My week off from work has been amazing! I’ve had time to get a lot of things done around the house – from reupholstering my dining room chairs, to building shelving for my master closet, to building a wine cabinet and bookshelf for my basement rec room. (Lots of building!) I also went on a big home shopping spree at Tuesday Morning to get new pillows for my couches and new curtains for a lot of windows, and also hit some of the post-Christmas sales to get discounted holiday decorations for next year. It’s been really productive, and I’m thrilled.
While the first part of the week was a flurry of activity, it slowed down quite a bit once Adam flew in on Wednesday night… and helped me realize how much I appreciate the quiet time as well. We spent most of New Year’s Eve day watching TV, where I discovered the HGTV app (even more selection of their shows than Netflix) and also finally started watching the new-in-the-fall TV show Quantico on Hulu (which is awesome). We ran a few errands in the afternoon, and then went out to an amazing Italian dinner and for cocktails in Old Town Louisville. Honestly, the best part though was coming home at 11pm, watching the Inspector Gadget-themed countdown on Netflix, and going to bed early. Who says those countdowns are for small children?! #WeDoWhatWeWant
I’ve written in the past about Princess Night, a concept my old therapist taught me, and I regret to say that my practicing what I preached with that concept has completely fallen by the wayside. Some of those activities, like working out and reading, are ones that I do regularly, but I’ve found that even the ones I practice are ones that I tend to timebox. “Okay, I can spend 20 minutes reading but then I have to go do XYZ.” One thing I learned over this vacation is that reading is so much more relaxing and luxurious when I can just curl up under a blanket on the couch without having any concept of time, or feeling of guilt or obligation. It is so incredibly relaxing to not have anything to do except whatever you want, and I feel rather spoiled and lucky that I had that time this week.
With vacation coming to a close, I’m excited to go back to work much more rested (and more organized) than when I left in December. However, it also made me realize that perhaps I need to take more time off (um, yes) and then spend some of that time taking care of myself rather than just going on new adventures. Just like a battery, it’s important to recharge if you want to have the energy to run at full capacity, and I’ve been pretty bad about actually making the time for that.
Evolution Fresh shared with me some things to help me relax and recharge: some essential oils, a moleskin notebook, and some green juice to give me the energy to get going again. After an indulgent last few days around New Year’s, green juice is the perfect quick fix to help me feel a little bit more energized. Maybe it’s just me, but after few days of carbs and fats (or more than three hours on a stuffy airplane), I find myself really craving salads and veggies – and green juice is a great way to quickly feel a little bit more hydrated and a little bit healthier.
I want to keep the me-time energy going as I dive into the first work week of the new year, and I found this list from The Freedom Experiment really helpful – it’s chock full of different actionable ideas for how to take care of yourself even when you’re super busy. Of course, doing all 55 would take up quite a bit of time, but I think it’s definitely possible to squeeze one or two into a day, and that would go a long way toward improving mental health.
Of course, my to-do list is seemingly never ending, so the real question is… how do I force myself to make time for the technically nice-to-have indulgence of me-time? Reminding myself that it’s actually must-have never seems to work, so I’m going to try instead of schedule it. Stay tuned on Monday for more details around my January challenge, where I’m going to try to schedule more in order to achieve more. Yes, that sounds pretty stressful, but I’m thinking it will actually help me stress less!
Thank you to Evolution Fresh for providing me with a gift pack of goodies including essential oils, a notebook, and a bottle of their delicious green juice, along with a reminder to take a moment for me even in the midst of the holiday busy-ness :)