“Man, I so want to take a break, but I can’t take time out, I have so many other things to plough through” Is this a statement all too familiar to you? Don't worry, you are not alone. Most cases, people, especially men feel guilty, feel like they are being selfish, or they are committing a crime. Heck, all you are doing is taking a few minutes out of your busy schedule to unwind, or regroup.
If you feel yourself losing interest in work, or feeling exhausted all the time, it is your body telling you to reset. We have just one thing to tell you - Do not feel guilty for taking time out for yourself. You deserve some ‘me’ time and it shouldn't be the last item on your list. In fact you will experience;
- Increased productivity and energy levels
- Better frame of mind to deal with things - professional and personal
- Good mental health
The three things to do when dedicating time for yourself are,
- Communicate - tell those around you - office or at home, friend’s circle that you will not be available between certain hours, your phone will be switched off and you are not to be disturbed. Setting boundaries and blocking your calendar helps, it also rids of any miscommunication or misunderstanding, giving you added peace of mind.
- Encourage others to follow suit- talk about how taking half an hour to just sit in the balcony, or go for a walk in the park helped you re-energize or regain your mojo.In a family setting, you could share these thoughts with your partner and help them find time to take care of themselves. It is also a good way to connect, and build relationships.
- Stick to the plan - Do not bend over or shift your schedule to accommodate someone else. Nothing is more important than you.
Ok, so here are a few simple ways to take time for yourself:
- Leave work on time - It is as simple as that. Most of us are used to staying at work late on a regular basis, but it is time to change. Now that we're all working from home, there is no work-life balance, so set a time to switch off from work. Shut your laptop, put your phone on do-not-disturb mode and get away. Do whatever makes you happy, it could be a hobby or spending time with your partner/family/dog/others.
- Sign up for a course - If you have been wanting to learn Spanish, now is a good time as any. Or maybe a new dance form, there are quite a few colleges offering online programs too, or add to your skill set.
- Exercise - For most people who have a busy schedule it becomes difficult to set aside time to workout. You could start your day with a 20 minute walk or workout/yoga in the evening, depending on your comfort. Exercising not only helps your body but also keeps your mind clear and help you think better, function well through the day irrespective of the challenges thrown at you.
- Evenings with yourself- Pick a day of the week and give yourself an hour or two to do something that you enjoy - gardening, reading, music, movies or simply just laze. If anyone were to ask you what you were doing that evening, just tell them you have plans.
- Indulge, give yourself a treat - Monthly once, schedule a break to enjoy a relaxing massage, catch a movie or give yourself a treat you have dreamt of. Schedule it in advance so you can mark it in your calendar and others will also know you are unavailable during that period.
Bottom line, if you feel like you need some time for yourself to deal with the stress and the chaos of everyday life, you should do it. Don't think about it and let anybody else convince you otherwise. Make this a regular occurrence and you will enjoy it. Self care isn’t just about building a routine or an activity, it is a mindset, all about checking in with yourself so you are at your best.
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