About a month ago I went on the trip of a lifetime to Banff National Park in Canada with my best friend. I had no idea that this trip would end up being the highlight of my life thus far. Prior to this trip, neither my friend nor I had ever been out of the country, yet alone had a passport. It’s a wonder what a small book of paper can do for you.
Well, what made this adventure so special anyway? This trip was probably one of the most important pieces of self-care I could have possibly given myself. The reason why it was so necessary is because I specifically took time away for myself, unplugged from the internet for a couple of days and immersed myself in nature. Granted, I wish I was better at taking time for myself on a daily basis, but those ten days helped more than you can imagine. I came back from my trip refreshed, more appreciative of those around me, and focused on what lies ahead.
Here are some takeaways from my trip that I hope to pass on:
You don’t have to go on a trip to take time for yourself. It can be as easy as turning your phone off for 10 minutes as you get ready for bed. If you can’t be bothered with turning off your phone, just put it on do not disturb.
Get a hobby! Whether that’s photography, cooking, hiking, or even card making (I like to dabble in all four). We’re all workaholics here in SF and deserve to enjoy more than just work.
Say no. This is probably the hardest of the three recommendations thus far but is also the most rewarding, in my opinion. unless you have FOMO (fear of missing out), then maybe tread lightly on this one. If you don’t feel like going to your co-workers friend’s sister’s birthday dinner because you would rather stay at home and rewatch Friends for the fifth time, then don’t be afraid to do it! You know better than anyone what you do and don’t want to do, so let that be the deciding factor - do what you want to do, not what others pressure you to do. Don’t let FOMO run your life. :)
Lastly, if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Taking time for yourself takes real persistence and actual effort. Start small: take a couple minutes out of your day for you and you only, and do something that you love to do. Even just something relaxing, something that helps you wind down - watching your favorite show, painting your nails, listening to music, dancing! - can have a beneficial effect. Once you’ve mastered a couple of minutes of you-time, the options are really endless.
Now, I can’t teach you how to take time for yourself. I can only share what has helped me and hope you find yours. Taking time for yourself can be very daunting at first, but once you find balance, the reward will be well worth it.