photo above courtesy of bing
Recently, as me and my brother-in-law were talking, he began to tell me how he was mentally tired. He works all the time it seems like and really never gets a break or have a “down” time and when he is off (which is sometimes only for a day) it’s filled with other things to do, such as take the children to the doctor; mowing the lawn; taking care of things around the house that was pushed on the agenda for his next off day or meeting with his own doctors, he and my sister are both the same way when it comes down to some much needed R&R, they just don’t have the time for it!
I can totally relate to both of their dilemma’s because on top of taking care of the house, working hard to provide for two kids, making sure I stay on top of my own job and keeping up with what needs to be paid, what I did “actually” pay, to kids field trips, to making sure there’s money for this and that and keeping the car running and keeping my own health in check – where in the world is the time to settle down and BREATHE!!! at the end of the day, I’m ready to pull my hair out – LITERALLY!
We have to find the time and balance to take care of ourselves – No, seriously….we do! It’s detrimental that we do, not only for our sanity but for our overall health. I’ve often heard people say, “I’ll have plenty of time to rest, when I’m DEAD!” and while that is very true; I don’t want to, as Rihanna sings “WERK, WERK, WERK, WERK , WERK, WERK” until I’m dead or so sick until I can’t do anything at all. Some people feel as though they have to plan for some elaborate trip in order to get away and get some ME TIME in, and that’s great – but we all know that sometimes plans are meant to be cancelled. You don’t have to plan for a big trip or go away to some remote location to get a little mental clarity, now don’t get me wrong, if you have it like that and truly plan to go through with it, by all means, do what you have to do; but sometimes there are a couple of simple things we can do right now, before plan that big trip.
Listed below are a couple of things that I currently do to get some “me time” in everyday, while they may be very simple; they’ve really helped to keep my stress level at an all time low.
Take Your Time and Don’t Rush It
When my kids were much smaller and in daycare, I would get off of work at 5pm and rush to pick them up before 6pm (otherwise, I’d get charged a dollar for every minute after) I worked like 45min away. Sometimes it was a struggle getting there on time due to the traffic but I didn’t want to be late or pay a fine. Everything revolved around my kids when they were younger and the thought of me doing anything for myself, was a forbidden thought that I didn’t think mothers were supposed to have. One day my boss asked me, Roshonda?, “Why do you rush to get your kids – you need to take some time for yourself, get off a little early and stop by to grab you an ice-cream and enjoy it by yourself before you pick the kids up.” The thought of her saying that was like, death to my ears “Stop for Ice-Cream?” was she serious? But, she was right – sometimes we can rush life so fast until we don’t take out time to enjoy the simple things. Just because I had small kids at the time, didn’t mean that I had to forget about me – taking that ice-cream break was not only life changing but it helped my sanity as well.
De-stress and Rest
This is all about finding things you can do to make your “you” day stress free, such as going to the library, checking out that new food chain or clothing store that just opened up or scheduling a massage (you can schedule this for your next day off) or going to the park and feeding the birds or watching the water or just sitting in your car or under a tree, listening to some music or catching up on that book that’s been collecting dust on your shelf, that you promised to read months ago. You may have to think about a couple of simple things that you can do, but trust me – it’ll be worth it. Have you checked out your downtown yet?, I love walking into shops and just looking around. **Getting a good night’s rest, helps your mental clarity and health also – even if you have to schedule it; just make sure you stick to it!**
Sometimes, you gotta keep it a secret
Okay, so I’m still working on being good at this BUT – sometimes you can’t tell people when you’re off work or if you’re leaving work early OR have some spare time in your day (unless you plan to hang out with them) I say this because sometimes people have a tendency to add their to-do list on your off day. Unless it’s an emergency and people need to know you’re off for a particular reason…..It’s okay to keep the day a Hush Hush. Especially if you want to get in some extra sleep or just lounge around the house in your jammies, sipping some tea or coffee and reading the newspaper or catching up on your favorite show (now that you have the remote all to yourself). If you constantly sound the alarm when you’re off of work…..you’ll never get any rest.
Hey, Let’s Walk It Out
Exercise (as I’ve come to really know it) is a great stress relief – it gets those endorphins going and those energy levels up, making you sure to conquer the day – no matter how hard it may be. Do you eat lunch at your desk (I’m so guilty of this one)….I’m learning to stop eating lunch at my desk andddddd also, learning to leave the desk and take a walk. Sometimes, I’ll even go to my car let my seat back and turn on some music and take a nap or just eat and relax, I also take a walk around outside – especially when the day is beautiful. Walking has major benefits, for your mind and your health – it helps you de-stress from a long, busy and hectic day.
There is only one YOU and you only get one BODY, don’t lean on the motto of “I’ll rest when I’m dead” because we all will, one day but that day doesn’t have to be rushed. While, we must werk, werk, werk to make sure our necessities are not interrupted; we must take out time to make sure our mental stress and mindsets are also on our to-do list of important things to take care of as well…..
What do you do to maintain your stress levels?
Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager
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