Those who read this site regularly could see that I have been slacking on posting recently. I hadn’t been engaging on social media or sharing much of anything. I’d been slacking on pretty much every area of my life behind the scenes for the past few weeks.
The truth is: I have been exhausted. Physically, mentally, emotionally. I haven’t had any energy and that led to me almost breaking down once again. I’ve had a few conversations with others recently that showed that others were going through the same. For me, I needed a break. A break to just not work as much and kind of figure out my next steps to balance my life a little bit better.
Our schedules are so jam-packed with meetings, work, volunteering, school, etc. that we struggle to balance it all. We also struggle with feeling like we HAVE to do everything, especially if we’re leaders on projects or initiatives. That leads to eventual burnout. I know all too well.
So I made myself a promise. From now on, if I’m ever feeling that way, I’m just going to take some time for myself. I struggle so much with this because I feel like if I’m not working, I’m losing. But if I’m losing steam and not giving my all on projects because I’m burned out, I’m still losing. We all have responsibilities, yes, and I can’t just completely quit or my bills don’t get paid. I can’t get completely lazy or things start to fall off. But taking some days to truly rest, especially on the weekends, is beginning to matter more and more to me. My weekdays are already filled with work, meetings, exercise classes, and writing. I don’t want my weekends to be completely filled with the same. It’s okay to rest and regroup. You NEED to.
Here are three things that have helped me with this issue. Hopefully, they help you too.
Don’t feel guilty. There is nothing wrong with taking a little bit of time for yourself, even just a few hours. Whatever you have going on can wait, especially if stress and anxiety are affecting your overall health. Delegate what you can to others. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb. Shut (and lock!) your office or bedroom door. And don’t feel bad one bit.
Re-evaluate your schedule and priorities. This year, I had to take some time to take a look at my schedule and see what I needed to cut out. Beyond binge-watching Netflix, I also needed to cut out working on some projects that I was no longer passionate about or could let other people handle. This freed up some time to work on new things and get some more rest. I also needed to work on my time management overall and be realistic about what I can handle, which is helping. Re-evaluating everything you have on your plate will help you see what you can cut out to make more time for yourself.
Do something (outside of work) that you actually enjoy. Yes, I love writing, but that’s a part of my job, so I didn’t do any of that this weekend. Instead, I went to my boot camp class, took naps, and watched Christmas movies (yes before Thanksgiving. Don’t judge me!). I worked out some emotions and had a relaxing time before getting back to work. Now I feel refreshed. I encourage you also to do something that you enjoy whether it’s getting your nails done, doing a little bit of shopping, or going to the movies. Whatever it is, take some time to relax and enjoy yourself.