Anyone who knows me will agree that I’m a planner in every sense of the word. My Law of Attraction Planner is already marked up through year-end, with my iCal mirroring it in digital form. I’m as busy as the next person because let’s face it: it isn’t happening if I don’t write it down.
From the outside, it looks like I have it all covered. I’m on top of my game. But, if you look beyond all the meetings and appointments, you’ll see there’s no room left in my day to schedule the most important activity of all: relaxation.
Suppose you have time to schedule events in your life, like going to the doctor or a video chat with a friend. Then, you absolutely have time to plan for your relaxation. You may not think relaxing is essential, but consider what would happen if you were out of commission because you were burnt out and run down. All of those critical tasks that you’ve jotted down in your planner would fall to the wayside or (at worst, if you’re a control freak like I am) get delegated to someone else to handle.
The only way around this is to do things in the reverse direction from what you’ve been taught. Be proactive. Schedule your relaxation time FIRST.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve lived your life ensuring all of your responsibilities were a priority. Work. Bills. Family. Especially BEFORE you took care of yourself. A manicure isn’t nearly as important as doing the laundry, right? So put it off, and eventually, if you’re lucky, you’ll be caught up on the grocery shopping. You can FINALLY have the half-hour you’ve craved to do something for yourself.
That thinking is backward. Reverse your mindset completely.
YOU need to be first on your list. No, it’s not selfish. It’s ESSENTIAL. If you don’t get the restoration YOU need for your mental-spiritual-emotional-physical (etc.) health, you’ll be unable to handle your responsibilities. Worse, you won’t be able to be there for those who need you the most, at work and at home.
The answer is simple: SCHEDULE RELAXATION FIRST.
Yes, that means before everything else!
When looking at your weekly agenda, make sure you fill in the slots for relaxation FIRST. Schedule a thirty-minute timeslot DAILY for a relaxing activity. Whether it’s a hot bath, watching a show you love, reading a few chapters of a book, choose anything that allows your mind and body to destress from the day.
If you don’t schedule them IN WRITING (in your planner, on your phone, a post-it…whatever works for you), they will NEVER happen. You’re more likely to do something you’ve set aside time for in advance than just ‘fitting it in.’ As busy as you are, when will you find time to fit in anything?
If you have an appointment, chances are you tend to stick with it. That’s why doctors want you to put your annual physical exam on the calendar before the end of the year. It’s not just for planning and time management purposes. If they allowed walk-in physicals, no one would show up.
As with your health and wellness, the same is true for relaxation. If you don’t set aside the time for it, other things will get in the way, and it will never happen.
Before long, weeks will have gone by. By the time you do relax, you won’t feel refreshed. You’ll just need more time to rest because you’re exhausted. Suppose you get ahead of it and make it a priority. In that case, you’ll be better able to sustain a busy life, be productive and find the restoration you need regularly.
Remember, as hard as it is to do, PUT YOURSELF FIRST. Make it a priority to schedule time for relaxation daily. Whether it’s to spend time with those you love, read a book or get a manicure, schedule it on your calendar before you plan anything else. When taking care of yourself is first on your list, everything else will fall into place.
You’ll not only be productive, but you’ll have the stamina to be there for the people in your life who need you most.
And if you find you’re struggling, it’s okay. You’re human. I promise, you’ve got this, and I’m here for you!
Comment if you’re willing to share your perspective. I’d love to hear from you!