Hey there Zen Organizers,
December is almost here, with all its craziness and stress. In addition to the past couple of months that were intense as well, I think we all deserve to take some time for ourselves during the coming month.
As you know, I’m a big fan of breaks, and I often talk about their importance to maintain our productivity and sanity (here and here). You know, it’s the zen part in “Zenly Organized.”
And I didn’t pick this name randomly. I really thought it through, and I came up with this idea because, to me, being organized should be a means to have more time for you and to live a more zen life.
I've always been an organized person. I started making packing lists when I was in elementary school. My wardrobe was color-coded. I’ve never ever had to spend sleepless nights studying for an exam or writing an essay due the next morning. No. My papers were always finished days before the due date. I always organized my study perfectly to have enough time to be prepared for each exam. I have an Excel spreadsheet containing all my outdoor gear with every item’s model and brand, weight, quantity, and price.
I think you see the point: I’m quite organized, and I have been for a long time.
However, being organized didn’t prevent me from being burned out at 17 years old.
I was very organized, but there were two main problems with my organization:
It had no purpose (I explore the lack of purpose of my organization system in this article and in my third podcast episode).
It didn’t contemplate the need for self-care.
During the years preceding my burnout – that is, all my teenage years – I didn’t take good care of myself. I was so focused on my studies, on being the best at everything, that I completely neglected my body and my mind. I was always anxious and stressed. I was constantly in my mind, thinking, thinking, thinking, and overthinking.
As mentioned above, I was super organized, and I had quite a lot of free time. But I didn’t use this free time to take care of myself or to do activities that fulfilled me.
Now, it might be because of my age at the time. Maybe I would be able to be more balanced today because I’m older and, hopefully, wiser and more mature.
However, when you think about it, how many adults are suffering from exhaustion, burnout, and depression? How many adults don’t take/make time for themselves?
Whatever our age, we have to make time in our busy schedules to do activities that relax us, recharge our batteries, and give us a feeling of fulfillment. Otherwise, we risk ending up like I did a few years back: completely exhausted.
So, because the past couple of months have been stressful, and because the holiday season is usually hectic, I’ve decided to prepare a Zen Challenge for the whole month of December. Every day, on Instagram and Facebook, I’ll share an activity idea you could do to take care of yourself. These activities will prompt you to move your body, to enrich your mind, to release your creative energy, to connect with people, to relax.
I hope this challenge will help you take the good habit of scheduling some time for yourself, ideally daily. And also to spend a less stressful holiday season.
Read a book
Do strength training
Apply a face mask
Make Christmas presents
Decorate your house
Listen to a podcast
Drink hot chocolate
Get a massage
Make Christmas cards
Get a good night’s sleep
Call a friend
Listen to your favorite songs
Hug a loved one
Watch a Christmas movie
Bake Christmas cookies
Do a digital detox
Do cardio training
Call your family
Declutter your house
Do a kind gesture
Have a game night
Drink a green smoothie
Start a Bullet Journal
Make a list of what you're grateful for
Make a vision board for 2021
Please share your self-care moments and activities using the hashtag #zendecemberchallenge and tag @zenlyorganized in your publications so we can share our Zen December together!
I wish you above all a zenly organized December,