At the beginning of the year the Health Bloggers Community (HBC) launched their Reclaim Your Day Off campaign and I was lucky enough to be at their opening event.
The campaign is aimed at freelancers, the army of which I have joined myself in the last year. With portfolio careers, influencer commitments and social media engagement it sometimes feels hard to take a full day off a week.
The HBC’s page for the campaign says:
Online creators and influencers work hard, really hard. On average, we work over 60 hours per week, counting Insta-scrolling, Twitter updates, multiple projects and commitments. In order to do more, we silently agreed on sacrificing our days off in favour of more opportunities, better deals and more financial gain.
This I can totally relate to. When you are starting to work for yourself, particularly in a business area that you love and feel passionate about, the lines become really really blurry between what’s work and what’s fun.
I’m writing a blog post! I love writing! But is it earning me money? Is it helping my business grow? Am I doing it in the evening or at a weekend for pleasure? Or do I count it as a work hour? When do I switch off?
So the HBC’s Reclaim Your Day Off campaign, putting emphasis on self-care, rest and sleep as the secret formula for success is just what I need right now. Because I know that in order to get the best out of myself and any future business I might build, I have to look after number one.
The launch event in January was held at TriYoga’s new studio in Ealing. If you are London based and haven’t tried a session at a TriYoga studio then I cant recommend it enough. Firstly the whole place is a phone free zone (hello relaxation), not to mention the warmth, incense burning, gorgeous bright, light studios and fantastic practitioners they have leading their range of sessions.
Our session was led by Zephyr Wildman, a yoga instructor who’s work stretches from your standard vinyasa flow classes to yoga for addictions and recovery. She’s even contributed to Fearne Cotton’s book Happy which she gave us all a copy of and which I was happy to share with one of my followers on Instagram when I had finished with it. (I do often send books on for free to anyone that wants them, make sure you’re following me on Instagram to spot the next one!)
Zephyr talked us through her steps for feeling purposeful and present, both in our work but also importantly in our down-time.
I wanted to share the take-away points I took from the session which I thought you could all really benefit from too. I know a lot of what she said really stuck with me.
What is your desire?
This is such an important thing to think about and something that seeps into every area of life. Zephyr broke desires down into four areas that you may be striving for in life:
To find a purpose in life - why am I here?
To discover the means and tools to serve my purpose
To achieve beauty and creativity
To find spiritual liberation and a sense of freedom
Have a think about what you desire in life. I know which one of these really resonates with me.
Evolve your mind
Something I’ve learned from meditation myself is that thoughts and feelings pass. How you feel right now - whether that’s angry, or stressed, or relaxed, happy or sad - that is only temporary. Maaaaaan it can feel all consuming and constant at the time, but if you try and pin point the moment it ends you’ll realise you didn’t even notice the transition.
Zephyr asked us to think about these emotions and thoughts when they arise in yoga or meditation. Is what you’re thinking and feeling essential to your practise? Is it something that you can sit with and learn from? Or can you let it pass?
Try to become less distracted
The world we live in allows zero, ZERO time to switch off. If you’re old like me you will remember the days where you used to sit on a bus or stand in a queue at a shop with nothing to distract us. We just had to be present. It was us and our thoughts as they came and went.
Now? Any fragment of time can be filled with a little screen that stimulates your brain. You never get to be in your own head anymore, listening and observing as your mind mulls things over, thinks and feels and changes and adapts. How sad is that?! We are so addicted to the tiny thrill it gives us that we have forgotten how to just be with ourselves.
So next time you’re stood in a queue or sat on a train, why not delay that gratification and not reach for the phone? How about just be. Be present.
And you know what? Zephyr taught us - that desperate urge to scroll will dissipate. Sitting alone with your thoughts won’t feel so weird. It might at first, but then it will pass and you’ll feel and connect to other things instead. Not just your thumb on that screen.
Create a clarity and sensitivity
Zephyr emphasised creating this clarity and connection not just on a reclaimed day, but on every day. Every day we should be trying to find time to connect body mind and soul. Whether that’s through yoga, meditation or just taking a little social media or screen break and just sitting and being present with ourselves. Whatever it is - try to take a step back and observe and be in the moment.
If you want to get involved with the Health Bloggers Community’s Reclaim Your Day Off campaign, check out their dedicated page.