Within the past few months, I've transitioned out of a studio business partnership and into private yoga teaching. Currently, I'm teaching roughly 10 privates per week. Months ago, I would have seen that as way too much and possibly even passed judgement on the teacher, assuming she was headed toward burnout. I now understand that 'busy' doesn't need to have a negative connotation. My sense of achievement and rest may be very different than yours, but there's nothing wrong with either of us. Understanding how to manage my own energy, boundaries and self-care has revolutionized the way that I'm able to create work/life balance and share yoga. Here are just a few things I've learned along the way:
1) Redefine the word 'busy.' I recently read this inspiring article about relabeling the whole idea of "busy." What an important perspective! Not only is it helpful to articulate how you actually feel by being more clear, but honoring the idea of gratitude for the privilege of those hard-working days. How about abundant? Fulfilling? Productive? Think about this next time someone asks you how you've been.
2) Transition mindfully. Transitions are often a time of mental chatter or distraction for me. It's not always easy to make the mental switch from yoga teacher, to driving around and running errands, walking the dog and then back to teaching yoga...etc. Even between private yoga sessions, I'm very intentional about taking a moment or creating a little ritual to reset. My teacher says that 'the way you do any one thing is the way you do all things.' Transitions can either be a time of mindless, wasted energy or a time of support and mindfulness.
3) Limit screen time. Of course this isn't always possible, especially if your job involves a computer, but think about making an effort to take breaks for your eyes, your mind and your body. Only use technology for what's absolutely necessary (i.e. if you must be on the computer, put your phone away) On busy days when I'm teaching and sharing yoga a lot, I do not use the computer at all and I keep my phone on 'do not disturb.' I find the phone and the computer can often be black holes of distraction, so setting limits is a way to keep me focused and grounded.
4) Single task. You may feel as if you're accomplishing more when you multitask, but there's plenty of science now behind the fact that multitasking is much less efficient than single tasking. Not only that, but multitasking is stressful for the mind and body in unnecessary ways. On busy days, think about all the obvious and not-so-obvious ways in which you might multitask (i.e. driving, eating, talking on the phone, checking emails, walking...etc) Single tasking is a great step toward becoming more calm and mindful overall.
5) Set and keep boundaries. Be aware of your limits and keep them for yourself and for those around you. It can be tempting to say 'yes' to one more task from your boss, your friends or your family even when you feel drained and overwhelmed. Know when to say 'no' without guilt so that your 'yes' actually means something!
6) Schedule self-care. This is something I really never did before. I would squeeze in R&R whenever I could, which wouldn't be nearly enough if I functioned that way now. Anyone who has ever gotten sick at 'the worst possible time' can attest to the fact that the most important time for rest and self-care is when you 'don't have time.' Your body will send you messages in whatever ways are necessary to get your attention, so make sure you're listening. Whether it's an actual appointment or just a reminder to do something on your own, treat rest time as non-negotiable ESPECIALLY on the busiest days.
Hope this helps! How do you manage your busiest days?