This month, we’ve focused our efforts on extending generosity to others. But, before November comes to a close, we wanted to touch on one of the most important ways you can give back: by being generous to yourself. That’s right—we’re taking today to focus on yours truly (finally!).
As planners, it’s so easy to focus on everyone and everything else around us, but, as the old adage goes, you can’t fully tend to those around you until you’ve taken care of yourself. So open that bottle of wine, put on your favorite guilty-pleasure television show and make an appointment for a mani/pedi—today is all about YOU (for once). As November winds down, we challenge you to spend one full week practicing the following principles:
Give Yourself: A Break
The best way you can give back to yourself is to simply give yourself a break. And we’re not talking a break as in a vacation or time away—we’re talking about the most simple interpretation of the phrase: don’t be so damn hard on yourself. As planners, we are pros at beating ourselves up. Think about the internal dialogue that goes on in your head constantly: I can’t believe I didn’t get that paperwork finalized today; I look tired today; I shouldn’t have eaten that; I should have made it to that event. While self-awareness and self-correction are both super healthy habits to practice, sometimes we confuse them with self deprecation.
Take this next week to pay close attention to anytime you’re beating yourself up (judging your appearance, feeling negative about your body, wishing you’d gotten more done, etc.) and simply flip the script. Here’s an easy way to stop yourself from constant self deprecation or unwarranted self criticism: every time you think a negative, self-destructive or self-critical thought, force yourself to come up with three compliments or positive statements about yourself.
Give Yourself: Some Time
As professionals, time is our most valuable asset—and we tend to not give enough of it to ourselves. Challenge yourself to spend this week giving yourself time in whatever ways you need it. This may mean extending a tight deadline that’s been stressing you out, taking ten minutes to yourself everyday to get some fresh air, or simply allowing yourself a day or two of sleeping in. Think about three ways you can treat yourself to more time this week and do your best to implement them.
Give Yourself: A Treat
If there’s a person out there who doesn’t love a good treatyoself day, we have yet to meet them. Think about the last time you truly allowed yourself a worthwhile treat. Chances are, it may have been further back than you can remember. Treating ourselves is so often put on the backburner—usually for both time-management and financial reasons, which is completely understandable. That being said, there are simple ways to treat yourself that don’t take up a ton of time or cost a ton of money and—the best part!—they’re worth their weight in gold as they help to keep us sane and, in the end, make us better planners, mothers and business owners.
Think about a simple way you can treat yourself this week, and force yourself to follow through on it. This may mean allowing yourself five minutes of quiet reading time each day. It may mean buying a bottle of red wine on Friday night and pouring yourself a glass (or many). It may mean buying yourself a bouquet of flowers at a farmers’ market. It may mean a full-on spa day. Or, it simply may mean finally buying that skirt you’ve had your eye on for three full months. Whatever you choose, just make sure it’s something that puts a smile on your face and offers you a few minutes of pure, unfiltered joy.
Overall, we end up being the best, most giving versions of ourselves when we learn to be generous to ourselves first and foremost. Remember, you have an entire world out there to unfairly judge you or harshly criticize you—you certainly don’t need to add to that yourself. Instead, practice a week of self-love and watch how it affects every aspect of your life.