Among the hustle and bustle, a common theme I've noticed is people are stretched too thin. We rip and run, here and there... and find ourselves completely worn down! Our off days are just as full as our work days... and we eventually and unintentionally sacrifice valuable "personal time".
A mentor recently asked what I'm doing for myself in the midst of doing for others. It was a very striking question that honestly caused me to pause. I can definitely do better in this area, but wanted to share a few simple tips to kick-start your "personal time"!
1) Dedicate "quiet time" daily.
It is best to develop a routine, so decide if your time will be in the morning, afternoon, evening, or night. Most days, my time is when I first awake and Cailey is still asleep. If I happen to miss this time, I am sure to turn off the Steve Harvey Morning Show during my work commute (after carpool) and utilize this time.
I know the notion may be completely foreign to some, and you may be wondering what happens during "quiet time". Answer: prayer, meditation, reflection, and/or stating positive affirmations over your day!
2) Schedule "fun time" monthly.
I am a huge movie buff, so my "fun time" typically involves going to the movies or picking up a movie from the redbox to enjoy. Note: Your "fun time" does not always have to include friends or a spouse, but this can absolutely be enjoyed alone as a little treat to yourself. A good movie is one suggestion, but you could also go out to eat, see a play, visit a museum, shop, or many other activities.
3) Plan "wellness time" weekly.
Ouch! This is the one that I have to constantly remind myself of... although an elliptical machine is staring at me as I type lol. But on a weekly basis, we should all ensure we have "wellness time" that incorporates exercise or movement. If you're not into P90X, you could also walk, jog, run, or participate in a group class. If you don't want to leave home, turn on YouTube or a fitness channel or you could even walk around (inside or outside) your home.
4) Have "getaway time" quarterly.
Go and get away from the mundane, predictable occurrences that happen everyday! If you're short on time and/or funds, make it a simple weekend trip to a location close enough to drive. There isn't a competition with social media vacation pictures, but this is about a change of scenery to breathe.
Last Fall the trio (mom, Cailey, and I) had just as much fun at Orange Beach in Alabama as we did at Clearwater Beach in Florida earlier that Spring. Aim to do this quarterly, so that it realistically happens at least semi-annually. If you only plan for an annual getaway, it might be years between vacations... which is just nuts to do to yourself!
5) Take "relaxation time" daily.
The verb used is take, because "relaxation time" is especially difficult for givers (by nature), hard workers, single parents, maternal beings (male or female), caregivers, mentors, and/or volunteers. I was recently called a busy body, because after a church event I couldn't sit down and relax as everyone else. I kept finding the smallest things to do to clean or organize. Finally a sister said, sit down!!!
Relaxation can be a massage, mani/pedi, soft music, 5 minutes of cucumbers over your eyes, a warm bath, reading on the patio on a beautiful day, or inhaling aromatherapy candles.
REMEMBER... if we continue to pour out, do this/that, and go here/there, but never stop to refuel ourselves... we will soon burn out or break down. Listen to your body, because it usually gives warnings. I hope that you will make time for some of the items listed above and EXHALE!
Have you created regular steps to exhale? I'd love to hear your tips!
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