july intention: penciling in self care

Hi everyone! I am sitting down to write this after a peaceful Sunday. I went for a run, meal prepped, went to pick lavender, and even had some time to read. I wish most days went like this but there are the occasional I-feel-stressed-because-I-am-good-at-over-booking-myself moments that happen to seep in. I have noticed that these moments have been pretty common lately and I am not fond of them because they tend to wreck part of the days that I have off.

On an evening walk with my dog, I thought about what has been making these occurrences more common and what to do about them. I landed on that work stress is bleeding over into my personal life which then builds up anxiety and leads to a cranky Katie. Recognizing the problem allowed room to come up with a solution.

I decided that I need to make space in my schedule for self care. It will be a non-negotiable for July.

Taking care of myself tends to fall to the bottom of the list when I am stressed because I am completely overwhelmed with all of the things I have on my to-do list. This is not a revelation to me and I am always remembering that this is the case when I have one of the moments I mentioned earlier.

So this month, I will do one small act of self care daily to make sure that I am making time for myself. My list of favorites includes:

  • spending time reading a book in the evening
  • sitting out on the back porch drinking coffee
  • journaling about progress with projects, etc.
  • taking a walk
  • doing candlelit yoga
  • getting a massage
  • visiting my esthetician
  • hanging out at a coffee shop
  • going out to brunch with Mitch

I am pretty stoked for the following weeks because I already have a massage and facial scheduled! Yay for me! 🙂 I also plan to get back into the habit of reading each night even if it is for ten minutes. It really helps me wind down after a hectic day when my mind is going a mile a minute. It is the little things that make all the difference right?

So what do you have planned for July? Any intention that you are holding? Or what is your favorite self care practice? Please share them in the comments!

lavender-self-care

thoughts on receiving correction

How people (including myself) react to being corrected has been on my mind this week.

As some of you know, I am reading (and have finished!) Principles by Ray Dalio and it is just fantastic. There is so much useful knowledge about life in general and working in a team that each time I sit down to read, I feel like I come away with many useful insights. There is a decent sized section in the book that discusses how people respond with their “lower-level selves” when they receive constructive criticism or things are not done the way they think is correct. Essentially, you respond with your ego as your first line of defense. Which, naturally, makes you defensive. And you stop trying to take in the lesson. Taking correction and accepting it is so important for growth. (Also, to clarify, I am mainly talking about correction coming from someone that is more knowledgeable.)

This of course made me start to think about how I respond to correction or criticism. Are there times when I respond with my ego instead of simply listening and thinking about what the other person is saying? Are there particular situations like this that cause my ego to respond more?

First of all, I want to make this clear, that I want to be teachable and I do not always have to be right. I want to be able to do things the correct way, which could be running an experiment at work or doing a particular lift with a barbell. Though I do not always respond according to my core belief. I am human and make mistakes after all.

So upon reflection, I realized that I respond to correction differently according to the way it is presented to me. At the gym, I happily take correction and use it immediately because I perceive the correction to be to make me better. However. If I perceive the correction as condescending or rude, I immediately respond with my “lower-level self” because the correction came to simply demonstrate that I was doing something wrong and not to aid in my improvement. This type of correction drives me a bit crazy because it is not a comment made to engender personal growth but to make the corrector feel better. This is pretty common with arrogant people in my opinion.

In recognizing my reactions, I can greet the emotion when it is rising up and notice how I am responding, giving me enough time to stop my ego from taking the driver’s seat. I believe that using this as a tool will allow me to become more comfortable with my emotions and learn how to tune my reactions.

So what are your thoughts on correction? Do you find that you struggle with it or have you come up with methods to deal with it? I would love to hear your story!