Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A five minute vacation

If you read my newsletter yesterday, you know that my birthday is coming up.  You also know that every year I treat my birthday as my personal new year.  I spend a little time journaling about the past year and try to make adjustments that will help my next year be even better than the year before.

One of the things that I tried to do this past year was make more time for myself.  Having a young child threw me for a major loop and I have been a pretty cranky person since she was born. And five years is a long time to be cranky. So last year, I decided I needed to work on being a better person.  After a lot of thinking, I realized that I was pretty angry.  Angry and tired.  And most of it stemmed from the fact that I felt like I had absolutely no time for myself.  That I spent my days sacrificing for others.  The ridiculous part of it was that no one was asking me to make those sacrifices.  I have a great husband.  He helps out all the time and he would never expect me to give up my life to wait on him.  But, when the laundry needs to get done and dinner needs to be cooked, something has to give.  And it was always me and my time.  And I was ticked off about it.  Not mad at anyone else. I was mad at myself. 

So I vowed to carve time out for myself every single day.  Sometimes that means that everything doesn't get done, but my family doesn't care because when I take care of myself, I'm a much nicer person to live with. 
Now, I know you have heard this a million times.  Every woman's magazine out there tells us how important it is to take time for ourselves and, if you are like me, I flip past the article thinking, "Yeah right, like that's possible." (Frankly those articles made me mad.  I felt they were unrealistic.) But truer words have never been said.  We have to put ourselves first or we (and everyone else) are going to live one miserable life.  I found self-care doesn't have to mean a few hours at the spa either.  One of the biggest pick me ups I practice is to listen to one or two upbeat songs when I walk to pick my daughter up to school.  I'm alone on the way to school and I live in Southern California so the sun is usually shining.  I put on Frank Sinatra's I've Got the World on String, and by the time I arrive at my daughter's school, I'm practically skipping down the sidewalk and have a huge grin on my face.

As we all face the holidays, I recommend you take the time to take care of yourself too.  I promise you are going to get a lot more done and your family will be a whole lot happier if you do.  Let me know how you take mini-vacations in the comments today.

Here's your first few minutes of vacation to get you started: