Remember: There is a "ME" in Time
We're all guilty of it. We plan our days and weeks so full that we neglect the one thing that makes it all possible: ourselves.
Pampering and rewarding yourself for all the things that you do for your clients, family, and friends doesn't have to be expensive or overly time-consuming. It does need to happen, though, so that you feel refreshed and avoid 'burn out'. Try one of these 'me time' activities:
1. Lock Yourself Away
It may sound strange, but physically removing yourself from others and spending time alone in another room just might be the escape you are needing. Whether it is in your office to read a book, the bathroom for a hot bath, or in your car for a drive, time alone and behind a door that cannot be entered gives you time to focus on you.
Just make sure that you're not doing anything work-related behind that locked door!
2. Relax Physically
If you have an entire day to pamper yourself, head to a local spa for the full treatment. If not, try going for a massage, manicure, pedicure, or facial treatment. All will leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed, and more in-tune with yourself.
Don't like the idea of a spa? Try creating an in-home spa feel by having a hot bath (complete with candles, of course), painting your nails, and doing a home facial. Less cost, but still so relaxing!
As an alternative, go for a walk or a bike ride. Physical activity gets those muscles moving and stretching, which makes you feel better, clears your head, and increases your energy levels.
3. Escape Reality
Over the past ten years, reality tv has seen a dramatic increase in viewership. It's not that surprising: you can watch other people's lives in action, determine what they should or should not do, and when they make mistakes (sometimes horrible ones), it doesn't affect you in the least. It's like a grown-up game of playing with dolls! Reality tv gives us the reality without the responsibility. So, give yourself that escape. Watch some tv. Go to a movie. Read a book.
Remove yourself from your current life, responsibilities, and stresses and be somewhere else, someone else for a few short hours.
4. Sit Quietly
Find a comfortable chair or couch somewhere, turn off the lights, close your eyes, and let your mind wander. Let it go wherever it wants to roam. This is your time.
If inclined, meditate. An easy meditation technique is to sit or lie on a couch. Breathe deeply, inhaling and exhaling. Starting from your toes, clench those muscles and hold them for ten seconds, breathing deeply while counting in your head. Release the muscles and continue working towards the top of your head. Then, once done the muscle contractions and releases, think of a place you'd like to be that is relaxing. What would you do there? What would it feel like? Can you feel the sun, the wind? Now, let your mind wander. Often, you'll find that you lose all track of your body, as it feels that you've sunk completely into the chair and are now one entity. It's incredibly relaxing, so ensure that if you fall asleep, it is safe to do so. Maybe blow out those candles before starting.
The majority of us starting our downward spiral into burn-out because we start burning the candle at both ends, thinking that more working and less sleeping will help us accomplish all the tasks on our To Do lists. Yes, we have more time at that moment, but we pay for it days or weeks later when we crash. You're smiling. We've all been there!
Thinking that we can 'catch up' on sleep later is a myth. The best way to feel well-rested, alert, and lively is to have regular sleep patterns. Going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning will make you feel so much better than being erratic and pressing the snooze button five times the next morning. Even if you schedule the time so that you're only getting six hours of sleep, if it occurs at the same time each night, it'll feel like you've slept a full eight.
There is a 'me' in time, so don't neglect yourself. You deserve to have the time and space to enjoy life, forget about responsibilities, and smell the proverbial roses.
And now, I'm off to take a dose of my own medicine. Have a great weekend, everyone! :)
Tanya Spilchak, Education Coordinator