When was the last time you stopped and took time for you? I wanted to so I went off the radar for a bit.
Can you actually take time for yourself and go off the social media radar, only to return to find that the world hasn’t ended? HELL YEAH!!
Since I left the corporate world last summer, all I wanted to do is focus on my family and myself. I have to say I successfully achieved the former, the latter not so much.
Ironically, I kept myself busy so that I don’t miss being at work. Busy with looking after my daughter, starting a business, buying and renovating our home, developing an app and bringing the product to market, networking, marketing, establishing myself in a different domain, planning my sister’s wedding. Too busy to focus on me and the health scares I’ve had whilst doing all of the aforementioned.
Some of it I enjoyed, others tested my core. I found myself running from one stressful thing to another. In moments of triumph I smiled from ear to ear, in times of failure I felt beaten and down.
I kept going to prove my point that I was good enough and I would be successful and happy if I did it my way. But prove to whom, who cared? Those who I walked away from? Or those who I changed everything for?
In all of this, the one person I forgot to think of was ME. Once again I was no longer the centre of my own attention. It had to stop.
I felt overwhelmed with everything around me, although taking a break didn’t feel like an option. I couldn’t bring myself to stop cause that would mean I’m tired and giving up. The opposite couldn’t have been truer. I struggled to acknowledge that my desire to make a success of everything I was in involved in was driving me to get fatigued and lose interest. Recognising that you need to step away to make it work is not easy. It had to be done. And am I glad that I did or what?
I had to stop, take stock and reassess my priorities.
I worked through my commitments and started reducing my hours online throughout Ramadan to turn my focus to my spirituality.
I limited my screen time and interactions to see if I could survive without the social media community. I didn’t want assurances of my work anymore, but I knew without those my business would suffer. I had to make that tough choice. I just wanted to find my mojo to be my own brand again.
I kept myself focused on small wins rather than big jackpots.
I switched off my internet when my work was done and put my phone away when I was with family.
I went away to spend time with my family and prepare for my sister’s wedding. That wasn’t easy, you know how weddings can be, but I wasn’t worried about meaningless interactions anymore. Emotions ran high but at least they meant something. I was focused on things that would make me happy. I was stressed but to make everything perfect for my family and me. I was spending time doing things that would help me have a memorable experience.
I spent time with my loved ones, quality time with my daughter and niece, slept like a baby, stayed awake till crazy hours laughing with family, ate all the cake I could find, did yoga, indulged in massage therapies, visited orphanages with the lots of goodies and essentials, dressed up for all the wedding parties, of course I looked gorgeous, danced at the wedding till had blisters, performed a dance routine with my daughter and niece, got the crowd into a flash mob, laughed, walked on sandy beaches, hiked to historical forts, got soaked in the rain, all for me and nothing in vain.
I still worked and responded to any business correspondence but I didn’t have to kill myself over it. For the first time I was comfortable telling my work connections that I’m taking time out to enjoy with my family and things will have to wait. I wasn’t guilty for having fun.
I understand not everyone has the luxury for long breaks or walking away from paid employment, but we do have the choice to manage our workload around our family and our sanity.
Find the time to find time and make it your habit. Make small changes, start from having a screen time routine. Finish work on time. When you walk through the door at home leave work behind. Put your phone on silent when you are home. Turn off your internet when it’s family time. Exercise regularly. Be out in the nature. Eat & Sleep well. There’s nothing new here, but I’ve tried all of this and it’s made a difference to my wellbeing and mindset.
Stop. Take a moment for you. Be you.