Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Taking time for yourself

Today, I'm taking a little "me time" and doing so with a friend whom I love dearly but continuously overschedules herself.  She told me she was scheduling out until November between her regular job, her side job as a photographer and helping at a family business once a week.  I reminded her of the importance of taking time for herself because she can't give the best of herself to her jobs if she was burning out.  I gave her some examples of how she could take some time and offered to do an afternoon tea with her on a weekday but not as a way to put more on her plate but to force that time to focus on nothing else but slowing down.  (I told her I completely understood if she'd rather hide under a blanket for an hour or two.)

She jumped at the chance and said if she didn't schedule it now, she wouldn't have time to do it until November.  She's a millennial and the FOMO issue is very real for her.  There is pressure to build her business, be the best she is at her regular job (which requires long shifts), to post on social media a lot, to hang out with friends, to tend to her new(ish) marriage and do it all with a smile on her face.  She is well-intentioned, but I see such a burnout coming down the pike for her.  Since I'm 10 years older, I feel like it's one of the true life lessons I can pass on to her.  She often says she wishes she were like me in that I drop her a line to say hello and see how she's doing or send her a card to make her laugh.  She said she wants to do that, but it's truly finding that time because there always seems to be something needing her attention and she feels scattered.

I will have her over for lunch once or twice a year, and we always talk and laugh for hours.  She leaves telling me she feels so much better and is able to totally be herself around me which is a relief to her not having to be "on."  I know, like me, she has anxiety issues but does her very best to hide them because she always wants to be the happy, positive friend.  I've told her in time, she will realize that being everything to everyone is an impossible thing and she needs to surround herself with people who understand her circumstances and will take whatever time she is able to give.

Given the week we had last week and the month prior, it's something I need for me too.  I always like getting a younger perspective on things, and she is one of the few people in my life who I know without a doubt truly respects my opinion.  If I've said something in passing and she will excitedly tell me a few months later how she did what I suggested or will repeat something I said so I know she was listening.  It sounds so simple but just knowing someone is truly absorbing what you say really does mean a lot, especially from someone so immersed in the social media world.  When we're together, she will take her cues from me, and if I should happen to have my cell phone out for a picture,  I will then flip it over because having the screen flash a new message is distracting to me.  Then I'll see she will flip hers over then will only use it if she gets a call which is rare but will ignore texts.  I think it's her way of finally breathing and saying "nope, I'm with my girl, it can wait" because she knows I'm not succumbing to that pressure either.  I'm excited for today and looking forward to a little pampering girl time with one of the few in town friends I have.  It feels like playing hooky since its midweek too which is a bonus!

So let this serve as your friendly reminder that even an hour or two of downtime to do nothing but hang out with a friend, read a book, take a long bath, walk in the park, etc. can do wonders for your mood and overall health.  So often we only focus on taking care of our physical selves, but our mental selves are just as, if not more, important!

What's one of your favorite ways to take time for yourself?  How often do you make time for yourself distraction free?

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  1. I'm so glad she is a friend and I am happy for both of you to get a chance to take some time today and relax together and connect. Have a great time!

  2. Have a wonderful time!
    I try to walk pup pup on the daily so I can decompress.

  3. I hope you have a nice visit.

    I like to read as a way to decompress. A book is small and easy to carry so I can go anywhere (and I always have a book on my phone too), and I can read for just 2 minutes if that's all the time I can afford. I know a lot of people don't read fiction because it's a "waste of time" but for me it's a way to immerse myself in another life, another world, for a short time. It gives me a break from whatever I'm dealing with at the moment.

  4. Have a fantastic time!!

    I enjoy reading a lot, but for the past six months or so that has been too much for my brain. I've needed a "lack of noise" and that includes reading and getting involved in the characters in a book. What I enjoy most of all is quiet time outside, either on my deck or my glider on my front porch. Driving in the country and being in the woods is actually my #1 relaxer, but on a daily basis it's sitting outside when I can. I don't bring my phone or my Fire out there. I just sit and listen to the sounds around me. Tjoday is one of those days where the weather is perfect -- mid 70's with a very strong breeze. It's a perfect time to decompress and shut out everything around me for a while.


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