I love my family, my work, my life…until I don’t like it anymore. Ever been there? Its great, everything. Really. And then one day you’re totally like, “I’ve had it, what is Peru like this time of year?” Sweetheart we all get there. All of us. If you’ve never had that moment, well, maybe you’re still really young and not tired yet, maybe you’re independently wealthy with full staff in your mansion, or a super sexy pool boy, but for the rest of us, its real life. I used to hit that place like running face first into a Mack truck. Now, well, I’m older, I’d like to think I’m smarter, and I get tired more often, so I’m figuring out a less painful way. For me, the thing that works to get me back in the game, is “Me time”. its priceless, and honestly because I’m cheap by nature and habit, it really literally doesn’t cost me very much, and even if it did, it’s totally worth it. So, through trial and error I’ve come up with a few must do’s to make this time all about you, because YOU are amazing!!!
- Make YOU a priority – I know, we all struggle with time. and if you’re like me, an anxious person by nature, the expectations that go along with your time add even more stress to your mind and body. Its cliché’ but I’m going to say it for the one millionth time. If you don’t make you a priority, no one else will either. Or put another way, “you have to give yourself permission because no one else is going to”, or perhaps the ever popular “Baby, you’re worth it”. Seriously, this comes down to the basics of self-value. You know you’re bustin’ your butt, you know every moment of your day is occupied with something or someone, you know you’re tired, it doesn’t matter who else know, or who doesn’t. this is about YOU being a better you. Here is the deal, it’s tough, I get it, time is a finite thing, we can’t just make more of it, but we’re all getting older, life is moving fast and at the end of it all, no one will think less of you because you took sometime away to be a better version of yourself in daily life.
- Make it Simple aka K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid, or in this case, Keep It Stupid Simple) – vision of sugar plums dancing in your head. Yeah, that’s what time away feels like, and for me too. Once we begin to understand that we’re worth our own time, the ego grabs ahold and makes us believe it has to be the ULTIMATE GET AWAY! Massages, pedicures, maybe horseback riding, an hour of yoga and meditation every day, followed by organic self-made vegetarian meals! We start designing our self-care time like it’s a one-shot deal, and it must be AMAZING. Slow down. Let’s regroup. This isn’t about a single dose of self-care, this is about creating an ongoing, albeit occasional, practice of taking time out for YOU. With that said, simplify it; do one thing per day that makes you happy and feels like a treat. Maybe it is a massage, or a pedicure, or cooking organic whole food meals, OR yoga, OR meditation. But do one or two, don’t think you have to do all of them while you’re away. Here is the deal, the same ego that runs you ragged in your regular life, will still be trying to run you while you’re having ME time. so, let’s nip that baby in the bud and slow way down. Choose one or two things a day that feel special, so YOU can feel special, and let the rest go. Remember, there will be a “next time”.
- Schedule it regularly – there is no magical amount of time, or frequency that you need time away. It can truly be as simply as a few hours to several days. It totally depends on you. Here is my advice on this. Look at the number of hours you spend in a week working your job. If you’re a stay at home parent, then consider your home responsibilities your “work” hours. Now, look at additional responsibilities you have; committees, volunteer work, housework, homework monitor, helping out friends/family, running kids, etc. how look at how many hours a week total you spend not on yourself. Stagger to a chair and sit down. It’s incredulous, isn’t it? You’re just a mere mortal sweetheart, you deserve sometime. So, look at the number of hours a week, now do you think you need some “ME time”? I like to set time aside every quarter of the year, even a few days alone. That way, I always have the next time to look forward to and it gives me incentive to keep on keepin’on. For some of you, making a day per week or month, maybe all you can steal at this time in life. That’s great, make sure you take that time for yourself! In addition, we all need to do things daily; going for a walk, meditating, taking a yoga class, exercising on a daily, or multiple times a week, basis. You have a smart phone, I KNOW you do. Use it! Schedule your ME time into your calendar. Its not a luxury if it keeps you sane!!! Schedule the time, put it on the calendar and treat it like an appointment.
