Whew! I’m getting this blog post in by the skin of my teeth! Up until a few minutes ago, I had no idea what I was going to write about. Then it hit me! Why not write about how crazy life is and how important it is to take care of ourselves?
Life is crazy for everyone, right? We have jobs to juggle, many have kids and spouses, family, friends, community commitments, and of course, writing, promoting, editing and revising. It can all get pretty overwhelming. We all need to take some time, slow down and breathe, and do something nice for ourselves — pay ourselves back for all our hard work and commitment.
So, here are my five favorite ways to pay myself back:
5. Read. If I can settle down for 15-20 minutes and read, I can feel my stress subside, my body relax, and my mind focus. A good novel really helps me escape the craziness that is everyday life. I try to take a few minutes while I’m eating lunch at my day-job to read, then again in the evening right before bed. If I find more time to read, all the better, but I at least like to set aside those moments and give my busy brain a break.
4. Take a walk. This doesn’t have to be a long walk, or even a fast walk. Just a short stroll, preferably outdoors, can clear the mind and lower your blood pressure. Bonus! It can also boost creativity. So get up from the desk and perambulate.
3. Meditate. No, not the kind where you sit cross-legged on the floor, outstretched arms resting on your thighs, making breath sounds (although that’s good too). I’m talking about just closing your eyes, focusing on your breathing, and letting go of the tension. You’d be amazed what just five minutes can do.
2. Spa therapy. When I have a little extra discretionary income, I love to treat myself to a spa treatment. A pedicure (with foot massage, of course!), a facial, or a full body massage — now that’s what I’m talking about! But even a quickie neck and shoulder massage can really work out those kinks that are inevitable when you sit behind a desk all day.
1. Take the day off. Give yourself permission to put everything on hold — just for a day. I’d been busting my hump for weeks, adding to the word count for my WIP and working on my edits and revisions for the latest release. I’d finished my final round of edits on a Sunday, and it had been a BEAUTIFUL Sunday weather-wise. With a work holiday the next day I decided to give myself the day off from writing, too. My husband and I went to a local state park and spent the afternoon, taking in the alligators, the birds, and the perfect blue sky day. Not only did I get to enjoy the fresh air, but I got to spend some quality time with the love of my life. That little outing left me refreshed and reenergized, and ready to hit the ground running for the craziness that is my life.
What do you do to pay yourself back and recharge?