Coming from a South Asian background and watching the women around me constantly be the caregivers, and having that idea drilled into my existence for a very long time, the notion of self care took ages to embrace and even enjoy. But now that I do it, I find it an immensely fruitful experience, not only putting me in a state of wellbeing but also giving me the impetus to care for others better, now that I am in a place of satisfaction with myself. I put myself first when it comes to my health so I can concentrate better on my goals personally and professionally.
I do at least three things daily that are just about me. I enjoy my morning tea or coffee minus any distractions. In fact, the husband and I use this time to talk about what we have going on for the day and what we are looking forward to.
I then read for about 15-30 minutes. Not on a device but either a magazine or a book so I am not tempted to check into my email or social media for a quick glance.
And I spend 10-15 minutes looking at my paper diary planning my day and prioritizing the five things I want to address.
Additionally, I spend 15 minutes doing stretches which are integral to my health as I do have a back injury from a few years ago that I have to pay attention to in order to avoid any future issues.
So essentially, the first hour of every day, at least during the work week, is focused on my self care and I am truly thankful for that. On a monthly basis, I ensure I head out for at least one weekend activity every week, typically a Saturday hike or a Sunday bike ride by the beach. I always make time for a monthly massage and a monthly manicure/pedicure as well. And if the month goes really well in terms of personal and professional goals, we splurge with a nice weekend away or dinner out to enjoy what we have accomplished thus far!
What is your self care routine?
Out of sheer frustration with having to chase payments for work long completed and submitted, and simply aghast at the prevalent issue of non-payment in the publishing and media industry, I decided to create my own digital lifestyle magazine during the holidays last year (2017).
I have so far published two digital issues and am working on my third to be released later this month. My goal is to make this an international publication, well read globally among a culture conscious and world aware audience, to increase subscriptions through the year (currently free to sign up and receive the monthly mag direct to inbox) and eventually garner advertising and sponsorship to be able to pay writers and photographers that I commission stories to.
This is ideally done by a large media and publishing conglomerate or at least a smaller team but currently I do this completely on my own – I design the magazine, I write copy and shoot images, I publish it online and promote it as well.
The primary obstacle is people wanting to benefit from my efforts but not support – friends have asked if they can write for me for free just to receive an extra byline for themselves but not necessarily ask me how they can help or spread the word to benefit my cause before they ask for something for themselves. I am more open to working with people that show an interest in my work for what it is and help increase subscriptions to benefit us both in the long run.
Another obstacle is the disbelief people express when I say I am a publisher and editor of a digital magazine since an individual owning a publication is not the norm, so showing that this is my business and not a hobby has been a roadblock. This isn’t crazy or unachievable. It's simply a matter of putting out a consistent product of quality that people will take note of and I will work on it with all my heart to make it a fruitful and life satisfying experience.
Yes, I get that a lot. The minute folks hear I work from home, for myself, they want to know how I maintain a routine. Here' the gist of it:
And all of these are pretty much non-negotiable unless something major, say a work commitment or travel, occurs last minute...
1. Waking up at the crack of dawn - I adjust this for time differences but it has been a steady 6 am for a while now. Have no trouble waking up early and usually beat the alarm clock by 5 minutes or more. Of course, the trick is to sleep on time and give your body enough rest. I sleep by 10-11 pm to give myself a good 7-8 hours of shut eye.
2. Exercising - I know I do not have the willpower to pull myself away from work during the day to exercise so instead I wake up early and take time folding in the fitness that best works for me - walking! I do a two hour walk along nearby neighborhoods or at the hike trail near my home which gives me a little over 10,000 steps on my Fitbit - quota for the day achieved.
3. Cooling down - Once I am home I take time to cool down as well as hydrate with plenty of water. Currently off coffee so a glass of warm milk is my morning beverage. No sugar, no flavor, just whole milk. Takes about a half hour. The husband is usually up by this time so we get to catch up on our day ahead.
4. Shower - Again, there have been days where pulling myself away from work was a big no and I'd work all day before realizing it was 5 pm and I had not showered yet. Exercising takes care of that. I come back home all stinky and sweaty so a shower is not negotiable. And I get ready for the day so I am dressed and all set for work mode. Half hour on this.
5. Breakfast - Another great part of exercising is I am hungry by the time I get home, cool down and shower so I head straight to the kitchen like clockwork and whip up a breakfast smoothie, sandwich, bowl of cereal to get me going. Half hour for this as well.
This routine usually gives me about a half hour to spare before I start my work day 10 am. I use that half hour to read a magazine I subscribe to or book from the library.
So, what's your morning routine?
Gosh! December has been a very busy month, I have found no time to blog but I am giving myself time to relax and take a holiday during the end of the year. And I hope you are too. See you in the new year and hope you find the time to relax and rejuvenate, to spend time with near and dear, read a little, watch some movies, travel too maybe if you can, cook up a storm, meet with friends and family, do everything you want to during these last few days of 2013 to make the year memorable. Be good. Be thankful. Be happy. Cheers!
Gosh, the end of 2013 is just about a month away! I am off this week and hope you are too. The best part of being full time freelance and 100% work from home is taking time off whenever I want and for as long as I want and wherever I want, with whoever I want! Some will argue that its not paid leave but if you have earned enough through the year then that should not matter at all. I am thankful for this being a great year professionally - lots of writing assignments, copy editing projects, press trips, new website and book writing coming along nicely. Next year is looking even more promising. Excited to have close friends drive over to celebrate the holidays with us and thankful for friends hosting parties over the holiday weekend for us folks who really cant go home to celebrate with family this holiday season. I hope you celebrate well with near and dear! Happy Thanksgiving!
I love a good inspirational / motivational message every now and then and Marc and Angel hack life is a great website for just that. I am subscribed to their newsletters and every few days I will receive something meaningful and doable that simply makes my day and gives me an all time high. I have shared many posts with friends on social media and have always received a word of thanks for sharing the website. I hope you enjoy learning of this site as well, if you did not know about it already. Happy reading!
And just like that we are into the new year so here's to a whole year of awesomeness and success to you. May all your personal and professional aspirations be achieved! I always use the first 10 days of the year to look back and see what pending jobs I have that I can complete from the past year or before the holidays. And then I use some time to plan for my year ahead, immediate assignments that need to be completed and quarterly, half-yearly and annual goals to work towards. I don't use these as rigid parameters but they give me some kind of framework to direct my efforts toward. I decide where I want to be or what I want to be doing and work backward from that to see what I can do in smaller steps that in the long run will take me closer to my success points. So I wish you success in planning for your business as well!
If you happen to be in the Atlanta area and are part of the local publishing industry, be that magazine, editorial, writing, blogging, etc. then the speaker sessions I am organizing as host of the local chapter for Ed2010 should be of interest to you. Our first session is in a few days - Jan 9th at Hypepotamus close to the Georgia Tech campus. You can get more details on the event page. It will be a great opportunity to network and meet members of the community that share the same interests as you. I hope to see you there! Again Happy New Year :)
We are exactly 10 days away from New Year's and this is good time as any to take stock of what you have accomplished all year through, and where you want to go next year - personally, professionally, socially, financially, educationally, in every aspect of life that you hold dear to your progress.
If you are an individual or organization that needs help with anything communications-related: writing, reporting, editing, proofreading, then please feel free to get in touch with me for your project, and we can discus your needs and work together on finding a solution.
Happy Holidays! I am signing off for the next ten days to enjoy a wonderful holiday season with my family and friends. I wish you the same, and let's catch up in the New Year, especially now that we survived the not-so-end of the world!