When things don’t go as planned, it’s easy to feel like you’re out of control. But there are ways to bounce back from setbacks. In this series, we’ll show you how to step by step. Welcome to Step 4!
If I’ve learned anything from my seasons of setbacks it’s this:
Self-neglect while in pursuit of your purpose is not necessary or cute. Full stop.
Now what? 🤷🏾♀️
We need to adopt the habit of practicing and prioritizing self-care lest we seep back into the depths of burnout that likely led to the setback season in the first damn place.
Rest, Reset, RELOAD is how we maintain consistent and steady personal and professional growth.
👉🏾 You have a “Growth Mindset” now!
👉🏾 Your fire is lit!
👉🏾 Your routines are set!
One could say you are ready to crush every goal you set in Step 2 of this process, but what happens when you let this newfound sense of drive and momentum go unchecked?
You’re probably thinking “SUCCESS!” right?
Possibly…BUT this is the moment to reflect. Relentless ambition sounds real attractive and trendy at first, but you know better.
Especially when you’re recovering from a season of burnout and depression. The best thing you can do for yourself now that you’re on track again is weave SELF-FRIGGIN-CARE into the fabric of your life and career.
That’s why the fourth and final step (I took) in the 4R’s to Bouncing Back From a Setback is:
Rest, Reset, RELOAD!
I remembered how awesome and liberating it felt when I was making Saturdays my non-negotiable self-care day.
Somewhere along the way we get real lax with the “non-negotiable” part. Before we know it, there’s no time to recharge our batteries. We’re roaming around like Teslas with no charging stations!
We have to be intentional about scheduling rest just like we’re intentional about scheduling our work.
When I think about how I reconnected with that aspect of my former routine, I realized there were 3 ways I rested, reset, and reloaded:
- Weekly Self-care Days
- Digital Detox Days
- Silent Days/ Retreats
Let me explain:
Part of bouncing back is establishing harmony between the hustle and grind of your day-to-day. Those breaks aren’t going to take themselves. The problem with us ambitious goal-getters is that we get all turned on by stories of successful people who allegedly never sleep and work crazy hours to achieve the highest levels of success. We think that’s how it’s done until we try it and epically fail.
“Self-care and Sloth are NOT the same.”
If we continue to glorify this toxic hustle culture that’s leading to record highs of anxiety and depression, we’re going to miss the real beauty of what our life could look like.
Establishing one self-care day a week can make a huge difference in our quality of life. I remember a while ago recommending this to one of my clients and she looked at me stunned and damn near gasped. It was as if she felt on a visceral level that if she took an entire day off each week to be just a little selfish, the entire world would cease to spin!
I wish I was exaggerating.
We’ve been conditioned to live to work, instead of working to live and we wonder why those seasons of chronic stress creep in when we least expect it. The body (and mind) keeps every score. Remember that.
Designating a day a month for a digital detox can heal unseen wounds we didn’t even know we had! We all are developing an unhealthy relationship with technology and social media, whether we want to admit it or not. It’s time to take a day each month and banish all technology. I’m devastated to admit that when I was marinating in my season of setbacks, I binged GOT, Person of Interest, Scandal…all types of shows. This was the behavior of someone who had gone damn near 6 years without watching TV!
Now that was Sloth…one of the seven deadly sins and I was ashamed. Cal Newport came creeping back in my ear telling me to take back control!
There was one other way that felt radical and foreign, but definitely helped me reload and that was scheduling periodic days of complete silence. Nothing in. Nothing out. Have you ever tried it? I’m talking in complete silence. The only thing you can hear, the only content you can consume is God’s whisper. When I tell you this is true euphoria… Honestly, I’m overdue for one
“Sitting in silence is the secret to experiencing the essence of your soul.”
Now, scheduling weekly self-care moments, monthly digital detoxes, and quarterly silent retreats may sound like a recipe for sinking back into slumber, I assure you it’s the opposite that happens for me. I come back feeling energized, clear, and ready to take on the world.
