I’m officially off my hiatus from social media. I didn’t consciously take a break, but my mind and body needed to heal after the struggles from the month before so I took time to myself. A mental healing.
I have to admit that while taking my break, I inadvertently shy’d from texts, calls and hanging out with friends. It truly wasn’t anything personal. Just had to re-focus my energy.
Once I realized that I had “fallen off earth” and my BFF was in the process of sending cops to my house to look for me, I snapped back. This isn’t the first time I’ve “disappeared”. It usually happens when I’m extremely busy and buried in work.
*So much love to the friends who recognized my distance and pulled me back*
Through my retreat I’ve learned that, though I cherish and love my friends and family, finding and maintaining my balance is the most important thing that I can do for myself. I cannot be an effective friend, co-worker, wife or daughter if I’m not whole.
There are times that we all need to take a step back and regroup. It’s natural to feel that you don’t have the luxury of stepping back and retreating because of all of your responsibilities. How can you take a break when you have twin toddlers, you run a business, or you are the caregiver of an elderly parent?
Answer: BE SELFISH!
Selfish (quite literally) is NOT a four-letter word. The art of saying NO can be so hard to accomplish, yet so liberating. We have daily competing priorities; happy hour with the girls, a dinner party at your boss’ house, kids soccer game.
We say yes to EVERYTHING.
Does this sound familiar? … You fill your calendar with events/activities. Most of the time you’re only going because someone really wants you to. The day of, the pressure hits you. You regret saying yes because you’d rather relax. You don’t have enough time because something came up. Traffic is bad. You have to work late. Your spouse gets sick. But, you suck it up and go anyway.
Our fear is letting others down so we push and push ourselves to be there. We take care of everyone else and their needs and wants while neglecting our own.
Then we shut down. We get sick, we’re not eating right, not getting enough water. Our body and mind stops operating at their full potential. At this point we’re being forced to stop and rest, but the damage is already done.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Fear of missing out? Hurting someone’s feelings? Being labeled as a homebody?
- If something does not align with your own goals, Say No.
- If you are already overextended or are on the brink of being overextended, Say No.
- If you are only saying yes because you have a sense of obligation to them, for whatever reason, Say No.
Take the time to understand how your energy works and what you need to be whole. Take mental vacations. Disappear if you have to. Do what is necessary to reclaim yourself.
All of this speaks well, but putting it into action is more complicated, right?
It doesn’t have to be. Getting away can be as simple as going to your favorite local coffee/bakery shop, grabbing a couch in the nearest corner and sipping on the best Chai Tea you’ve ever had.
A mental break can be grabbing a book and reading five chapters in one sitting.
What about the kids? The laundry? Cooking dinner?
Kids? Organize a play date, let your parents take them or tell your spouse you need “me time”. They’ll understand and will appreciate you more when you’re 100%.
Laundry? It can wait! You have no energy for it anyway.
Dinner? Head over to Pinterest for some quick and easy dinner recipes that can cook without you hovering over it.
Ditch the excuses and start taking care of you now. Finding the right balance will increase your quality of life and the relationships around you.
Protect your energy.
My go-to energy reviving activities include:
- The gym. Get those endorphin’s flowing! It’s not a secret, whether you are lifting weights or focusing on cardio, research shows that exercise reduces stress, combats depression and helps you think clearly.
- Nina’s Coffee Cafe on Western Ave in St. Paul really does have the best Chai Tea I’ve ever tasted.
- Cooking. This has the opposite effect on some, but I genuinely like trying out new recipes and creations. I can spend all night in my kitchen.
- The Library. Free books on almost any subject? Yes please!
Will you share some ways that you have found to be revitalizing?
Thanks for stopping by! XOXO