Why are we all so tired? I think about this question a lot because just about everyone I know is e-x-h-a-u-s-t-e-d physically, emotionally and mentally. Just drained
We do a great job of pretending we're not just so we can get all the things done. But that exhaustion is still there, lurking just beneath the surface. All it takes is one small thing at the right moment and we are instantly reduced to tears (Tracy Chapman & Luke Combs anyone?).
In our last newsletter, I shared my “word” for 2024 - ELEVATE. In addition to applying this word to all things HUM, I'm also applying it to my own physical, emotion, mental and spiritual wellbeing. When I worked with executive coaching clients, I was famous for saying "protect your peace'. Now it time for me to take my own advice.
To do that, one of the things I'm most focused on (and will be sharing more about in the coming weeks) is creating “margins” in my life.
Margins are the amount of time we have leftover in a day after we’ve done all the things we have to do. It’s the time we get to do the things that are meaningful to us - like exercise, spending time with friends and family, pursuing a hobby or reading a book.
Margins are essential to our mental, emotional and physical well-being. They’re not “nice to haves”, they are “must haves” in this exhausting, go, go, go culture that we live in. They give our system a break from the 24/7 dopamine and adrenaline rush that literally wears out our body, mind and spirit and causes stress, overwhelm and burnout.
Put simply, the fewer margins we have, the more stressed we are. The more margins we have, the less stressed we are.
Margins aren't about being productive or even structured. They are not for doing more housework or extra projects or anything that feels like work. They are for doing the things we think are fun (you remember fun, right?) or meaningful. That's it.
Here's the thing about margins: they don't magically appear. We must carve them out, put boundaries around them and fiercely protect them. In fact, I believe we have to create our margins first, and then fill everything in around them. They're that important.
Margins can be as simple as waking up 15 minutes early so you can stare out the window with your coffee before everyone else gets up (that's one of mine) or soaking in a hot tub for 15 minutes once a week or going for a walk with your family on Sunday afternoon.
5 Tips for Creating Margins in a Margin-less World
Decide creating margins important to you. This may sound overly simplistic, but making this decision is essential. Only you can chose what's important and only you can follow through on that decision. Once you decide, the rest is logistics.
Write down what you will do with your margins - what is meaningful to you? What sounds like fun? There's no right or wrong answer here and certainly no judgment. Reading a book? Writing a book? Going on a bike ride? Watching Netflix? Write down.
Write down all the things that are crowding out your margins. This is just a brain dump of all the things on your schedule that eat up what could be free time. That's all.
Take a critical look at that list. What are the things on it that only you can do? If they don't have to be done by you: a) do they really and truly have to be done at all and, if they do, b) can you outsource or delegate them? Having margins is about making choices.
Choose your specific margins. When are they? What day(s)? What time(s)? Mark them out in all of your calendars. Aside from a true emergency, these aren't negotiable. Remember, “Saying No is a Superpower”.
EMAIL ME ~ Sarah, here's how I'm going to create some margins….