It’s very easy to allow sleep to lack, but we need to get our rest. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Do not work in your PJs. Get dressed so you don’t feel way too relaxed. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Counteract negativity and feed your brain positive things. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Hi, you’re listening to and watching The Business of Being a Virtual Assistant. I’m your host, Tiffany Parson, and this is episode number 101. I have got my notes with me today because I want to talk about five ways that we can care for ourselves while working our business.
It’s very easy to let some things go when you have to be at your desk, you have to be focused, and you’re really loving what you do and you’re so engulfed into it that sometimes we miss what’s going on around us or in us.
Self-care is the topic for today.
Now, this past week, I went to the doctor, got a physical. It has been a while since I just went to, you know, a primary care physician to get a physical. Actually, she’s an internist. As I’m sitting in the waiting area, I just start to feel really good about myself because just coming to this appointment I’m taking care of myself, and I know it’s been forever since I had a checkup.
Now, I go to see my lady doctor every year, you know, we don’t have a choice in that one. But to go and just get a physical, it’s like I kept putting it off, putting it off, putting it off. Well, finally did it and I just even, like I said, even in the waiting room and just telling you now, I felt really, really good that I was taking care of myself.
It has been – I’m on the ninth year of working in my VA business full-time and so I am in the house a lot. I’m at my computer a lot and, you know, I wouldn’t change any of that for the world. But I realize that it’s time that I take better care of myself and thought, hey, I’m going to go on the podcast and talk about it because my fellow VA business owners may be feeling this way or realizing, okay, I’ve got to change some things. It doesn’t matter if you’re working your business full-time or part-time, the same thing happens.
Now, let me paint a picture for you. When I first started, you guys know, if you’ve been watching and listening to the podcast, you know I started my VA business, I was working a full-time job as a contractor and then I did client work part-time. I would submit my proposals starting on Thursday into Friday and then I liked to do my work starting Friday, Saturday, Sunday and to kind of get things wrapped up. Of course, you know, that’s the ideal picture that I had. Things didn’t always work that way. So a lot of times, I missed some things in caring for myself and that has spilled over into now.
Namely, one of the things that it’s very easy to miss – and you know what? When I put my notebook down, I totally lost my spot, and I have five things to help us. There we go. Okay, let me just mark my page. There we go. Anyway, there’s some things that I didn’t do because I was overworking myself. So we’re going to talk about that.
1) The first thing that comes to mind is sleep.
If you’re doing your virtual assistant business part-time in addition to your full-time job, it’s very easy to allow sleep to lack, because maybe you get home by 6:00. You have dinner, you spend time with your family, and now you’re back at it on your computer working way into the night. Is that you?
Now, how long do you think that could go on? I have been there. I can remember doing a transcription and I had a deadline. Oh, it was tight deadline. I stayed up all night long trying to do this transcription. You can only imagine what it looked like because to try and do something around the clock and not sleep, you’re not listening. You can’t hear. You’re not, I mean, a hot mess. Can we say hot mess?
I can remember that next morning, like I said, I didn’t get any sleep, so I called out from work. I called out, you know, sick so I could finish and get it done. Even doing that, I still wasn’t done with this doggone thing. Part of it was I set such a tight deadline for myself and they did have to have it back by a certain time. But I also had other projects in the mix of that, plus my full-time job. Sleep got in the way, in my mind, so I neglected it. But it did not make me better because I was not getting my rest. It made things worse.
Number one, regarding self-care, we need to get our rest. I’m not going to tell you how many hours you need to sleep. You know what you need, and you know that it definitely is not being awake around the clock.
2) Going with sleeping is eating.
This is one of my issues that I’m working on right now and that’s eating. I will push off eating. If I have in my mind a set thing that I want to do, oh, I want to get this done first thing, then my focus is on getting that thing done. It’s not necessarily focused on breakfast. I’m just like, oh, breakfast will be my reward for getting my thing done. I know that’s silly. That’s not how it should be. I need to eat breakfast so I can have the energy to do the thing that I need to do or I’m excited to do.
