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Truthy Tuesday: A Magazine Editor & Business Coach Dishes On Being Spent

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{By guest maven, Letitia Elizabeth}

You’d think spending my days window shopping for models, planning indulgent recipes, and chatting away with my sisters from other mothers would be an enviable way to live, but the truth is I sometimes want to run away from it all.

As a woman, the surging pressures of exhaustion, stress, and lack of motivation is enough to make us throw in the proverbial towel no matter how glamorous our life may seem to others. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a bit of TLC that I like to call nourish, nurture and embellish, we can spread our love to include ourselves and win the battle of feeling spent.

As a green living activist, I often find that a happy soul equates to a happy planet. You’ll be hard pressed to find an energetic and relentless do-gooder who is depressed, fatigued, and feeling worthless. With self-love comes clarity, and peer-driven impact will inevitably follow. That’s why I’ve made it a priority to practice self-care on a weekly, if not daily basis, so that I never lose my fight or drive to inspire change for others.

While waiting for a full on breakdown can induce much-needed change, why wait for that moment with everyone around you as an audience? Everyday is a new day, but it is not a clean slate; so you must take a stand to interject life’s little pleasures even when you think there is absolutely no room or no time.

A simple routine of four new habits can kick that negative energy in the butt, so that next time someone asks “How are you?” a poopy answer like ‘tired’ or ‘busy’ is a thing of the past. Because let’s get real, all that family time, friend time, work time, time on the computer, time on the phone, and time trying to be superwoman is hardly benefitting you. One day you’ll just find yourself pulling your hair out. Well, if you haven’t already!

1. Multi-tasking super woman

Funny enough, I used to pride myself on being a veteran multi-tasker. It was a personality trait and skill that would work its way to the top of every resume, every conversation, every bio or elevator speech. Now I see it as the one thing that drives me literally insane and can make the brightest of days seem overcast and gray.

To combat this, I have become a big fan of lists. I was always jealous of the dedicated writers who would journal every day of every year. I never could keep up. Instead, I now use my beautifully collectible journals to make daily lists. I write down what needs to get done that day and how much time it should take me. I set a little alarm clock and never go over the time. This is key, because with addictive tasks like grocery shopping, emailing, or even Tweeting, time escapes you like fog into the night. And getting more tweets or Facebook posts into your day does not feel rewarding when you realize it’s 7pm and there are hungry mouths to feed yet you’ve only gotten through half of your list.

Stress is sure to come ring your doorbell. For an extra dose of carpe diem motivation, I plan out little rewards for myself when I complete my to-dos. Anything from a dark chocolate bar to a stroll outside during lunch break are easy ways to break up the day and reward good behavior.

2. Nature beyond lunch salads

Living in a concrete jungle like New York is definitely a denial bubble. There are weekend trips galore that would quickly reintroduce me to the glorious sight of evergreens, wild birds, and roaming animals, but instead I usually deny myself of such pleasures by taking a trip to the newest restaurant or an organic spa that plays waterfall sounds. Denial, denial, denial. Niagara Falls is only an hour away and one would be as dense as stone to feel anything but serenity and peace when faced with nature’s beauty.

If you’re luckier than I am and find yourself surrounded by nature, then stop making excuses not to embrace it. For those in a metropolitan bubble, save up pennies to participate in one of those annual retreats that have become wildly popular and healing, like my favorites by Squam Workshops.

Even better, day trips or weekend getaways to national parks, greener cities, or even camping grounds can enliven your spirit. I don’t know a single person who feels stressed while strolling carelessly under the shady canopy of bristling trees. Without spending a penny, you find yourself being soothed by the aromatherapy of plant fragrances, chromatherapy by the colors of the season, and even sound therapy by the singing birds and whistling breeze. Yes, a facial or massage at the end would take the cake, but its nothing a DIY honey mask and foot rub from your sweetheart can’t cure.

