With fall wedding and senior season in full swing, it's easy to get to December and look back and wonder where this part of the year went! It's also easy to get to that point and be completely exhausted, friend-less, unhealthy, and burnt out. Been there, done that, and it's the worst. I'm determined for burn out and exhaustion not to be my story, and I've found a few things that help me manage this time of year.
When busy season is in full swing, my eating goes to crap. I grab things on the go (usually Starbucks snack packs, and helloooooo preservatives), forget to eat, or end up binging one meal as fast as possible. Health is huge to me, and it's necessary to maintain the crazy lifestyle of long hours, little sleep, different climates, and high stress situations I'm often experiencing. I've found meal planning to be a HUGE difference maker in maintaining a healthy eating schedule, energy levels, and fitting into my pants. Here is a board I keep full of prep ideas, recipes, and plans that will help you get started: MEAL PREP. Here are a couple of my go to meal plan essentials: Divided Containers, Mason Jars
I can't emphasize this enough. Outsourcing has become CRUCIAL for me in life and business (and don't we know they are all to connected). My biggest hang up for YEARS was "why would I pay someone to do something I CAN do?" What I didn't realize was just because I CAN do it, doesn't mean I should or someone else can't. As much as I'd like to think I can juggle it all, the plates quickly began to crash down around me. Not only had I reached my limit in business, I reached (and far exceeded) my limit in life. If you're worried about the money, I get it. Here's the thing: by outsourcing some of the time consuming responsibilities that I'm not even good at, I opened up time in my life to do the things I AM good at, be in a healthy head and heart space, and drum roll...MAKE MORE MONEY. After the initial investment, outsourcing now makes me money. Here are some things I outsource:
Meals (Hello Fresh)--this is a dream come true. Coming home from a shoot with a home cooked meal waiting thanks to hubby and the fail-proof instructions from Hello Fresh? Oh boy, let me kiss your face! (Use Code AMANCO for $40 off your first box!)
Dog Walks (WAG): Yep. You heard me. Anyone who knows me knows how obsessed I am with our pup Copper Jones. With a traveling husband and long wedding days, knowing Cop has a playmate for a little while during the afternoon puts this fur mama at ease. (Click here to try it for free!)
Business Admin (Michele): Michele has been a life saver for me. She's been a part of the team for about a year, and it's been the most glorious year. I was drowning in leads, scheduling, booking, collecting payments, follow ups, and everything else admin related. My NOT detailed-oriented mine was going crazy. We are able to give clients a much better experience now that we have people who's jobs cater to their strengths! (You can also grab an intern to help with menial tasks like client gifts, product fulfillment, and errands!)
House Cleaning: My home is my safe place. It's where I hide, decompress, pour into my marriage, spend time with friends, and REST. My mom taught me how to clean with the best of them, but it took me all of 5 secs to pass this off. This is a great task to outsource during busy season!
A Routine + Intentional time off:
It's hard to be in a consistent routine with the amount of traveling I do, but when I'm home, I try my best to stay in one. For me, that looks like an earlier morning wake up because I like SLOW mornings. I'm most productive in the mornings, but they are also sacred to me. I'm not one to jump right out of bed and hit the ground running. I like to have my coffee, listen to piano music, meditate/pray, walk the pup, get a workout in, THEN hit the ground running around 10. It also helps me to be ready for the day (isn't it crazy how fixed hair and a little make up can make you feel like you can take over the world?!). I also try to eat dinner at home as much as possible. It's easy for family, marriages, and relationships to fall through the cracks when you're going a mile a minute. Dinner (even though it may be later than ideal) is a sweet time for Brandon and I to talk through the day, and spend intentional time together. (This is where Hello Fresh is clutch.)
I will forever preach self care. It has saved my life, my business, and my marriage...no, like, I'm serious. If we aren't taking care of ourselves, how do we expect to take care of others? If we're struggling to find time to eat or pee (yes, I have literally been so busy that I wasn't making time time to pee!!!!), there's no way we are adequately loving those most important to us or being the best version of ourselves. Self care can look like a million different things. It can be outsourcing, slow mornings, planned days off, dinner with a friend, a hike, a therapy appointment, reading, working out, a glass of wine, a trainer, a turned-off phone, breakfast in bed, a day trip, yoga, playing with puppies, or whatever else benefits YOU AND YOUR HEALTH. In turn, it will benefit every other area of your life. It's especially necessary when your schedule is crammed, and it's a struggle to find a night to hang with friends. I know it feels like there is always something to do. Sweet friend, I get you, but please know the world will, indeed, keep turning if your to-do list still has a few things on it at the end of the day. You don't want to get to the end of a year or a decade or a life and realize you are sad, lonely, and rich.
Your relationships, your health, your sanity, and your influence are worth protecting.
How do you manage busy season? Have any go-to's or must haves?