Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
If you're a busy professional -- and who among us isn't? -- you may have great time and goal management skills and your to-do lists are done at day's end but let me ask you this: When is the last time you made time for yourself? This doesn't mean a five minute break from the computer screen or the telephone, although that is a great start.
What I am asking is when did you last make the time to do something you truly loved and be engaged in that task to the exclusion of work or outside distractions? Chances are, you can't remember.
As a breast cancer survivor, I have learned time is precious and if I don't finish those crochet projects now I may not get to them! I am still a driven solopreneuer and I complete my to-do lists on most days, but I have learned that in order to not only care for myself but to be at my best for my clients, I need to pursue activities that I love.
Was it easy to get to that place where I step away from the computer and take an actual lunch or close the office door at 5 pm, eat breakfast before I open the door (it's easy to get drawn into work early when you work from home) and to not check my email on my smart phone 24/7?
No it wasn't, but here are some of the benefits I've reaped and I believe you might as well:
- Taking time for yourself will help clear your mind. If you're involved in a big project that is mentally all consuming, taking a break will help clear the cobwebs and refresh yourself, switch gears and move onto the next project. How can you do this? Take a walk. Take a break and enjoy a chapter in a book you're reading. Pick up your craft project.
- Self care is crucial. Even almost two years out, I still get tired and achy in my surgery sites and odd places (like where my lymph nodes were removed). The medications I am on also tire me out. You have to listen to your body and understand if you get sick, your to-do list will never get done. Eat well. Exercise. Meditate. If you're a caregiver for aging parents as I am you also need to learn about and practice self care.
- Learn to let go and remember you can't control everything and every outcome. When you are diagnosed with an illness you soon learn that your schedule is of no concern to oncologists; when you're told to be at an appointment, you show up. Let loose of your controlling tendencies. Realize you can't bend everyone to your will -- hard to believe, but it's true! There is really only "so much" that you can control and you need to "Let go, and let God..."
- If you want to be more creative -- whether you're a blogger, a pet walker or an accountant -- you need to open yourself to more experiences and this means you need to get out of the house and mix and mingle. To be creative you need to be more than "your job." You need to be well-rounded. Take a class that is unrelated to your work. Take a class that will enhance the work you do and the services you provide. Take up a hobby; not sure what you want to do? Hop over to Pinterest for ideas and inspiration.
- What is truly important in your life? If you aren't certain, you need to step back and perhaps make a list. Once you've determined what's important, work toward those goals and embracing those items.
What can you do to make time for, and rejuvenate, yourself?