Happy Spring! Can you believe it's April already? And can you believe another season is about to begin!?! I can’t handle how fast this year is going. You know they tell you about this when you’re a kid, warn you that the older you get the quicker time flies but did you believe them? Yeah, me either. Oh, to be a kid again and not wish those beautiful care-free years away! LOL BUT HEY... We're adulting over here and if you ask me we are crushing it. We started the year out strong discussing our physical and emotional health and I think it's important to spend time on mental health too. Let me know what topics you'd like me to share more about, my loves, this is your space too.
First up, FOCUS: Can I get some more of that?
Anyone remember my season 23 partner James Hinchcliffe and I? (Cue Team stopandgo feels!!) We would joke about being A.D.D... we would say that it stood for Attention Deficit ... OOO SHINY!!! Yup, it’s an affectionate joke but for me, there is also truth to it. My mental focus can sometimes (a lot of the time) need improvement. I have so many moving parts to my life, my work, my passion projects and trying to keep up with friends and family that I find if I’m not focused, I’ll be in the middle of something and thinking about another thing entirely, and when this is the case, nothing gets done properly. However, I realized something, Ain’t nobody building an empire if you can’t stay focused on building it!! I had to do a lot of work to change my scatty, go with the flow, its all good nature and really push my focus stamina further to meet each challenge.
This is the work of mindfulness, control of mind, commitment and engagement. There is a lot we can accomplish if we can just manage to stay focused. A strong mental focus is key in meeting our goals, whether it's homework, work, relationships or our health. It ain’t easy, it takes persistence and changing little things about your day, your sleeping pattern, your eating habits, your mental thought process... it all takes time. I now realize how much the focus I have on stage is needed in all areas of my life.
So with that said, here are my tips and tricks that help me *focus* when I need to.
SLEEP- Hear me out, this is important.
Stay well-rested. Sleep is so important for your mind and your body. Trust me, nothing will distract you more than being tired. Sleep after midnight is proven less affective than the sleep hours before midnight... All my insomniacs out there, I hear ya, but it’s the truth that, early to bed and early to rise, makes a Woman healthy, wealthy, and wise. Try and train yourself to be in bed a few hours before midnight, turn the lights off, put your phone down, put on some sleep music, try to meditate or if that doesn’t work, put your mind on your goals and visualize how it feels to accomplish them. Also...see my insomnia blog for more help on this one.
HANGRY- It’s a real thing, just ask my DWTS partners LOL
I can’t say this enough, but don't skip meals and stay hydrated!! Hunger and thirst is just as much an issue with focus as your lack of sleep is. Take it from me, Ariel can turn into Ursula pretty dang quick if I don’t feed her (was that weird in the 3rd person ... lol) Hunger makes the mind wander off your goal and straight to your Postmates app. The issue for me with this is (and maybe you agree) the hungrier I let myself get the greasier my cravings become. Before I know it, the only thing I want is a juicy burger and fries. Now, we all know that greasy, heavy foods will sooner smack you into a food coma before they spark up your mental focus. Don't give in, pack some nuts & seeds, fruits or an all natural power bar to get you through the tough times and avoid your hangry self coming out to ruin the mood. Also... see my snack blog & stay always stay hydrated with water.
COMPARTMENTALIZE - One thing at a time
Here’s a fun fact, Multi-tasking rarely is as effective as you think it is. Now I understand, In some situations its inevitable, and some days there can be curveballs, to all the moms out there, MAJOR RESPECT!! However, aside from those curveballs, not everything is always as urgent as you make it out to be. Compartmentalizing is a big factor in how I make my life work, believe me, the stuff you have on your plate will still be there after you’re done with the task at hand. So, I learned to purposefully (and usually the day before) plan my day and allocate time slots for the things I need to do by importance. By creating a schedule for everything I need to handle, I keep myself on track. I even run my rehearsals that way... we have “X” amount of time to learn this combo and then no matter what, we move on. I find I’m much more efficient this way.
This even goes for dealing with emotional hardships, work days just fall flat if you’re wallowing in your heart break with James Bay on repeat and "trying" to handle business. Next thing you know you’re crying to the server in Starbucks while ordering your latte. (This may or may not have happened to me...) Honor your heart with allowing yourself your me time to fully feel it and work through it, but don’t let it run your life. Be a boss, map it out, and deal with one thing at a time. Let yourself believe In your plan and put all your effort into sticking with it. After all, creating plan and goal may be just the distraction you need from heartbreak.
We may not have a choice about where our environment is at any given time but making the most of it is up to us. Can you choose a quiet and relaxing place? Burn candles? play music you like? Work outside or open windows for fresh air? Or my personal fave, plug in your headphones and play a motivating playlist that drowns out the noise. Sometimes my favorite place to write, read, work or find inspiration is in a busy public place with my headphones on. There’s something about the chaos around me that I can see but can’t hear that is oddly calming. It’s like I feel the buzzing energy around me, but Im not distracted by it, i can stay focused on my own work. I’m weird, I know, but honor your weirdness. Make your environment a comfortable place to be and you will find your focus grows.
This seems obvious, but here’s the thing...we all self sabotage a little. So... when you’re focusing on eating healthier, don’t keep junk food in the house. When you’re focusing on going to bed earlier, don’t search the movie channel at 10:30pm. If you’re focusing on meeting a work deadline, don’t say yes to social occasions until you do, and if your focusing on moving forward with your life... stop focusing on the past. Temptation lies in all matters of life, career, your heart and the fridge. Don’t give in! There’s no temptation that feels better than winning at life, achieving your goals and surprising yourself with how much of a total bad ass you are. You can accomplish any goal with enough focus, hard work and consistency. YOU can.
All my love,