My Five Biggest Takeaways About Balancing Work And Life At Home in 2020
A gift from my mentor came in the mail a few days ago. It’s a journal. Studying reflective practice was a big part of my Nutrition studies, but after I graduated, silly me put it at the bottom of my to-do list.
Now that I have this beautiful new journal, all the benefits of reflecting on my life, goals and values are coming back to me. So, I want to share some of my biggest take-aways from 2020 with you.
1. Getting Up Early Is A Blessing
I’ve been getting up at 5AM, yep, 5AM, every morning for a couple of weeks now, after reading “The 5AM Club”. With behaviour science being one of my specialties, I realise it will take a few more weeks before getting up this early will stop feeling so hard and will turn into an automatic habit. But I can already see the massive benefits to the rest of my day, my physical and mental wellbeing.
In the first hour after getting up I do yoga for about 20-30 minutes, then I meditate for 10 minutes followed by reading a personal development book. That leaves me with an entire hour of calmly focused work time before my toddler son wakes up and the craziness of the day kicks in.
This golden focus hour is very useful for me to create content before I read or watch anybody else’s. I found this to be very refreshing and only now realise how much of a filter of other people’s views and opinions I was consuming before starting my own work.
2. In This Together
Being a mum and entrepreneur in pandemic times is tough. It really takes a village to feel less alone while spending your entire life and career at home and being far away from your family in a different country.
I learned to massively appreciate the value of true friendship and community - local as well as online. Before 2020 I had met maybe 2 or 3 of my neighbours. We now have a 50+ people Whatsapp group, a book club and regular (socially distanced) get-togethers. I feel so safe and happy that everyone knows my and my son’s names.
Besides speaking to my best friends regularly I have discovered the incredible value of having a mentor. As a nutrition and lifestyle coach I appreciate the value an accountability partner like that can bring to my life. And it definitely helped me feel less alone while working from home as a solopreneur.
3. Gratitude Is A Powerful Message
Ok so I started my nutrition business in February this is the year after my son turned one. Out of all the years, it had to be 2020. Oh man. My vision was that I would be completely booked out with 1:1 clients within 2-3 months. That didn’t happen.
Patience is definitely not my strength, so I was beating myself up a lot for being a massive failure in the first half of the year. What I soon learned to be the antidote to my impatience was gratitude.
Writing down what I value in my life, or on that particular day, even if it was just a few bullet points, changed my brain’s chemistry and raised my vibration. An awareness set in that I’m not rushing towards a “happily ever after” because life keeps evolving, and I keep growing, developing my skills and adjusting my goals. Looking back at the steps I’ve already climbed feels pretty good.
4. Parenthood During Lockdown Brings You To Your Knees And Lifts You Right Back Up
My son Oskar turned 1 and started walking just as the first lockdown hit and his nursery closed for an indefinite amount of time. So besides being in the beginning stages of my business, I also had a very active toddler to entertain for about 4 months.
It was tough. There were many days where I felt permanently guilty for dividing my attention between my son and my business. I was beyond grateful that the summer kindly let us spend most of our days outside.
What I didn’t quite expect was the strong bond Oskar would form with us as parents, as well as with our neighbourhood community. Observing him explore the world and turning into a very social being who gives remote hugs and blows kisses at everyone is a very humbling experience. There isn’t anything more mindful to me than just watching him be.
5. Spirituality, Not A Swearword
Here’s the thing: I am a science person. I love biochemistry and measuring and counting things. Somebody mentioning the word spirituality has always either sent me running for the hills or made me drop snarky remarks.
But 2020 is the year I learned to look inward. Through meditation, reflection and deep and honest conversations with friends, colleagues and mentors. I realised that sometimes things don’t feel aligned in my life despite everything running smoothly on paper.
Through my journey into the meditation and mindfulness world I came across the concept of Human Design (if you’ve never heard of it I encourage you to google it because I won’t do it justice by trying to describe it). I’m only really just starting to dive into this topic, but what I’ve found out about myself so far already helped me feel much more at peace with my journey. I know good things will come my way, but I can’t force them.
I just have to learn to be more patient. And embrace a good cleansing cry along the way.