Take Time for Y-O-U

Many of y’all know that in my real job (not that blogging doesn’t feel like a job sometimes) I work with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.  40+ hours a week I basically live and breathe in a very violent world.  I went to lunch with a coworker the other day and we were talking about how overwhelming this line of work can be and how it can really wear on your mental health if you’re not careful.

That conversation was the catalyst to this post.  It almost seems silly to write about making sure to take time for yourself but I bet if I asked most of you -especially you moms- would have to stop and think about the last time you did something entirely for yourself.  If an answer readily comes to your mind, BRAVO!! If not, keep reading.

Whether you work with victims of violent crimes, crunch numbers all day long, or chase your children and that never ending to-do list, we still need to make sure to get in some uninterrupted ‘me time’.  Time where you can set aside your worries and just allow yourself  to be unapologetically, Y-O-U.  How we spend that time is different for each of us and can range anywhere from exercising, to going shopping with girlfriends, or just barricading yourself in with a good book.  For me, I decompress through running and blogging. I know, shocking, right?

youReally it doesn’t matter how you spend your ‘me time’, the point is making sure you get your own time to keep your stress and anxiety levels down.  Because let’s face it, you’re no good to yourself or anyone else if you’re emotionally spent.  Annnnnnd if left unchecked, stress can actually have a physiological impact  in your life.  As I was researching stress, I came across this great infographic from HelpGuide.org that sums up the negative aspects that not taking time for yourself can have.

stress

If those symptoms look familiar to you, I encourage you to take a step back and examine what you have going on in your life.  Are you over extended? Is there something that you can stop doing that would alleviate some worry/anxiety/tension? Alternatively, is there something that you can start doing that would alleviate some of that same worry/anxiety/tension?

Maybe you’re doing something you love and it’s become overwhelming.  I know I love running but sometimes training for race after race can make it feel more like a chore.  It just zaps the fun right out of it.  Life’s about finding the right balance.  Don’t be afraid to explore until you find the right balance between the every day life stressors and play time.

And laugh.  Laugh like you did when you were 5.  I’m talking deep belly laughs; the kind that make you shoot chocolate milk out of your nose and tears stream down your face.  Laugh like you don’t have a care in the world.  Laugh so hard that it infects others so you all are actually ROTFL’ing and not just typing it.

quote_george-laughing

If you can incorporate laughter into your ‘you time’, AWESOME! I promise the stress will just melt away.  And who doesn’t want to live unencumbered?  Sounds dandy, right?  I want to challenge you to carve out some ‘you time’ this week.  Schedule it.  Enlist the help of your family, call a babysitter, do whatever it takes (short of tying up your kids) to make sure you get that time.  You deserve to recharge your batteries and your family/friends deserve to see you at your best!

Question:  What is something that you like to do for yourself?  How do you recharge when mental exhaustion and stress start to take over?

Want more info on the benefits of laughing? Check out this article from Psychology Today on laughing:.

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30 thoughts on “Take Time for Y-O-U

  1. I had no idea what your “real job” was until today. WOW! I think your advice is awesome, especially about taking time for yourself and have things in your life that can help you destress and decompress. xo Tara

  2. Running is what I do for myself. It’s my time to think and just reflect (or zone out and be a zombie…) It’s something I enjoy doing and it’s good for me, physically and mentally. It really is so important to take those mental health days and I feel like we don’t put enough emphasis on it.

    • I do some of my best thinking when I’m running and, ironically enough, some of my most mindless times are when I’m running. You’re right, Sarah, there isn’t enough emphasis put on mental health self-care.

  3. I didn’t know what your real job was until this post, and I seriously want to run over to the ‘Sip and give you a hug. Recharging the ole batteries is so important and something often overlooked. You are INSPIRING! Thank you for this.

  4. You graduated with a degree in public health didn’t you? (I graduated with community health) I feel like you told me that. Anyways-can you email me, I actually have a few questions for you about work (nothing overly personal or anything). lolzthatswim@gmail.com

    Anyways about this, this is a great post and a lot of people don’t realize how a little me time can go a long way. Blogging recharges me as well. 🙂

  5. Between my parent’s recent beginnings of a divorce, my injuries, a close family member (alcoholic, was sober for 12 yrs) to start drinking again and my thesis advisor not actually doing as much advising as I need during this time, I’ve definitely been on an emotional roller coaster.

    And it doesn’t help that I am ambitious and expect more from myself even though I’m going through the hardest point in my life…and that it will take me longer to finish my Masters as a result. Definitely have days where I feel overwhelmed, lost and sleep too much…and I feel bad taking what I feel is too much time for myself because of it.

    I am getting through it, one day at a time and I have to keep reminding myself that the ONE thing I can control in the aforementioned list is finishing my thesis, so once I get that done it will be one less thing to worry about! Thinking about going on a 2 week blog hiatus just to kick start my thesis progress. Sorry for the long post, I think its great that you bring this up because everyone has their own stresses to deal with and it can be different in how it affects us.

    • Oh, Nicole, I just want to reach out and give you a huge hug! You have my e-mail, please don’t hesitate to message me any time you need to cry, vent, scream. Any one of those things would be enough to bring a grown woman to her knees, let alone combined.

      Even though it may not be within your desired or planned time frame, you will complete your masters with flying colors. You’re so passionate and have so much to offer the world – especially with open little eyes and hearts to science and marine life. And don’t feel bad about taking a blog hiatus. If that’s what you need to do to keep your sanity, DO IT!!! Sending big, no huge {{{hugs}}} your way!

  6. Working out is such a great use of “me time”, but if I dread the workout I skip it and when everything becomes overwhelming I book a cruise to somewhere tropical where I have no other option than to lay in a lounger with an umbrella drink and ZERO social media distractions!

  7. I love this!!! So amazingly true. My me time is going to yoga/spin, reading, cooking, walking, baking…I love all those thing oh and of course blogging! You are an amazing person and I commend you for what you do with work!

  8. So, so, so true. As a reporter, I have to cover a lot of stressful things, and it really wears me down. That’s what running and blogging are for, but sometimes it isn’t enough to combat stress. That’s when I make sure to eat well, read a book and go to bed early.

  9. Amazing post, love!!!!! Youre so completely right about having to have “me time” whenever possible! I love to go get my nails done for some relaxation! I really admire you for your job and line of work. It takes someone truly.amazing to do what you do! Love you! Xo

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