This morning I was feeling particularly stressed out. Not about any one thing in particular, I just had a bunch of stuff to get done, didn’t sleep very well last night and was just a bit overwhelmed.
So I took some time out for myself.
I had to go into Newcastle to run a few errands that I really didn’t want to do, but made sure my board shorts and towel were in the car too. I made a deal with myself that if I did what had to be done I could do a “drive by” of the beach and, if a park presented itself (not always likely!), I had permission to go for a swim. As luck would have it, there were heaps of car parks near the Ocean Baths!
The water was cold (despite the surf notice indicating it was 20-degrees), but your body quickly adjusts. As I floated in the salty sea I felt my muscles relax and my outlook on the remaining chores change. By the time I climbed back onto dry land 15 minutes later I was so much happier.
It is really important to give yourself permission to enjoy yourself. Too often we get caught up in the things we have to do – the deadlines and chores that hang over us, our commitments and obligations. Giving yourself permission to enjoy yourself is more than just doing something you want to do, though. It is acknowledging that you have things to do but they can and will wait while you take time for yourself.
Sometimes I will sit down to read, play a video game or do something else I enjoy, but have this nagging sensation of guilt that I should be working on something. By mentally giving myself permission to have a break and take some time out to do something I want to do, it shuts down that nagging voice in my head. It makes doing the activity more energising or reinvigorating which helps you get up and finish those things you have to do.
Do you suffer from that guilty feeling when you take time out for yourself? What do you do to shut it down?