This article was also published on The Huffington Post
Yup, I was actually looking forward to a colonoscopy. Mental, yeah?
In the months leading up to this much-anticipated probing, I’d been making the most of every hour in every day (read: overworking like a mofo).
I tend to do this a lot. I get excited about business ideas, I get ambitious, I get on a roll . . . and I get burnt out. I actually forget to do things like, oh, you know, have a day off.
But this hospital visit was forcing me to do just that. It wasn’t until the week before it that I woke up one day and realised how freakin’ knackered I was . . . and that this procedure meant: A) I was taking a day off work; B) Someone was going to force me into a deep sleep; and C) I would get free biscuits when I woke up. Win.
So I got excited. As you do (well, I do).
That day I turned up to the hospital and joked to the nurse during pre-prep that they should let me sleep for at least two hours longer.
“You’d be surprised how many people actually ask us to do that,” she replied.
“Lots of people tell me it’s the first day off they’ve had in ages and that they’re looking forward to getting some rest.”
I was totally dumbfounded. How could I seriously not be the only weirdo who was treating this as a mini-holiday? Is this an indication that most of us aren’t taking time out for ourselves to have a break?
I’m guessing you probably wouldn’t look forward to a colonoscopy, but I’d bet you my spare dose of bowel prep medication that you don’t get enough “me time” in your life.
It’s so hard though, isn’t it? Work, family, life admin – the list goes on. But that was a wake-up call for me, because sane people don’t look forward to going into hospital.
I spend so much of my time helping clients factor themselves into their own lives a little more, workshopping ways they can do nice things that make them feel good . . . yet completely neglecting to do it for myself.
Lately I’ve started to build small non-negotiable things into my life that enforce a little “me time”. And you know what? It actually works. Making them non-negotiable, just like any other appointment or client in my schedule, means I have no excuses not to do something nice for myself.
So here’s my list of mini-holidays:
* I take 20 minutes every weekday to do whatever I want, just as long as it’s not work related (or bloody facebook!). Sometimes I meditate, sometimes I watch TV and sometimes I just stare at the wall and chew my fingernails. Whatever I feel like doing in that particular moment, I just roll with it.
* Facedown Friday. I literally lie facedown on the couch on Friday evenings in my trackies watching Netflix. No, it’s not sad. It’s epic.
* I get a fortnightly pedicure. I leave my phone at home, grab a coffee and sit down for 45 minutes reading trashy magazines while getting my toenails painted trashy shades of red.
So that’s me. I know it’s super-hard to make time for yourself, especially if you have a family. But I implore you to give it a try, even if it’s just 10 minutes of silence a day and a Saturday-morning coffee at your local.
Because honestly, how can we be the best for the people who love us when we can’t be the best for ourselves?
I’d love for you to let me know what your non-negotiables are.
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