(This post is a part of my “B” series which I’ll deliver once a month! Continue to B Kind. B Silly. B Inspired. B Imperfect.)
Every day, a lot of us are always running around. We’ve got work. We’ve got side hustles. Some of y’all have spouses and kids, too. Volunteering, errands and the list goes on. Point blank, we’re always on the go.
People still push this idea of “No Days Off,” or “While You Sleep, I Grind.” I used to believe in it so much myself. There’d be days and nights where I’d be slaving away blogging, finishing up schoolwork, taking webinars and classes all day long. Running off of a few hours of sleep or none at all was nothing…as long as I had an energy drink waiting for me the next day. Then I got older, and my body switched up on me. I wish I would try to pull an all-nighter now. Matter of fact, I have a few times, and I definitely paid for it the next day. Even with a five-hour energy. I just can’t.
And the thing is WE’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO. The fact that people even have to drink energy drinks or take Adderall pills to stay up and focused shows that we need rest to naturally function. Am I saying I get a full eight hours of sleep each night? Pshhh no. Five to six hours is my typical. But Brittany Shawnté is getting some kind of sleep at night, regardless.
I love my side hustle, and I work my 9-5 to pay a good majority of rent, bills, and all of that. Adulting and what not. I serve at church as well, attempt to get regular workouts in, and am training on new media skills. But it’s DRAINING. There are always so many things going on at one time, and it wears me out.
So I’ve started taking mental days off from work much more regularly. Literally, nothing planned besides sitting on my couch, MAYBE writing a story or two, but mostly watching Netflix. #SorryNotSorry. Those days with nothing to do are the most beautiful and refreshing days I have. My mind, body, and soul truly need it!
Taking time for ourselves is hard to do, especially for millennials I think. A lot of us have that hustler mentality, and it’s understandable. It’s tougher for us out here in terms of developing a career than it was for our parents. So we feel we have to overcompensate to either get to our dream job or, if we’re already there, to put in the time to stay there. I get it. I live it. A lot of us in general also have legitimate obligations outside of work, including taking care of families. But you truly can’t pour from an empty well. You can’t do all of these things well without taking time for yourself.
It’s so important to have balance and take time for you, whatever in the world that means for you. If it means you cut out on work occasionally, so be it. If you want to take a few hours to go get your hair done or your nails did, and leave the kids with your spouse or a babysitter, make the plans and go. If you want to head out to the gym and work off some frustration, take the time to get there. If you feel yourself getting seriously tired at home trying to finish a side project, cut the computer off, and get some sleep. Whatever self-care means to you, make sure you’re taking the time for it!
My boyfriend has a labor job with long hours and takes night classes, too. He makes good money and he has life goals he’s trying to accomplish, but I know he gets worn out a good bit. Every now and then, I throw up this topic of how important it is to be balanced, and I think he’s finally starting to hear me. I look up and he’ll text me “Oh, I took off today. My body needs the rest.” And I smile.
We’re really not made to be on this constant grind all the time. And to be honest, there are ways to work much smarter, not harder (which I’ll write about in a future post). Make sure that you’re taking the time to take care of yourself and not just other people all the time.
What are some ways you make time for yourself? If you don’t, what’s truly stopping you? Let me know in the comments!