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Be Your Own Valentine: Take Time for Yourself This Month

Although the reasons vary, many of my clients come to me feeling stressed, burnt out, or otherwise unsure of the next steps they should take in their careers. Work-related exhaustion may very well be at an all-time high right now. Part of our collective fatigue is a lack of taking time to recharge. I want to help you overcome that. February is often associated with Valentine’s Day. While showing our significant other our love and affection is always a good thing, this month I want you to be your own valentine and invite you to take some time for yourself and your personal well-being as well. So in this blog, I like to give you a few strategies that might help get you started:

Go to sleep one hour earlier

It starts with going to bed a bit earlier each night, preferably by at least one hour. Studies show that a little bit of extra sleep each night can ward off cardiovascular issues later in life. In addition, adequate rest each night boosts your metabolism, leading into the next recommendation. Having trouble setting your bed time an hour earlier? Set up your phone to automatically block notifications and put your phone away.

Add in physical activity, no matter how small the amount

In one of my blogs last month I discussed the importance of goal setting. The AIM method helps set goals; this equally applies to exercise as it does our professional aspirations. Whether you only walk for five minutes each day, spend ten minutes a night stretching, or go for a 30-minute walk once per week, incorporating some kind of physical activity will make you feel better while promoting your health.

Focus on mindfulness for 5 minutes per day

Most, if not all, of us have access to a smartphone or smartwatch. With that comes apps, and among the thousands of games, productivity tools, and collaboration clients are mindfulness apps.

These programs are designed to get you to slow down and turn inward with gratefulness, reflection, or simple meditation. Just 5 minutes of dedicated mindfulness practice each morning or before bed each evening can help clear your mind from whatever challenges you may be facing this week. If 5 min is too much, consider doing a mindful minute. Just take one breath in - count to 4, hold for 4, release counting until 6 and you’ll be all set.

Practice saying no — then say it when appropriate

In the past, I’ve talked about the importance of saying no. Today, I want to reiterate that we often need to practice saying no first. This can be in small ways, such as resisting the urge to add an extra pump of syrup to your morning coffee.

As you learn to say no to smaller things, it will gradually become easier to learn how to say no the right way, particularly when setting boundaries or pushing back on work-related tasks.

Organize one space per week

We could all use a little bit of organization. Revisiting AIM one more time, don’t make it a goal to organize your entire house or workspace this month. Rather, pick one thing each week. Maybe this week you’ll organize your desk drawers. Next week, it’ll be that closet you’ve been ignoring. The following week, you’ll finally tackle those client files.

Start small, chip away at it slowly, and eventually, you’ll accomplish your ideal organization goal.

Book a self-care trip

There is no shortage of trips, retreats, and vacation plans to choose from. Rather than select a fun-filled adventure away, I want to encourage you to book a slow-paced destination for yourself later this year. It could be as simple as a weekend getaway to a nearby park where you completely unplug and admire the stars. Or it could be a spa and salon trip. What’s important is you get away and enjoy yourself.

Treat yourself one day this month

However, I don’t want you to wait until later this summer or fall to treat yourself. Is there something you’d like to purchase or a service you’ve been dying to try? Maybe it’s an hour-long massage, a wine tasting tour, or eating at your favorite restaurant. Pick your thing and enjoy it.

Take time for yourself by engaging in activities you enjoy

Last but not least, set aside time this month to take time for yourself by engaging in activities you enjoy. Maybe console gaming is your guilty pleasure. Great, set aside time to log some hours on your favorite system. Perhaps it’s a long bike ride. Awesome, let your family know you’ll be gone for a few hours next weekend (or go with your spouse if they enjoy it too). Whatever your preferred activity, be sure to enjoy it this month.

Proactive self-care can help alleviate some of the tiredness you feel

Each of the 8 recommendations I made today affects a different part of your body. Sleep and exercise benefit your physical side. Mindfulness boosts your mental clarity. Saying no and organization improves your perception of your self-worth. A trip, treating yourself, and setting aside time for your hobbies all help to rejuvenate your spirit.

It can be hard to take time for yourself, especially with both at-home and work demands ever-increasing. Even figuring out where to start with these recommendations may seem overwhelming with everything else you have going on. If you’d like to spend some time working through these options, I’m always here to help. Contact me to set up a time to speak and we can help get you back on your way towards feeling your best once again!


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