The other day I arrived home after 3 weeks of traveling, some of which was for fun and some for work. I woke up that day at my normal time, but I felt EXHAUSTED and a little irritable. Following my normal morning routine, I brewed coffee, started the laundry, and began unpacking. Next came breakfast and cleaning the kitchen. As I was wiping down the kitchen table, I heard my therapist’s voice in my head saying, ”What are you going to do for yourself today? When are you going to have a Tania day?”
Pausing, I felt calmness wash over me. Her voice in my thoughts brought me back to her office and the countless times we had that conversation. I could see her sitting in her chair, her soft voice posing that exact question. I was wiped out, and I needed to have a Tania day.
I looked at my watch. By that time, it was 9 am and I thought to myself, “I will finish up a few tasks, and by 10 am I will switch to doing whatever I want for the rest of the day.”
I blogged, planned upcoming CLI events, caught up on research, snacked on chips and salsa, and cuddled up with my softest blanket. I didn’t bother brushing my hair or putting on makeup. Around noon I decided I was going to lie down and enjoy a nap. I’m usually a short napper, but I allowed myself to stay in bed for a couple of hours to rest my body and mind. Being in a state of stillness and calm was relaxing, and it allowed my mind to wander. Relaxing the brain allows new ideas to emerge.
While ideas and thoughts were fresh in my head, I grabbed my laptop and returned to my blogs. Once I finished writing, I turned my attention to pampering myself as I got ready for a gala event I was attending that evening.
No one cared that I didn’t accomplish a million things that day. I didn’t feel the need to run errands or cross items off my to-do list. Often, we create our own personal stress by placing pressure on ourselves to be everywhere and do everything. But you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Everyone’s stress levels are different. The amount of stress you’re able to bear can even differ depending on the day. Make sure you are able to recognize and identify the tasks that create stress in your life, as well as the coping strategies and self-care techniques that work best for you. Try to find ways to balance the stressors with self-care.
Looking back, it was a beautiful Tania day! It took me years to learn the importance of taking days for myself. I hope you take time out of your day to recharge and fill your cup.
What I have learned: Only you can take a day for yourself. Learn to recognize when you need to do this before you are too overwhelmed.
Tania Farran is an educator, mom, business owner, and an author. Her blogs tell about balancing all of these things in life! Laugh or cry with her and maybe learn a thing or two.