3. Toxic energy

It is one thing to surround yourself with gossiping, energy-depleting, good for nothing people, but did you know that even ten negative colleagues or friends wouldn’t do as much damage to you as you are most likely already doing to yourself?

Everyday from the time you wake up to the time you start snoring is an orgy of toxins that want to do nothing more than clog your pores, air, and bloodstream with completely unnecessary chemicals. Your toothpaste, hair spray, lipstick, cotton dress, chicken salad, leather sofa, scented bubble bath…are all toxic and slowly killing you faster than you’d like.

They are safe and pretty sitting on the shelf, but when combined with others on a daily basis, they can lead to a lack of energy, depression, and of course diseases. You shouldn’t let the government’s lack of regulation and transparency determine how you care for yourself.

Make an effort to take baby steps toward a healthier and happier you. Small changes like water filters, organic foods or clothing, chemical-free paints and home decor, are all monumental impacts in the long run.

 4. Discover meaning

If you were to ask me the single best decision or purchase I made in 2012 it would be a little set of gratitude journals from the beloved Squam Workshops online store. Even though I rarely have the time or money to attend their covetable retreats, I sign up for their newsletter and find solace in peaceful updates and soul nourishing advice.

One day they announced a sale for handmade journals with artwork covers and I snapped up one of each, not even realizing that they were gratitude journals with five entries for every day of the year. Every night before bed I would doodle away, reminiscing about the day and what I felt grateful for. Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months and clear patterns would emerge.

I was happiest and most grateful when surrounded by laughter, cooking, and helping others. What started off as a silly way to document my day actually became an enlightening glimpse into what activities provided meaning in my life. I found extreme pleasure in cooking and baking, and even felt needed and adored for it; so much so that I decided to start an organic meal delivery club for older folks in my city. Later on I would soon inspire a friend to start a supper club in her hometown of Switzerland.

I also discovered that connecting with women on a business level was quite rewarding and surprisingly easy for me to do. That led to the launch of Brand Stylist Academy where I empower and teach women to start a creative business from scratch with little to no money.

In the end, you should do what works for you when it comes to finding meaning in your life. A volunteer project might turn into a lifelong passion. A meal might turn into a business. A conversation or journal entry might become your new purpose.

I like to think of each day I live as a contribution to my legacy. What will your legacy entail?

letitiadotLetitia Elizabeth is a slow food activist, lover of all things pink with sparkles, infatuated with animals, and a veteran creative entrepreneur who currently moonlights as boss at the eco-friendly Lillie Magazine and Chief Consultant at Branding Academy which is the first and only online community for creative women looking to launch a small business brand on a budget. She loves to receive love notes from men bearing chocolates, but hearing from kindred spirits and ambitious creative folk is a close second. Write to her anytime at success@letitiaelizabeth.com
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5 Responses to Truthy Tuesday: A Magazine Editor & Business Coach Dishes On Being Spent

  1. Noel Lizotte says:

    True words, spoken plainly, like a sister from another mother. I had to lol when I saw you use that phrase, because I believe there are many women out there who fit that role for me! We are all sisters in one form or another and when we support each other, we gain for ourselves.

    But, back to the message of this post, Letitia, you are so right to point out that I need to care for myself. I put that job so low on the list, it often gets buried in all the rest of the daily grind.
    Thanks for waving a flag in my face!

    • Ah yay Noel, I am so glad this post resonated with you! And giddy to see I made someone laugh aloud. It is true though, I do feel sometimes spirits are so kindred that “sisters” feels more fitting than “friend” or “mentor”. In all honesty, that’s how I approach working with clients. Like I was a big sister who only wanted the best for my girl. And that includes getting off our lazy butts and taking a walk! :)

  2. Jo says:

    Nice. Very timely, thank you.

  3. Kelly says:

    Thank you so much for this! It’s exactly what I needed to hear right now to help me see a way out of this slump. I’ve been so busy helping friends get out of the funk that I’ve forgotten to take care of myself too. Can’t wait to put these tips to use!

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