Life will keep providing you with the lesson until it teaches you what you need to learn

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I have made the move to the beautiful island paradise of Bali.  I live here now.  And count my blessings every day. I love it here so so much.   What inspired the big move?   I was too busy. My life was too busy. I am very passionate person and have a tendency to want to do everything all at once, all the time, always!   I love my life, I love my work, I love my hobbies.   But doing too much leads to burn out.


I lived in Perth Australia for seven years, practicing as a Naturopath for the last two of those.  By the end of those two years my business had grown amazingly and I was very busy.   Awesome first world problem to have.   But I got burnt out.  It got to that point of wake up, mind instantly alert “what is on today?” “where do I have to be?” “have I prepared everything I needed to?”   (I was also studying concurrently).   I would go full throttle until I crashed into bed 14 hours later. Sleep. Repeat.


So I quit.   I threw a “Kirsten Quits Being a Grown Up” party and took off travelling to Kirsten Quits Being a Grown Up Party - smallAsia.   Two months of sleep, surf, eat, repeat in Sri Lanka helped me big time in restoring me to my vibrant self.   Some stuff in between.  Then a month of bliss as a yogi-surf bum in Bali.   My Yoga Teacher Training filled the month after that.   And now I am two months into working again.  And I am being provided with the same lesson.  I’m too busy.


Your “problems” will follow you until you acknowledge, address, and resolve them.  No matter where you move to.


So I am addressing it.  My strong desire to achieve that work–life balance is the driver.


If this sounds a little familiar to you and your life I am going to share with you some of the things I am doing, as well as things I am still working on.


  • I have turned off all notifications on my phone.Notifications Facebook - small

No more email pings going off every few minutes.   No more Messenger alerts.  No more Facebook notifications.   No. More. Demanding. Red. Alert. Buttons.

I now log into my email/messenger/Facebook when I have the time to devote to them. This way they do not rob me of my present, and when I do sit down to them I am more focused, therefore more productive.   I get through them a lot more efficiently.  And I feel so free!


  • My phone is on flight mode at night

Flight Mode - smallI have actually done this for ages as it also stops the wi-fi connection, less emitting stuff.   Your alarm will still go off if you need it in the morning, but your beauty sleep won’t be interrupted by messages in the middle of the night.



  • Make lists

I set aside “computer time” to get jobs done.   Before I begin I make a list of what I would like to achieve.   I love writing this out, old fashioned pen and paper. Something very therapeutic about crossing a completed job off your list.   And if I have done a job that wasn’t on there I will even write it on, and then cross it off!   To Do List - hand  - small


  • Take breaks.

Listen to your body.   Combing my knowledge as a Yoga Instructor and a Naturopath I will often advise my clients to set a little timer and takes breaks.   I am mostly referring to computer time, but it could be applied to any job that you are working through.   1.5 hours on the computer, break for a bit of “Legs Against the Wall Pose”, then you can come back for another 1.5 hours, and so on…

The little break will rest the brain a bit, clear it out even, ground you, and you will be more productive when you return to what you were doing.   You only need a couple minutes and the results will save you hours.


  • Streamline

One of the things that took up a lot of my time, and stressed me out, was organizing my bookings.  Lots of emails/phone calls/texts back and forth scheduling appointments, collecting payments etc.

So I streamlined the process.   I found a lovely and very smart website designer. One of the major things I wanted from my website (after it looking pretty ;-0 ) was a way to enable all my bookings to made online.   He set me up with Acuity Scheduling.  This links into my calender.  I can now direct clients to my website, they choose what they wish to book in for and what time and dates suit them best, this takes them through to payment, they then receive a confirmation email with the time and date. They also receive my intake forms, background health questionnaire, and cancellation policy.  Two days before they also receive a reminder about their upcoming appointment.   All automated.

Sssssuch a time saver for me. I feel we both win.


  • Set boundaries.

Still working on this one.   I run my own business. And I absolutely love it.   Another blessing I am grateful for, connecting my passions with my career.   When running your own business it is very easy to be “on” all the time though.


I have set up an automated response on my email, it acknowledges the sender that I have received their message. It also explains my desire to keep my work life and private life separate.   So I list my usual Urban Remedies work hours and let them know that I will endeavor to answer their email during these times.   It’s upfront, they feel heard (hopefully), and they know when they may expect a response from me instead of being left hanging.

I need to respect this line myself if I want others to do the same.   So even if I have a spare half an hour on a Sunday where I could reply, I don’t.   I wait until that time I have set aside and advised about, and respond then.   Takes some willpower!


  • Be upfront about your boundaries

I love to be as open and honest about everything in my life as possible.  If you show up with openness and authenticity it invites others to do the same.  It’s also nice to know where you both stand.

A big thing for Naturopaths is that we have a tendency to give too much.  For me it probably stems from my “need to be needed”.

I receive a lot of emails asking for health advice, both from non-clients as well as current clients.   Naturopathy is part of my work. And I need to respect and value my work as well as my time doing it if I want others to do the same.

I have put on my website that I offer short 15 minute “Q&A” Sessions available to current clients should they have any questions between consults.   I have also said that some of these questions can be answered by email, same rates apply.   Doesn’t seem to have been as effective as I would have liked.  Questions still coming, and even replying with the explanation to each individual one is taking up more of my time than I would like…so I might add it into that auto response too…?   Still learning, still growing…. Open to suggestions…how might you like to be advised of this? 😉


  • Don’t over commit

It is totally okay to say no every now and then.  And you don’t need to apologise for it.   Or explain it.

Work wise and personal life wise.  Busy Calender - small

My business has grown pretty rapidly in just two months and I am already having to turn work offers down.  Again, pretty fortunate First World Problem to have.   I put the effort in to achieve this, now just need to learn the best way to manage it.

My social life is also buzzing.   I love it. I love the awesome community vibe we have here in Canggu, it is so amazing. But I have become aware that I am back in that state of wake up, mental run through of where I need to be for the day, what I need to do, who I need to see and so on…

No time for down time.   Which I really, really need being the go-go-go personality type I am.


  • Keep at least one day per week completely free from commitments.

Block it out in your calender if you need to.  Then when you wake up in the morning tune into your body and what it wants to do with the day.   It might still be catching up with friends, it might not.   It gives you back the freedom of how you choose to spend your time.

If you’re quite driven like me, realllllly resist that urge to do anything work related.  Takes practice.


Take home message for the day.   If there is recurring theme problem in your life, ie for me that “busy-ness”, acknowledge it, take a step back to look at it, and then begin actions to resolve it.


Otherwise the wonderful teacher of life will keep providing you with the lesson.  Over and over.  In a variety of different ways.  Until you learn what you need to know.

Generous Hands - small


If you have any little awesome habits you include in your life to maintain that work life balance,  I would llllllove to hear them.  Then we can share.  And I love to share.   Sharing is caring after all.  🙂

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Kirsten Swales

Director and Naturopath at Urban Remedies
Kirsten is a qualified Naturopath, Nutritionist, Medical Herbalist and Yoga Instructor passionate about health. Kirsten loves to help people from all over the world so she is now operating as an Online Naturopath and consultant. It makes her incredibly happy to share her knowledge and help her clients to do all the nourishing things necessary for themselves. Kirsten's areas of expertise include all things Digestive System, such as SIBO, (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth), IBS, Bloating, Food Intolerances, Crohns, Celiacs, Candida and Parasites. Bookings can be scheduled through her website (including a complimentary 30 minute Discovery Call).

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