- Going it ALONE – the most extroverted person in the world still needs some time for themselves. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be feeling tired and burned out on life right now. Our besties are great, they really are, but sometimes we just need to hear our own thoughts and feel our own feelings. That’s what “me time’ is truly all about. there is noting more creative or empowering in our world than captaining our own time. I’m self-employed, and naively many people think my time is my own because I run my own practice. Ha-ha! Nice try! My clients, my husband, my family, my friends, my house, those things run my time, I just put my track shoes on in the morning and try to get as much done as I can. I too am confined to one human body that can only be one place at a time. I too hate that. The reason I take time away is because that is my time to be creative! That is my time to think my own thoughts with no one else’s opinion or needs to consider. That is the time that I pay attention to my body and my Spirit and my heart, when I’m all by myself. People are great, don’t get me wrong, and I’m a particularly big fan of MY people. But they’re all in this life for their fulfillment, which would be stupid of me to think that my fulfillment is exactly what their fulfillment is. We’re each unique individuals and the “enough for everyone” mentality of the Universe is the very mentality that puts “everyone is unique” into existence also. They’re the same sand in the same sandbox. When we use others as a filter for us and our desires, or our clarity, the result is going to be tainted by them. so, let’s be clear that we love our people AND we need time without them, so we can be crystal clear on what makes life so groovy for US, and where we might want to put some extra effort forward to further “groovify” some other things. Alone + thinking/feeling = Clarity. Its good. Trust me.
- Plan in advance – Here again, let’s keep it simple, but do plan. Remember those whole food organic vegetarian meals you want to eat??? Prepare them a few days in advance so they’re quick and easy for you. Want to do yoga everyday while you’re away??? Look up classes in the area you’re retreating in, so you know where and when they’re available or download an app (I love Yoga studio) onto your devise so its with you where ever you go. Massage anyone??? Schedule it in advance so you know you’ve got it coming your way. The anticipation of these wonderful things will keep you motivated and inspired for your time away. Make sure all the kid’s activities, drop offs, pickups, etc. are covered by the other parent, a friend, babysitter or other family member. For all that you do, you can ask for help. Remember, when you ask for help, you give other people the opportunity to do something nice and to feel good about themselves. Maybe Gramma would love some extra time with the kiddos. that girlfriend who calls you every. Single. Time. she needs to borrow an outfit, or has some drama, or NEEDS you – that one – ask her to help. She’ll feel better about being able to “pay you back” for all those midnight phone calls.
- Stick to it!!! – This is a hell or high-water thing right here. Barring someone’s death, perhaps even your own, GO!! Making you a priority it your job ONE. Without you the world is not nearly as cool, and we want you at your best. You’re a rock star and we need you to shine bright baby. Make “me time” truly YOUR time. see it, think it, feel it, plan it, and then GO! “but I’ll feel guilty”. I’m quite sure you haven’t read this far down in this article and just now started to feel guilty. Here’s your mind blow moment for today, GUILT doesn’t exist…one more time. GUILT DOES NOT EXIST. Guilt, my sweet is a coverup emotion for something else. So, if you feel “guilty” ask yourself what is behind that guilt. Is it shame, are you embarrassed to tell people you’re taking a few days for yourself? Are you afraid of what they’ll think? Is the “who do you think you are?” voice coming out again? I’m just saying, take a listen to your inner self (remember that’s part of the reason you’re leaving!) so you can get down to the truth of the matter. Wayne Dyer said, “what other people think of me is none of my business”, well said. You work your ass off, you are worthy and deserving of your own time. Take it. Trust me, the “guilty” feeling will fade about half way through the first day. It takes our ego a bit to calm down when we’re doing something new, so be patient, be attentive to yourself (that’s the main point to this time anyway) and walk gently with that part of yourself. Understand it, love it, and then carry it along like the child that just wants to know you love her…because you do. Remember, you’re creating a new healthy habit, and that takes attention and purposeful choice, which is not always easy, nor does it typically feel that natural. We’re creatures of habit and our ego self wants things to stay the way they’ve always been, so change can be challenging at first. Stay the course. Why? Because we don’t just want you surviving your life, we want you THRIVING in your life.
Now, go get your calendar and schedule YOU into it.