Navigating the Artisan Market Season in Adelaide: A Guide to Managing Your Energy and Health
Hello fellow artisans and entrepreneurs, Lisa here, Charlie’s social media and marketing offsider.
It’s that time of the year again—artisan market season in Adelaide, South Australia. As local artisans, and entrepreneurs, we are gearing up for another busy season of creativity and commerce that runs from November through May. While it’s easy to get swept up in the whirlpool of activities, it’s crucial to manage our energy levels and overall health during this busy time.
Charlie and I have been bringing the diary up to date this week and talking about strategies that have worked over the past few years to keep LycanCo as bright in May as it is in November. We are also considering what we can implement this year to help manage our energy just that little bit better. As always, we are looking for that 1%. They add up over time.
Balance is Key: Ideas for Recharging
"You can't pour from an empty cup." Taking time to recharge should be on top of your priority list. Sure, there's always another order to fill, another piece to create, but without your health, none of this is possible. Here are some ideas and activities to include in your week to recharge effectively:
- Exercise: Even a 20-minute walk can make a difference. As the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates said, “Walking is man’s best medicine.”
- Yoga, Qigong or Stretching: Great for both physical and mental well-being. This form of movement meditation may be more achievable for the neurodiverse amongst us who find sitting meditation quite the challenge.
- Quality Sleep: Aim for at least 7-8 hours per night. Put those screens on dark and turn them off before bed, grab that book you have been meaning to read instead.
- Mindfulness Meditation: Helps in grounding your thoughts. Try movement meditation if sitting meditation is a challenge.
- Reading: Choose something light and unrelated to work. We love our e-readers, make sure you put the screen on dark.
- Digital Detox: Limit screen time for a few hours before bed. Listen to some music, grab that sketch pad, or write down your thoughts. Some media deprivation is a tried and true way to tap into your creativity.
- Connect with loved ones: A quick call or meet-up can uplift your mood, perhaps have a friend join you for a late lunch at your stall.
- Keep up with your morning pages: Emptying all those bothersome thoughts will conserve your energy.
- Engage in a hobby: Doing something you love can be therapeutic. Many of us have turned our hobbies into market stalls, so this might be a great time to revisit some neglected interests – how is that old keyboard under the bed? Give it a dust off.
- Healthy Eating: Plan meals that are rich in nutrients. We will be asking a lot of our body over the next seven months, it is only fair we give it the right fuel to do what we are asking of it.
- Hydration: Keep a water bottle handy at all times, we are 60% water, and our brains and hearts are 73% water!
- Snacks: Opt for healthy snacks like fruits or nuts between meals – boring but true.
- Keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum. An unpopular choice, particularly over the festive season, but it takes a lot of energy for your body to deal with the effects of your favourite tipple. Only you know what a better choice can be made for your energy use.
By incorporating some of these activities into your week, you're not just investing in downtime but also in your long-term productivity and health.
Mindfulness, Mental Health, and the Power of Community
In a season where you can feel overwhelmed and isolated, remember that humans are herd animals. Our well-being is intrinsically tied to our sense of community and belonging. Not only does a network offer emotional support, but it also impacts our mental and even physical health.
Why Community Matters
Numerous studies have shown that a strong sense of community and belonging can lead to better heart health, lower levels of stress, and even a longer lifespan. The emotional and mental benefits of feeling connected can also improve your resilience, making it easier to tackle the challenges that come with a busy artisan market season.
Use Your Network
Isolation is a real concern when you're running a one-person operation. Make it a point to talk to fellow artisans and take time to share tips or discuss challenges. The feeling of community can be uplifting and is an essential aspect of overall well-being. Have you ever noticed a change in your well-being when you're more connected to a community?
The Power of Breath
The connection between breath and your nervous system isn’t just spiritual mumbo-jumbo. Intentional breathing can activate your parasympathetic nervous system, the "rest and digest" mechanism that calms your body down. Practising even just a few minutes of deep breathing between vendor visits or before stepping onto the market ’stage’ can make a world of difference.
Whether it’s mindfulness practices or simply engaging in meaningful conversations with fellow artisans, staying mentally present can deepen your sense of community. Practising mindfulness techniques can enhance your awareness and appreciation for those around you, further strengthening your sense of belonging.
Incorporating mindfulness techniques and relying on your network are not just strategies to cope with stress; they are also ways to nourish your intrinsic need for community and belonging. In doing so, you're better equipped to manage the rigours of the artisan market season.
You love your work, but your work is not your whole life. Set clear boundaries for when the workday starts and ends. It's okay to say no to some opportunities to maintain your health and well-being.
Set boundaries for those activities you engage in that deplete your energy. Things like doom scrolling, one more episode of your current favourite series, or skipping taking the dog for a walk. Being firm with your boundaries with yourself is as important as the ones you set with other people. Honouring our boundaries is one of the things that create trust with ourselves and the people we share time with.
Planning is key
We spoke earlier about the importance of good nutrition. Good nutrition requires good planning, it doesn’t happen by accident. With so many amazing markets on offer in Adelaide, particularly over the summer season, it is not unusual to end up at two, or even three, markets in a weekend.
Without considered planning, how many times do you end up grabbing a pizza or a schnitzel pack Saturday and Sunday night because your feet and back are aching and you just don’t have it in you to repack the car and cook?
Cook your weekend meals during the week. Have at least a couple of meals that you can double the recipe and that will freeze well. Do meal prep containers and have them ready to go in the fridge so that it is easy for someone in the house to throw together a quick and nutritious stir fry. Mmmm - noodles.
Make sure the washing is all done and your clothes for the weekend are at hand. Delegate some of those household chores or think about getting a cleaner in fortnightly. And does the lawn need to be mowed as often as you would like? Let those weedy little lawn flowers bloom for a bit longer - call it bee habitat if that helps you make your peace with that decision.
Celebrate the Small Wins
Celebrate that sale, the satisfied customer, getting through a three market weekend. The cumulative effect of these small wins can offer you the emotional and mental boost you need to make it through the season. It might be a bit much to send up party flares with every win, but a quiet nod to yourself acknowledging your achievement will set up the reward cycle our brains love so much and help keep us taking the next right step.
Plan to take a few weeks off at the end of the market season too. If possible, put a little aside each week to help you spend that time off somewhere nice. Having something to look forward to will be invaluable come March when the tank can start to feel a little empty. When you come back from your break, then you can take some time to review the season and plan for the tweaks you need to make to ensure the next season is just that little bit better.
Feel free to share your thoughts and tips. Let’s help each other make the most out of this artisan market season while staying healthy and joyful about our artisan endeavours.