This month I am focusing on the Wellness Pillar of Live a BIG Life. I am excited about this Pillar because it encompasses so many things and truly impacts the other 4 Pillars: career, family, financial and spiritual.
Please stay tuned to this entire Series. This is not about crazy diets and sacrificing your favorite foods, although wellness is about nutrition.
Today, I want to focus on making time for you. This is especially critical to the female readers and single-parent fathers as you folks rarely take time for yourself. It is honorable that you put your children first most of the time but you also have to make time for yourself so you can be the best parent possible.
This also applies to everyone—parent or not. We all have people who demand our time—whether they are neighbors, friends, coworkers, or bosses. We also fill our time with lots of “to do’s”, activities, social events and more.
PAUSE! It’s really important that you push the PAUSE button. Take time to relax on a big hammock outside, immerse yourself in a good book, take a peaceful long walk (no cell phones or reading e-mails); soak for 45 minutes in a big hot tub while you listen to spa music; or play with your dog. The list is endless.
Most people tell me they can’t take time for themselves as they have too much to do. That is true; so do I. I decided when I was in my 20s and married with children that I would make time for me. I realized that if I didn’t take time for Joan, then I would not be a good wife, mother, worker, friend or sister. I have proven to myself, over and over, that when I do take “Joan time,” I am much more creative. I am energized and can give so much more of myself to things that really matter and the people I really care about. I can also see the impact when I just keep running and running and don’t take a break—and that is not good.
GUILT! An important mind-game is not feeling guilty for making time for yourself. It’s interesting how many people, especially women, feel guilty when they take a day for themselves. We have to move away from the guilt and tell ourselves that we deserve this time and need this time to replenish our strength and energy.
BACKLOG? I’m sure you are thinking . . . “If I take three or four hours for myself, I will get behind on my errands or tasks.” Yes, you might but you can try to plan ahead. Maybe you have to put in extra hours during the week so you can take off the time on the weekend. Run errands after work or during lunch hour so on Saturday you can kick back and relax. Refuse to do any tasks or errands on Sunday. Also, take a second look at your lists of to do’s. What can you remove from the list? What can you delegate? One benefit of taking your break is that you will come back fired up with energy and tackle any backlog. This month make a commitment to take care of you. Look for little ways to pamper yourself or have private time. This goes for the men, too.