• Jun 07, 2019 | Most Popular, Your Relationships,  Your Work

    Decide now how you’ll face summertime challenges [Plus 6 tips to make sure your needs get met]

    With Memorial Day officially behind us, we’re now in the full swing of barbecues, pool parties, beach bonfires, and summer vacations.

    While this is a fun time of the year for many, it can also be exhausting if you’re still discovering how to say “no” to others in order to say “yes” to yourself without sacrificing your needs.

    With this more laid back (and often festive) time of year, we are also confronted with a continuous list of other people’s agendas, and the constant decision making process of how those agendas fit into your needs (or not).

    I’ve become well practiced at getting my own needs met in the comfort of my own home.

    But, when I travel or I’m surrounded by new groups of people, there are more external qualifiers at play. It sometimes feels like a new game entitled: “How can I get my needs met here?”

    This past weekend was a great example of learning how to adapt in a different scenario of circumstances.

    I was home for a long weekend with company. The part of me that loves to host and take care of everyone really struggled with the other part of me that desired to get to bed early and work out each morning.

    There were a lot of competing commitments at play!

    A lot of expectations to meet, peoples’ feelings to manage, needs to meet (including my own), and an overarching desire not to disappoint anyone.

    My people pleasing character traits often influence and orient my decision making. But when I look even deeper, I’ve learned that I must take the best care of me so that I can be the best version of myself with everyone else in my life.

    So for this visit, I made the uncomfortable decision (which may feel simple to others but was pretty big for me) to remove myself from the celebrations mid morning so I could go to the gym and get my workout in.

    While it felt uncomfortable in the moment, these two small choices on Saturday and Sunday morning were big for me.

    They were examples of me putting me first, prioritizing my health, and remembering to love me first.

    This summer, I hope you too will remember to take care of yourself first.

    So, how can you manage your own internal dialogue and make decisions in alignment with your own values versus going with the flow?

    Here are some quick tips and practices to support you along the way:

    1.  Give others a head’s up.

    When you travel or make plans with others, get your partner on board with what actions you’re going to take ahead of time. For me, I let my partner know that I was going to be going to CrossFit both days that weekend, so that I didn’t talk myself out of it at the last moment.

    2. A schedule is your friend even during summer.

    Schedule in workout classes that you want to attend so that you have a place to get to and an accountability structure to remind you of your commitment. Whenever I want to go to a class when I’m traveling or away from home, I make sure to schedule and pay for it ahead of time so that it’s harder to say no.

    3. Plan drinks ahead.

    If you’re going to a party and know that you’re a social drinker, bring a kombucha or a yummy seltzer water so that you have something tasty to drink while others are consuming beer and cocktails.

    4. Plan snacks ahead.

    With so many pop-up restaurants and food trucks and beautiful new bars and rooftop patios to explore, it can become quite hard to maintain a healthy diet. Stay on track by bringing nuts and dried fruit to eat so that you’re not starving when you arrive, and then you can enjoy a yummy appetizer (one!) without remorse.

    5. Go green.

    With so many delicious smelling summer food options, it can become challenging to remember to eat green. Start off your morning right with a green smoothie. You can buy a bullet blender on Amazon to blend up your morning green drink. My favorite combination is a blend of protein powder, mixed with two handfuls of frozen kale, frozen berries, turmeric powder, peppercorn, one ripe banana (or a frozen one cut in half if they’re about to go bad), a tablespoon of peanut butter, flax seeds Maca powder, a handful of ice cubes, and water. TRY IT!

    6. Make time for you.

    And lastly, set aside the time for yourself in the morning for your morning rituals. My top two include writing in my prayer journal, and reading for 30 minutes every morning. There’s nothing more important to me than starting my morning off grounded and intellectually curious. Do whatever it takes to take care of you. Seclude yourself in your room while you take time for myself, and then come out and join people when you’re ready.

    What ways are you making plans to face your summertime challenges head on? Hit REPLY and let me know what works for you.

    To summer,