notes on self-care.
This weekend I overbooked myself. I didn't even do anything super strenuous or demanding but having a newfound appreciation for downtime made me realize how packed my weekend was. Don't get me wrong, I love everything I did; ballet class, day-date with a local blogger friend, grocery shopping, dinner-making, gotosleepwakeup, haircut & color, pick-up dinner, write...it was too much. And then there was that Forbes article, telling me how to set myself up for a more efficient workweek. (Wait, wasn't I already?!) In short, I think it's important to know when to slow down and how best to do it. So from now on, I'm going to make a more cognizant effort to prioritize my time, not just on the weekends but always.
And here's how:
Get organized. This one goes first because I'm super Type A and I have found that being organized helps me figure out everything else first. First thing Monday morning, I will plan out my work week (the best I can) and Monday nights I will plan out my work nights and lunches and any miscellaneous strategizing that needs to be done. Because I don't often have a long-term idea of my work calendar until Tuesdays, I will save my commitments to social plans until Wednesdays (at the latest). It's not as scary as it sounds. Simple planning can be done from my phone or iPad whereas long-term planning might need multiple calendars to compare side-by-side at the office. Getting organized and hashing out logistics early will allow for more free time and peace of mind later.
Do things that make you happy. The "little things" for me, range in simplicity from snuggling with my cat to attending a kick-butt barre class (yes, those are a thing). Sometimes these are things that seem like luxury or indulgence but in reality, they're the things that keep you sane. Sure, i had a crazy weekend but would I feel better if I hadn't attended that 8am barre class yesterday? Probably not. Making time for these things in your "downtime" will actually increase your productivity if you balance each thing out with something you NEED to do (i.e. pick-up cat food). But if you'd rather just catch-up on last season of Suits all day, that's okay too.
Eat better. Okay so maybe you're the kind of person that likes to give yourself a break on the weekends (I used to be that way too) but you're not really doing anyone any favors if you don't stay hydrated or feed yourself like the boss you are during the week. Have brunch, go out for ice cream, order a pizza, but maybe don't do all those things or, if you do, designate one day where you counter those tasty snacks with meal-prepping so healthy choices are easier to make int he days to come.
Get a good night's sleep. Nobody know better than P that I value sleep above all else. if I need it, and I'm not getting it, my whole day is off and my week truly suffers. A lack or shortage of sleep can also contribute to illness and ain't nobody got time fo' dat. The greatest tool I have found is that Bedtime function on my iPhone clock. Knowing I am at my best with 9 hours of sleep, I can set my phone to remind me to go to bed in time to get enough rest and ensure a happy and productive Monday, Tuesday and all the days.
Keep it simple. If you have commitments, don't feel the need to run yourself ragged by going from one thing to the next. Especially if you feel obligated. One of the best lessons I've learned in my twenties is, "don't do things just because you have to". I mean, professionally you have obligations but socially you have a lot more freedom. It's been very liberating for me to focus my time on the people and things that I want when I want.