It is a wonderful time to be alive. The weather has been beautiful, Taylor Swift has come down from the heavens to bless us with a new album, and my period tracker has been accurate to the day for three months in a row. And it’s in these moments I like to take a look around at my life and realise one thing.
I’m fucking exhausted.
From August 31st to September 27th, I did not have 1 free evening. I feel like I’m running from one place to the next trying to cram in a schedule that is often double booked. As music gets bigger and nothing else in my life gets smaller, I find myself using my mornings to send emails rather than eat breakfast. And in the windows I do get to sit down and rest, I feel guilty.
I told all this to my therapist 6 weeks ago. It’s not that I didn’t love all the individual things I was doing, but there was no space to breathe and as I looked ahead, I could only see myself getting more burnt out. I looked at my colour-coded Google calendar and saw all those dinners and work events and volunteer shifts lined up like rainbow dominoes, waiting for me to knock them down as day hit night and night hit day, over and over for two weeks.
It is in that moment, she suggested a simple, but beautiful solution. Book an evening with myself.
I coined them “mevenings” (for “me evenings”) and there were only two rules:
Productivity was not off the table; going grocery shopping, cleaning my bathroom, and working out have all been a part of a mevening. But more importantly, they couldn’t be work. I couldn’t spend the evening sending emails to booking agents and my producer and figuring out how the IRS works.
It sounds really stupid. Needing to schedule time, needing to put a block in my calendar where I’m essentially not allowed to see people. But I needed to. I was wearing myself thin and wasn’t willing to cave on any particular activity so I had simply caved on myself.
For 6 weeks now, I have scheduled mevenings into my week and here is the verdict: I am still stressed, I am still tired, but it is manageable. I have an agreement with myself, 6.5 days/week I give myself to my job, my music, my friends, my family, I simply get 0.5 days.
And I’ve used that time to paint my nails and do facemasks and watch movies, but I’ve also used it to go grocery shopping and clean my bathroom and sort receipts. I use the time to do whatever will relieve the most stress for me in that moment.
Mevenings are not a sophisticated concept, nor a new one. However, I’ve now made a fun word for them so I’m calling them my own thing. As much as the fall is full of family and fun and (for me) birthdays, it is also full of longer workdays and less sunlight. It is full of holiday weight and planning for the new year and looking back on the new years’ resolutions you are not going to accomplish this year. I’m a sucker for the fall but it can really kick you in the balls.
So I’m setting aside time for myself and I’m recommending you do the same. Take a mevening every now and then and here’s how I recommend you do it:
So, that’s how I’m staying on top of it all. I still get stressed, but that’s probably because Flo has set the date and she hasn’t been wrong for the past three months. I just think it’s important to take care of yourself, because how else are your going to be there for other people?
If the fall is wiping you out, honestly take a mevening. Pop a bottle of wine, or read a book, or get a head start on your taxes if that’s what floats your boat. Just don’t let me tell you what to do, it’s not my mevening.
From me, with love, to you,
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