But this is actually what happens, and I will treat my food as the reward instead of getting what I need and then doing my work. Are you like me and pushing back your meals? “I’ll get it in a second, in a second, one more thing, one more thing.” Next thing you know, breakfast has now turned into lunch. Maybe you need a snack. Could grab an orange, a yogurt, or whatever, but you push it off, push it off, push it off, and now snack time has turned into dinnertime and you realize you’re skipping meals.
We’ve got to eat. We’ve got to get our three meals in, especially if you’re a full-time virtual assistant.
The time goes by so fast when we’re not in an office with anybody. It goes by really, really fast. So we have to make sure, set alarms. I looked to see if my phone was nearby, but I’m recording on my phone, so I was going to pick it up. Set alarms on your phone, on your computer, wherever you need to as a reminder. Not just set it, because I have set alarms and then turned it off and be like, oh, one more thing. No, it goes off. Get up right then. Grab you a snack, if it’s time to eat your lunch, whatever it is.
Here’s the other thing. For years I’ve been like, oh, I need a lunch lady. I wish somebody would ring my doorbell right at lunch and just say, “Here. Here’s your lunch,” and I don’t have to think about it and that’s all set. We’ll I found a place locally that they don’t deliver the meals, but they cook it and put it in a little nice container and all that stuff for you and all you have to do is pick it up at the beginning of the week.
I’m testing it out this week. I sent in my order. They send you a menu every week and then you pick what you want from that menu and then you pick up your meal on Mondays after 11:00. This is going to be my first week testing it out. I’m so excited. I can’t wait to see how this goes. Because I know if I have the food already there, I don’t have to think about what I want, I don’t have to cook it, all I have to do is heat it up, I will eat it.
The way I know this is because if I have leftovers, I will eat the leftovers when it’s lunchtime. But if I don’t have any leftovers, if I’ve got to figure it out from zero, then it makes it even easier to push back, push back because I can’t figure out what I want to eat. Who wants to think about that? Anyway, I figured it out. I’m excited about it. We’ll see how that goes.
But I’ve got to figure out dinner as well. I’m trying to find a place that will do like family style meals that you can order ahead of time and they’re in like, you know, maybe like casserole containers and then, you know, the family – maybe I heat it up and then the family can grab what they want and we’re done. I’m looking for something like that. Haven’t been able to find exactly what I’m looking for because I don’t want to divide it up into portions. I want it like a big ol’ family size.
Anyway, I’m going down this whole road, but eating. The whole point is to make sure you eat, whatever it takes for you. Maybe you don’t have this issue. Maybe you’re a great meal planner. You love recipes. You love to cook. That’s not your deal, so it might just be a matter of making sure you get up when you need to and grab your food.
All right, oh, side note on that, on working full-time and part-time and all this other stuff you’ve got going on. If the grocery store is like the last thing on your list, hey, there’s a thing called Shipt, and you can order your groceries from an app and they’ll deliver your groceries. Ah, I got to test them out too because they have my favorite grocery store, which is Publix. Even though I don’t like going grocery shopping, the times I’ve been in Publix, the people were always really friendly, so it became my favorite grocery store. But, anyway, you can shop from an app.
3) Okay, let’s see, we talked about sleeping, eating. What is another one? Exercise. Get moving.
Okay, I teach an exercise class every two weeks, and the reason why I teach is because I have to be there. I can’t not show up for my class. That automatically holds me accountable. I can’t not show up. I can’t be like, oh, I don’t feel like going to the gym today. I won’t go. I have to. I get paid to teach the class, so that keeps me accountable. I am adding on another location for where I teach. I’m teaching at a women’s gym. I’m working on teaching at a YMCA, and I felt myself getting lazy this week filling out all those forms.
When we work our own business, we’ve been doing it for so long, it makes us spoiled. Oh, I had to fill out the W-2 and the, no, W-4. I think it was W-4 and background check and something else. I mean, it was about 20 different forms I had to fill out, which is really just putting your name, address, social, whatever it was, and it just gave me a headache filling out all that paperwork.