If you’re reading all of this and you’re like my client, you can’t even imagine how to even begin implementing all these forms of self-care, don’t worry. I’ll share with you the way I approached it as a basis and you can tweak it to suit your needs.
Here’s a mini Selfish Guide to Self-Care Days:
- Write a list of things you’ve been dying to do or try and call it your Self-Care Bucket List.
- Delegate, delegate, delegate all the household tasks you’d normally take care of.
- Give yourself permission to indulge in at least one guilty pleasure.
- Permission to do NOTHING granted.
It’s not really rocket science. Just start here. If you’re lost, read books on self-care to get you started.
When it comes to scheduling digital detox days, I approached this by removing the following for a 24-hour period:
🎙🔌 Digital Learning Tools
I replaced all of these with physical books, journals, long walks, and actual for real “IRL” conversations! It was glorious.
And you know me! I turned my S.I.L.E.N.T. Day into an acronym! Something you can remember and start with if you don’t know what you’d do during your day of silence. S.I.L.E.N.T. stands for:
Sit still and alone
Invite God to speak (assuming you believe)
Listen. Don’t talk.
Empty your mind of past and future thoughts. Focus on the present.
Notice thoughts that are harder to release. Acknowledge them. Don’t fight.
Take a walk in nature and let your environment speak to you.
Feel free to adopt whatever feels right to you. These are just suggestions, but ultimately you have to define what it means to rest, reset, and reload. I’m sharing these hacks with you as inspiration, but you are encouraged to design a self-care system that will match your personality, passions, and purpose. I can teach you how in Module 5: Uplevel Your Systems in my CONQUER Your Chaos Crash Course.
I hope reading all these steps of the 4R’s framework has helped you in some way learn to combat those seasons of chaos from which none of us are immune. The goal with this series was to give you something real and tangible. No fluff. No theory. Just things I’ve actually done and recommended to others that have worked! How you choose to implement what I touched on will be entirely up to you. If you need help CONQUERing your Chaos and reclaiming your T.E.A. that’s what the course is for.
I’m ready when you are…
“Are you ready to fully embrace this fourth “R” of the 4R’s to Bouncing Back Framework?”
I’m not going to say that it will be easy to implement all of these steps. It won’t! If it were easy, I wouldn’t even have bothered to share it. We are not expected, nor is it recommended to do this alone. As I’ve stated before, if you are not in the position to hire a Productivity Coach, then find a reliable accountability partner that will commit to accompanying you on this self-improvement journey. We win together, not solo.
Here are the last 7 journal prompts you can write about for the next week to jumpstart your rest, reset, and reload process:
- What does self-care really mean to me? (If you think it’s a bunch of woo woo bullshit, write that! Be honest.)
- What are some activities I’d enjoy doing for myself, by myself? (If you want, you can also include some activities you’d do with family and friends that could be fun and stress-free. )
- If I had to go 24 hours without any form of technology, how would I spend my time? (Think long and hard about this. It’s not as easy as it sounds.)
- What are my thoughts on “being selfish”? (Unpack this.)
- If I had to be silent for a day, no content consumption and no speaking, how would I spend my time? (Do you think you’d even be able to do it? Describe what the day would entail.)
- What obstacles or challenges do you think you’ll face by establishing a self-care system? (This is a great question to ask yourself so you can then address how you plan to overcome it should the challenge actually arise. I call it a preemptive strike!)
- How has this series changed your perspective on seasons of setbacks and chaos? (Assuming you’ve read or listened to all 4 parts.)
Just add these journal prompts to your daily journaling practice (if you have one) and be honest with yourself.
Please keep in mind, I am just sharing some of the things I did to get through difficult times. I am not a licensed therapist and these tips are for educational purposes only. Consult with a therapist if you need to and remember, you are not alone. Even the best of us experience seasons of sadness and stagnation. It’s what we do to emerge from those seasons that help pave our path back to the center.
If you’re in a season of setbacks right now, check out my previous article “How to Bounce Back From a Setback: Step 3: Re-establish Routines”
Don’t forget to grab your free RELOAD Cheatsheet! Get it here