Friday, October 24, 2008

Take Time for You

I spoke to a good friend of mine this morning and gave her some advice, after which I suddenly realized - hey, I need to listen to myself! "Take time for you," I said. Stop working so hard and worrying so much, and just focus on your own personal needs.

Is that easier said than done, or what?

Now, while we'd all love a day at the spa, or a weekend away from the kids, you really can find a way to take time for you, without too much effort. My favorite "me moments" usually involve my camera and a quiet setting. On Wednesday this week, I took an extra 20 minutes before heading into the office and visited gorgeous Drake Park (pictured above). The fall colors were out and the weather was sunny and cool. I walked around, shot about 30 photographs, and then - with a big smile on my face - went to work.

Another easy way to minimize stress and take time for you (and only you) is to turn off your cell phone, mute the ringer on your landline and keep the television and radio off, as well. Don't turn on your computer or check your emails. The world can and will wait for you. Even if you only do this practice for an hour a day, you will find that you can re-enter the rat race just a bit more refreshed.

When you get back online, how about looking up some jokes or cute videos, instead of checking your bank account balance? Avoid watching the evening news for a night or two. Rest assured, most of it is bad news anyway.

I'm certainly not advocating that you ignore important tasks with a hedonistic, "I love me" approach! The honest truth is, however, that many people lack true happiness in their lives because they don't do enough self-care. Determine what is missing in your life. Take time for you to pursue your passions, whether they include reading, gardening or exercising (or all of the above)!

Did you take too much time in reading this post? Don't go away yet. Spend a few more minutes relaxing with the sounds and sights of nature:

Now, do this regularly and you'll find your happiness improve when you make it a habit to take time for you!

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