What do you do when “at work” “at home” and “at school” all collide in your living room? Imagine managing that scenario in another country.
As you can imagine, COVID-19 wasn’t even a thought when I decided to embark on expat life with my daughter, but it surely gave the incentive to take the leap sooner than later.
Through trial by fire, I’ve stumbled on a few tips to keep the plates spinning on all fronts.
- First, are you organized? Going paperless should be your first step well before you hit the road.
- Second, how are your calendar management skills? Online tools have helped to lighten the load so that I get a little bit more sleep.
- Finally, do you have a support network? I’ve created a list of helpful resources for mompreneur expats to maintain your sanity.
Sometimes we find inspiration in the strangest, most unexpected places in life. Beethoven’s long, solitary walks in the forest were where some of his greatest musical masterpieces were composed in his mind. Frida Kahlo’s vivid expressions of her proud Mexican heritage, and its bold depictions of nature were inspired by time in her personal garden. While it’s wonderful to seek out an inspiring place for our own endeavors, it’s a little tough when you have eight million neighbors and live in a concrete jungle.
A little over a week ago, I attended a wellness retreat hosted by the women of Sisterhued at EVEN Hotels in Brooklyn. The event blessed me in many ways that day, but the most significant takeaway from that experience was what happened when this girl who is notorious for showing up on Caribbean time arrived early.
The Blessing Before the Breakdown
In the quiet moments before the event started, I had an opportunity to sit and chat with mindfulness expert Ananda Leeke and her niece. Always passionate about my journey with yoga, I shared with Ananda its influence on my life in the past year, spiritually and also physically. I’d adopted the practice on doctor’s recommendations to combat sudden chronic injuries, but the holistic benefits quickly eclipsed my physical transformation. Although it hadn’t been top of mind, I had forgotten that I started this process with a goal, and our conversation brought it all together.
With a laser-like clarity and accuracy, Ananda made an observation about where my practice was taking me. The feeling that came over me in the next few seconds? That is how you start off a wellness retreat: with intention. I’m still reflecting on that conversation days later and incorporating that intention into my work.
How Self-Care Makes for a Better Business Person
The entire day left me with a few observations about personal wellness and a few gems about one’s approach to business.
- There is a great benefit to showing up early. Those quiet moments before an event begins are an excellent opportunity to network and connect at an unhurried pace. It also gives early bird attendees the time to find their groove and maybe even identify before the real fun begins.
- Self-care is so important to the well-rounded entrepreneur. You can’t burn it at both ends to build and sustain a business while neglecting your physical, mental and spiritual health. Your focus suffers, you won’t be able to serve clients with your best creative fruits, and your productivity might hit its lowest levels without you really figuring out why.
- Never underestimate the power of a good sister girlfriend to help you along the way. The most impactful part of the Sisterhued retreat wasn’t so much in what was said, but what wasn’t. Seeing these women share they ways in which they worked together as a team to manage multiple businesses while also maintaining busy households was the perfect prescription for attendees in the same boat. The message was clear: you can’t do it all alone, and even if you have one great friend, fellow entrepreneur and accountability partner, that little bit of support goes a long way.
It’s so easy to get caught up in deadlines and goals that we miss important opportunities to take care of ourselves as human beings. I look forward to seeing how the incorporation of these valuable lessons impacts me personally and professionally during these last few months of 2017.