Taking time off, is that such a thing?
While on a walk today with my family I was talking with my husband about the following week and needing to take some time off. He looked at me and chuckled knowing that I may talk about it but actually making it happen is a totally different thing altogether. Finding time in the week to take off is like finding Bigfoot in Death Valley. It’s not that I don’t want to, but I work at two different vet hospitals part time and then come home to “momma land” so free time is somewhat lacking. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining, I know there are a lot of people still looking for work. I absolutely love my jobs, I wouldn’t trade what I do for anything, but I still need a breather, and I have to realize if I don’t do some self care soon it will no longer be something I choose to do but rather something I will be forced to do because my body says I must. So what does health care look like? Is it just taking time off and doing nothing? I decided to compile a small list of some great self care activities that anyone can do:
- This may sound a bit simple but actually sit down with your calendar and schedule in self care dates for yourself. My calendar is on my phone and I have notifications that pop up to tell me where I need to be next. Let me tell you it is so awesome to have an appointment pop up that was made especially for me.
- One day after a particularly hard day at work, I drove home, pulled into my driveway and then just sat. I texted my husband that I just needed a moment out in the car and then I allowed myself to wind down. I needed a breather moment, I needed to ground myself again before I had to “adult”. Listen to your body, and take a moment to just breathe.
- As hard as it may seem, set aside ALL electronics. Turn off the world and turn on the life that is going on around you. If you have kids play with them, if you have a pet love on them, sit and read a book, go for a hike, whatever it is you chose to do, do it for yourself and not to post on some social media site.
- Plan a friend date, if you are getting together with close friends some “heart healing” will happen. You can just be yourself and most of the time the amount of laughter that comes from the time together will easily make up for that cardio you missed earlier in the week.
- Exercise! Take a walk with your spouse, go running with your dog, start a flag football game with friends, take a hike, find something to do that gets your heart rate pumping. When you get moving, chemical reactions happen in the brain, endorphins are released which then make you feel good.
- Get a mani/pedi either professionally or do one yourself. Of course getting one done professionally may make you feel more pampered, but if salons aren’t opened there are many different ways you can feel relaxed at home giving yourself one. In my case I know one of my kids would gladly paint my nails, can’t say they’ll all be the same color but it will be the thought that counts.
- Take a nap, if it’s warm outside get into the hammock under the tree and doze.
- Work in your garden, if you don’t have one, work on a project that you have been wanting to do for a while.
- Bake something and share it with a neighbor, family or friend.
- Lastly, why not get back in touch with yourself? Journal, write yourself a letter, write someone a letter you haven’t talked to in a while but miss dearly, find a way to get back to the person you are when you are not so busy.
There are so many ways to do self care and I hope that these suggestions will help motivate you towards taking better care of yourself. It always seems that the busier we are the quicker we can make up excuses as to why we can’t take time for ourselves. But as the saying goes “you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first in order to be able to help others with theirs” you can’t live life to the fullest if you are not taking care of yourself. Finding time for is not only important it is crucial so that you can live your life as God intended, until next time:
Climb the mountains, nature’s peace will flow through you like sunshine through the trees. Let the business of life leave you for just a moment as you step out into the next adventure.