We work hard to reach our goals. 2022 has been no exception to pushing that envelope. Many of us are working even harder than we ever have before just to keep our businesses running smoothly and try and get ahead. As a result, the first thing that goes out the window is taking time out for ourselves.
Trust me, I know all about the work/life balance and how it can easily teeter off track. Working from home blurs those lines even further, making it easier to just “pop back into the office” for some more work at 8pm. Before you know it, you have not taken a day off in 3 months.
If you are feeling overworked or maybe on the verge of burning out, it is time for extended selfcare. With vacation destinations open again, you can truly unplug and give yourself the attention and the space that you have been missing. Take a week off! If you cannot take an entire week off, think about starting with a half-day on Friday and into the weekend. YOU deserve it!
Are you shaking your head while reading this, saying to yourself, “there’s no way I can take a vacation, I’m too busy?” If so, here are some tips to help you create down time from the work.
1. Unplug from the internet for a bit! That’s right- stop answering the phone, emails, and texts all hours of the day and night and give yourself time to recharge your batteries. Putting your phone on silent is a great way to make that happen. If you absolutely must check your email or your messages, set a time once or twice a day to do it, so you can make sure you actually give yourself some time away from work.
2. Schedule some “me" time. Taking care of ourselves is usually the last thing on our lists. Now is the time to make YOU a priority. Don’t panic when you suddenly make time to do something other than work. It feels a little weird at first. Here are few ideas to get you started:
a. Schedule a massage (assuming you are comfortable with this).
b. Find a new virtual yoga class.
c. Explore a new hiking trail or walking path.
d. Book a night at a fancy hotel and order takeout.
e. Fill in the blank ____________. What would you do with your free time?
3. Take a road trip! This is the perfect time of year to take a road trip. There are plenty of scenic byways and highways to make it enjoyable. You can even plot of places to stop along the way for food or other activities.
4. Connect with people! If we are not connecting with the people we care about, we can feel disconnected and alone. Now we have flexibility because it is normal to ask people if they would like to meet in person or via Zoom. The important thing is reach out and make contact.
5. Incorporate downtime into your daily routine. Once you have a taste of what a little downtime is like, I encourage you to plug it into your daily routine. You can schedule time daily if that works best for you. Even 15 minutes a day to meditate, take a walk, or connect with a friend can help change the whole day. I read a book (not a work-related book) while I am eating my lunch. Again, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. This helps to get my mind off work so I can go back to computer more refreshed than before.
There is one thing that you need to know with absolute certainty. You matter! If you do not take care of yourself first, everything else will begin to crumble. Trust me – I have been there, done that, and will do everything in my power not to go back.
I would love to hear how you take care of yourself!