Self Care Tip: Schedule Yourself A Break

schedule a break

This time of year is busy, busy, busy. Report cards, field trips, high stakes state testing wrap up, finals, marathon grading sessions, end-of-the-year celebration planning and all those hormonal students with spring fever… it is enough to make anyone want to schedule a mental health holiday.

The end of the school year always reminds me of a championship baseball game that has just gone into extra innings. Everything feels completely necessary and like every second counts.

My friend and author, Rosie Molinary used to think, “Maybe something mildly bad will happen, like a really bad flu or a minor car accident, so that I can take a little bit of time off.”

Sound like something you might say to yourself? Me too.

Let’s face it, even if you don’t work in a school, spring is an extra busy time. Even nature is going a million miles a minute: the birds, the bees, the pollen and the trees.

Stress city!

So rather than trying to keep going and going and going until you completely burn out, why not schedule yourself a break?

Start with an hour for yourself in the next couple of weeks: a restorative yoga class, a nap,  a massage, a manicure or pedicure, a run outside without any distraction.

Then why not schedule a half day? A hike at a nearby river or lake, a picnic by a stream, a good book under a tree, a yoga workshop with your favorite teacher, an afternoon taking pictures of signs of spring, writing in your journal in a café.

Then try a whole day and schedule absolutely nothing and see how the day unfolds. Maybe try a pajama day and see how you feel.

The idea behind these breaks is to give yourself a bit of space and breathing room. You may find you are happier and even more productive than you would have been without the break.

Does the idea of scheduling a break freak you out or are you already grabbing your planner?  Please share in the comments.

Post inspired by Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance by Rosie Molinary. Specifically Day 306: Take a Personal Health Day and Day 57 Schedule Breaks.

Image Source: Serenity Retreat – Early Fall by FreeWine on Flickr (cc)

Pajama Day in Progress

breakfast number 1

breakfast number 1

 

breakfast number 2 part 1

 

breakfast number 2 part 2

 

 

  

she's really still in her cute #swapasana pajamas

 

love the linedrying

Downtime Is Not Optional

The way I felt at the end of last weekend’s endless fun-fest prompted me to add another entry to my Book of Me: Downtime is Not Optional.

 downtime

Don’t get me wrong, I love having fun as much as the next person.

As it turns out, I need some unscheduled hangout-and-do-nothing-time in order to recharge my batteries. I need some built-in recovery time or my body rebels and makes me sick. And you all know how I feel about that.

 

Many folks are rolling their eyes right now, thinking well I’m just too busy, I’ve got commitments and/or kids and I just can’t afford any down time.

 

My monsters say those things too.

Here are some more gems from the monster gallery:

  1. Really? 7-9 hours of sleep isn’t enough?
  2. You mean you need to do that EVERY night in order to feel truly rested?
  3. These days, who is really rested?
  4. Can’t you sleep when you’re dead?
  5. Gawd, you really are lazy.
  6. Other people don’t need to rest this much.
  7. Other people get up on Monday morning and never stop running – even on the weekend.
  8. They run their kids all over town and clean house and go to endless sporting events and birthday parties and the never even complain about it.
  9. Other people have kids and commitments and jobs and…. and they are fine. Damnit.
  10.  How are you going to survive when your kid arrives?
  11. I’ve heard kids rob you of all your sleep and you are a constant sleep-deprived zombie.

 Do you see how much my Monsters care about me?

The good news is that my Book of Me, isn’t a book for my monsters.

Or of you.

Just some reminders about what works for ME.

To quote HaviThat’s why it’s the Book of You and not the Book of Humanity In General That Is Also Known As The Book of All Things For All People At All Time.
So in order to honor my research and study of me, I am scheduling a much-needed day of quiet for tomorrow.

 

PAJAMA DAY to the rescue!

Are your monsters responding to my Pajama Day idea? Are they yelling about how lazy that makes me? Want to join me? All you need to do is STOP for one day and stay in. I’d love some company. I’ll be hanging out on Twitter and Facebook and hulu and Netflix.

What are some things I would find in your book of YOU? What kind of self-care do you do to stay sane?

Image source.In the park on hot day–“played … by The Library of Congress on Flickr

Yoga+Music365 (day11) – Stay Positive by The Hold Steady

Pajama Day!

Recently I took a yoga workshop with Mary Paffard about living with a serene heart. The basic message is that as a culture we’re too ambitious with our time and we need to make conscious choices about slowing down in order to care for ourselves properly.

She advocated staying home and staying in bed all day when you aren’t sick.

I couldn’t agree more.

After my excellent massage, I checked my calendar and saw that every single Saturday for the forseeable future was booked.

Except this one.

It was now or never. I had to take my chance at Pajama Day before all my weekend days got away from me. 

Pajama Day!

Saturday I spent all day in my pajamas. At midday I took a shower and put on clean pajamas.

No, I wasn’t sick. Remember this project is to help me not get sick.

What did I do all day?

  • wrote my weekly music roundup
  • read my blog comments and responded to my awesome readers
  • listened to music
  • listened to Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me while eating chocolate in bed – 2 Sacramento mentions!
  • watched an episode of GLEE (!)
  • watched Enlighten Up (loved it!)
  • read Havi’s brilliant blog – The Fluent Self
  • Facebooked with some friends about them joining me in Pajama Day
  • practiced yoga in my kitchen
  • read the newspaper
  • read a book
  • ordered books from the library

By bedtime on Saturday I was sleepy enough to go to bed at regular bedtime. I slept like a baby until morning and by Sunday evening I actually felt rested and ready for work.

 I hope to have another Pajama Day soon. I look forward to hearing about yours.

Today’s yoga brought to by Laura (one of my teacher training classmates!) at It’s All Yoga in Sacramento.

Today’s music is Stay Positive by The Hold Steady.

Remember to come back each Tuesday I’ll share an easy, nutritious recipe so you can join me in the home-cooked self-care.

Also don’t forget FREE Fridays at 4:30 with the new It’s All Yoga teachers (21st and X in Sacramento) – you’ve got to sign up online www.itsallyoga.com