Now, I still have to do a drug test and I have to go down to their human resources office to prove that I’m eligible to be employed in the United States. Y’all, I was like maybe I don’t want to teach at the Y because this is aggravating. Then, I had to catch myself. Okay, you’re being spoiled because you haven’t had to do this, so get it done once and it is done.
So exercise. Figure out how you’re going to get your exercise in there. It doesn’t have to be anything major. You don’t have to run marathons and all that stuff. Find something that you like. If it’s just walking around your neighborhood, going to Zumba, whatever it is, find something that you like and you know you’ll stick to. That will make it a whole lot better for exercise. I’m not saying any of this for weight loss or whatever. It’s really to care for ourselves so that we’re well all the way around and continue doing what we love in our businesses.
4) I haven’t really done them in order, I don’t think. This is maybe one you haven’t thought of: dressed, getting dressed.
Now, when you work from home, you know, you may have seen people advertise about working in your PJs. Do not work in your PJs. I can remember meeting a lady who was also a virtual assistant. Well, actually, she worked at a company, but she was able to work from home, once I kept talking to her and figured out, you know, how her thing worked. But she told me she loved working in her pajamas, and what she would do is get up in the morning, take a shower, and put on fresh pajamas and that would be her outfit for the day.
I am not comfortable wearing pajamas no matter if I’m taking a shower and then putting pajamas. I mean, it doesn’t matter. It makes me feel like what’s up, you know, and then I’m working like this all day because I’m in my PJs. That’s how you feel – relaxed. No, you know, you want to be alert. You want to have the energy. You want to be able to let things flow and your problem solving, and if you’re having to think of new ideas, whatever it is. But I don’t want to be so relaxed that I’m like all right, yeah, I can work on that project for you. You know, way too relaxed.
I encourage you to get dressed. Now, that doesn’t always mean you have to, you know, be dressed from head to toe. Half the time I am not wearing shoes. I don’t wear shoes in the house. Not because it’s a house rule, but because it’s weird. To me, it’s weird to walk around my house with shoes on so I don’t wear shoes in the house. In fact, I don’t have shoes on right now. [Laughs.] But I’m dressed. I just don’t have shoes on.
5) It has to do with your brain and that’s feeding your brain positive food.
Now, in the world we’re in right now, it’s easy to get caught up in the news. I enjoy, you know, scrolling on my phone, seeing what craziness has happened during the day or what have you. But it can easily get to be too much and we need to counteract some of that negativity and feed ourselves some positive things.
If you’re like me and you love reading the news, whether it’s Yahoo, CNN, New York Times, New York Post, wherever you get your news from, Fox News, wherever, YouTube, Facebook, change it up and start feeding yourself some positivity. That is self-care as well. All of those things.
We talking about sleeping, eating, exercise, getting dressed, and feeding your brain positive food. Those are five ways that we can care for ourselves.
Since we have to be in a focused position, whether it’s at home or at a coffee shop, wherever it is that you like to work, either way, you’re sitting and you’re focused. More than likely you’re not sitting ergonomically correct all the time. It’s most like down and focused, right?
Let’s take these five things and start caring for ourselves in a better way.
If you have some more to add to our list, let me know. I would love to hear from you over on my Facebook page. Facebook is my number one. You can also catch me on Twitter. I’ll get a notification about that. Those are my preferred ways for you to contact me. If you email me or LinkedIn, I’m going to direct you to Facebook to ask me your question. But I absolutely love to hear from you, and you can also comment on YouTube. I get notifications for that as well.
Thank you for watching and listening. Again, this is episode number 101. You take great care of you.
Thanks so much for tuning in. If you like what you heard, stay tuned. We’ll be back. Tell me what’s going on with you. Come on over the Facebook page: facebook.com/tiffanyparsonbiz, or if you prefer a little shorter message, come on over to Twitter: @tiffanydparson.
See you next time!