(The view from my hotel room)
Do you know when to stop and recharge? Do you have a balance of working hard, and then unwinding so you are truly refreshed? I don’t. So, really what I’m looking for here is advice.
I’m a “get stuff done now so you’re ahead of yourself” person, a compulsive list maker, a “hardly ever say no” person. I love my work, writing songs, coming up with new creative ideas, thinking of posts for this blog and so often work 7 days a week, and of course I have a family…And though this is how I choose to live my life, the problem is I literally never stop.
I have found this year that life has taken on a different pace. Increasingly I feel the need relax and do nothing. But I am not very good at it and curiously the thought of taking time to do nothing for myself makes me feel guilty. I think this is a “mother” thing.
I have tried to book the odd beauty treatment as an “enforced” time out, but I find myself scheduling studio days and answering emails whilst trying not to scuff lovely manicured nails. Even I know that’s not relaxing.
So this weekend just gone, I decide to do something bold. I booked a hotel in Cotswolds, chucked a few things in a bag and jumped in car on my own. Funnily enough, last week a few girlfriends and I were talking about a spa break, but that wouldn’t be for a few months and would take some coordination. And whilst I am looking forward to doing that, I needed to hit pause now.
So, I drove off just before lunchtime on Saturday, having made sure the house was clean and the washing was done. There was a bit of traffic, but the weather was so gorgeous it wasn’t a hardship and I remembered that driving without any time constraints is a joy.
A few hours later I arrived at the little hotel I had booked. Checked in and did nothing. I read my book, I snoozed, I had a shower, went down to the bar had a drink, ate some yummy food and then went to bed at 9.30pm.
You may be thinking, I sound really sad and pathetic but I loved it. I am just not used to taking time out for me. It’s not the way I am wired. But I realised I spend most of my time “doing”, even if I love what I’m doing, and for just over 24 hours I benefitted from just “being”. And the funny thing is this, though I didn’t take any work with me, on Sunday morning when I woke alarm free – my brain was buzzing with ideas.
I would love to tell I put my wellies or walking boots (neither of which I own) and went for a long walk in the countryside, but I didn’t. For a city girl like me, being in the country and looking at it was a good first step. I drove home feeling energised and refreshed.
So how good are you at looking after yourself? Do you feel you have good work/rest balance in your life? Do you stop and take time out for yourself? Tell me what you do; I would love to know.