I have recently made it my goal to find more time to relax and not doing anything. This is so hard for me as I am a constant do-er of things, but it is very important to find time in my life to take personal time and give myself time to recover. This hardest thing I find with taking time for myself is the guilt that comes along with it. It is hard to let to-do lists take the back-burner and to tell others that you need a day away from work/school/activites. There is a constant pressure to be perfect, to be present, and to be working at your highest capacity at all times. It is so easy to get burnt out if I don’t make sure that I take the time to relax, give myself credit for my hard work, and refresh my mind. I always strive to be the best worker I can be, to choose projects that will challenge and uplift me, and to be reliable for others, however, I am still dealing with the guilt that I feel when I say “no” to things. Here are some tips I try to live by that makes it all a bit easier.
1. List Priorities.
Some things I do in life are prioritized over others. I try to prioritize the things that are most important to me, and give me the most fulfillment. Although everything I do, I do because I love, I still have a list of things that I feel are the most important to keep in my life. The items at the top of my lists are the ones I try to avoid taking time from, and will give more of my energy to. When taking personal time, I tend to take time on days where I know I will feel the least guilty. If you need to take time from your highest priorities because of stress, however, do it! There are not rules. This is just what works for me!
2. Mind Dump.
This is something I learned in university and one of the biggest things I took away. A mind dump (or stream of conscious) is where you choose a time (1-5 min) and you write constantly for that entire period of time. It does not have to make sense, but you can’t lift your pen from the paper. This gets all the “gunk” in my mind out so that it is not living in my mind anymore.
3. Find Out What Relaxes You.
Everyone is different. Some people find it relaxing to go for a run, some to read a book… I find it relaxing to take a bath and pamper myself a bit. Also to give myself time to SLEEP. I know I do not sleep enough, but the extra sleep is so rewarding and feels like the best gift.
4. Remember It Is Okay To Miss Things You Enjoy.
When I am feeling stressed, I often get overly anxious because I remember all the “fun” things I have to do. I love to exercise, play music, horse-back ride, but when those things lose their “fun” quality in my mind, then I know it is time for a break. I often feel guilty about missing a day doing yoga, or going to a class, but I try to remind myself that those activities are there because I enjoy them. If I go on a day where they are making me feel anxious, then those activities aren’t serving me for that day, and that’s okay!
5. Be Honest.
I think it is important that we allow ourselves to take time every now and again. Being honest with those around you is key. Whether or not you say you are taking a mental health day, or a day for personal reasons, it is okay to be honest about it. Not everyone can understand, but if you are going to do better work the next time you are there, then personal time is so valuable.
If you have any tips on how you deal with relaxing and what makes it easiest for you please share! I would love to hear your thoughts. Now I’m going to go watch Lord of the Rings 😉 (I totally skipped the gym today)