Shutting Down is Part of Self-Care
Working on multiple projects while being someone to multiple people at multiple times is as exhausting as it is reading that a few times. The harsh reality for those of us who have both 9 to 5 jobs and outside careers is that we often believe that we don't have time to waste. Our generation has grown up repeatedly hearing the tired (pun intended) adage that we can "sleep when we die". I am sure I'm not the only one who has sat back and thought about how much sense this doesn't make considering when we are dead we can't do sh!t. So here we are just watching life pass us by in hopes of excelling in our careers and personal lives. We literally work to live and then turn around and live to work making our work our ceiling instead of our floor. How often have we, myself included, looked up to realize we have went without food, sleep, or other necessary life dependencies to get things done? The answer is more often than we should.
As the fiscal year for my corporate role came to a close our VP granted us a free Friday off after a very strenuous year. This year alone I have switched job titles twice into a specialized role, have a team of several people that I am responsible for, played more corporate politics that I can count, and lost more hours of sleep that I would rather not recall. I love my job and what I do but it has its days where I'm beyond exhausted. We all have the moments of trying to manage our haves and our wants. With this off day, I made plans to do work. I had content, projects, events, and a whole list of things I knew had to do but I decided to do something quite opposite of who I typically am and do nothing.
I left my laptops, iPad, and planner at home for a day to quite frankly merely exist. I made a few calls and ended up on the rooftop of one of Dallas's new hotels The Statler. I wanted to sit in fresh air and drink champagne. I had to fight the urge to hit up friends or invite others to sit on their rooftop pool with me. It was challenging but it was needed. Granted this was a mix of self-care and self-indulgence with the champagne and such but again, I am who I am and it's a work in progress. The hardest part was just sitting without anything or anyone. Self-care isn't about going to Lush for a face mask, buying a bath bomb, blowing a bag or taking yourself out to dinner; it's about doing things that directly go against your flesh. Things that are difficult to do but have to be done in order to take care of yourself. Shutting down is included.
As bougie as my day off was, it led to something important: a week of wellness. I didn't take the next week off but instead chose to do the bare minimum. I got all of my work done, but I didn't over exert myself. I did the things I needed to do to keep up but focused on getting myself together for a new year at work. I got workouts in, cooked meals, organized my life. I wasn't on social media much and kept limited contact with my friends and family. I feel better than I knew I needed to feel.
I have a bit more flexibility with my job so I am aware that for some of you it may be hard to do the bare minimum but even if it's for 15 minutes today to sit your electronics down, step away from everyone, and just sit. You're busy, you have a lot going on, and life is happening. I understand because I live it right there with you but it's possible for all of us. I've decided to bring my non-negotiable times back where those are hours I won't answer emails, won't work, or do for others. Thirty minutes to an hour a day where I can reflect, read a book, or use it to go to bed early if I wanted to. It doesn't matter what it is, it just has to exist.
Go and find your shutdown. It makes champagne taste so much better.
Thank you for the team at the Statler for allowing me to relax for the morning as well as making sure my time there was beyond comfortable. Be sure to check out my video on IG TV of the rooftop and bar!