You may have noticed my lack of posts this week. I was out of town on several days, some of it unexpected but necessary. As I began to load my laptop into my backpack to get some writing in on the train ride on Tuesday, I felt stressed. The thought of lugging a computer around with me all day as I ran around to several meetings seemed awful compared to maybe an hour of writing that I could get done in transit. So I chose to leave it home.
Then I made a bigger choice—to give myself a break from writing my next blog post until I had time. I have a project on my plate taking up a lot more time than I imagined it would but it must get done. As emails piled up I thought I wouldn’t find time to sleep. So I cut myself slack and allowed myself to wait for the weekend to resume my posts and answer any unessential emails. I apologize to those of you who wondered what happened to me.
Sometimes you need to give yourself a break—from pressure, from rushing, from living up to what others want from you, etc.
In my DoorMat days I’d have just sacrificed my own needs to accommodate others. I’d have worn myself out schlepping my laptop around with me to take advantage of any small window of time. Now I prefer to take care of me. It’s very important to honor me and my needs, just as you should honor yours. I do my best to honor my professional deadlines but also know my limits.
I recently learned that as many as 90% of visits to doctors are for stress-related symptoms. 90%!
That means we mainly make ourselves ill. That’s a very lousy thought! But on the flip side, it means we have the power to avoid many health problems. Taking downtime is crucial for good health. You may not be able to let go of everything but t least postpone something, to take the pressure or stress off of your life.
Sometimes you even have to let someone down by canceling plans if it means your improved mental health! I do that if I must for my health.
Yesterday I turned the next round of my project in. I’ve already been given more that needs to be done. But, I decided I’m entitled to take the weekend off. So I’m not thinking about it right now and will do some of the other things I’ve put off. And, for my efforts on the project, I got word today that I’m getting a bonus! It was my priority and I finished it.
Downtime is essential for everyone! You must allow“me” time, specifically to do things for you.
That doesn’t just mean just catching up on chores. You have to relax—have some fun—spend time with people you care about—JUST BE! I love to just be. No agenda or commitments. I can go for a run, or not. Chill with a book in bed. Vege and watch movies. Or write my blog. I actually just got back from a fabulous massage, which I really needed. Now it’s raining and I’m staying in. I love to go to the Halloween parade here in NYC but not tonight. Rest is more important.
Today was mine and so it tonight and tomorrow. You must sometimes take your days too!
Pay attention to your stress level. What can you let go of, or at least postpone? Your health and sanity are worth it! I was always on edge when I lived in DoorMatville, juggling everyone else’s balls while I had none of my own to attend to my needs. Now I greatly appreciate loving myself enough to make ME a priority. It’s a loving place to be and keeps me from going to the doctor with stress related symptoms. Reduce your own stress if you feel it affecting your mood and your body. You’re worth it!
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