in my body clock, I felt more full.
I was successfully working on my own creative projects as well as work projects, and also filling my day with sufficient rest and pleasure.
I was determined to figure out what the root to this new feeling was. I needed to know what finally flipped the switch.
I know that self-care has to be a priority, but it is so often forgotten. The funny thing is, when self-care remains a priority, everything still gets done. Maybe not in the way I envisioned it to, but it all gets done.
For everyone, self-care will not always look the same. But for all of us, it has to include a healthy and harmonious amount of three things: work, play, rest.
There seems to be a negative connotation surrounding this word “work,” an action that isn’t all bad.
Work is necessary in order to feed the human desire to achieve. And, when our work can also include our passion, it can actually become play.
While it is common to want our work to feel like play simply out of a love for what we do, the “play” must still be separated so as not to overwork ourselves no matter how much we love it.
“Play” can be an assortment of things, be it connecting with nature, exploring a new part of your city, or enjoying a favorite hobby.
For myself to play, I remain active through my practices of yoga and monkey style kung fu, as well as just regular physical activity. I enjoy creating art be it photography, painting, or music. I love going to concerts and connecting with others immersed in live music. I love hiking, climbing trees, and just being outside to soak up some good ol’ Vitamin D.
The trick with play though is to not get too caught up in the fun and enjoyment and end up getting off balance with not enough work or rest.
Of the three, “rest” is what I have struggled with the most. I have a lot of irons in the fire, and I LOVE everything I’m creating right now. So, I sometimes end up burning the candle at both ends.
In the past, I have kept myself operating from a place of overwhelm and worry, thinking that if I sleep, everything simply won’t get done. The funny thing is though, the less rested I am, the less efficiently I work.
Rest doesn’t only mean sleep though. I also have learned to rest my mind and my emotions, which has helped harmonize my physical body.
To rest my mind, I regularly practice a Twin Hearts Meditation. I love doing this where I live in Atlanta as we gather on a weekly basis to practice as a group, but I also love that it is something I can practice no matter where I am traveling. If I cannot seem to find 20-30 minutes to pause and practice, that means I need it more than ever!
To rest my emotions, I have recently added the practice of Pranic Healing which has allowed me to understand how to heal myself and others on a physical, mental and spiritual level.
Added to my pranic healing practices, I have explored working through healing myself on a subconscious level. An amazing mentor of mine who is also an incredible healer, Ursula Lentine, practices what is called Internal Family Systems. I have had three sessions with her, and the results have been wonderful. I have learned how to keep myself rested and full throughout the day by working with all of the internal pieces of myself instead of fighting against them.
Everyone’s “work, play, rest” is unique to them. We all don’t have the same jobs or businesses, not everyone finds enjoyment in the same things, and each person thrives on a different amount of sleep and restful practices.
The key though is to figure out what works for YOU, and make it a habit. That way no matter where we are, we can remain full.
Self-care is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
“We can still do things that feed the soul. And whether it’s yoga or something else entirely—spending just one hour doing something that feels good and contributes to our own sense of well-being will benefit other areas of life, long after that hour is over.”
When we don’t take care of ourselves, the people in our lives we need to show up for suffer as well. It has a negative ripple effect.
By taking care of and connecting with myself, I am able to connect with others more fully.
When connected, I can be present. And when fully in the present, that is where the magic is created.
By no means does having the switch flipped mean my work is “done,” but it sure does feel good to be able to see a bit more clearly in the direction I’m headed.
Looking forward to many more of my own “best work days”, full of harmonious work, play and rest, all over the globe.
Rebel + Connect creates custom retreats for remote teams. A Colorado based company owned and operated by Charlie Birch, Rachel McGehee, and Summer Weirich, we operate remotely and service clients from all over the globe. Join us as we create cultures of meaning and celebrate human connections in a digital world!
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