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Having experimented with over 300 acts of self-care so far in 2016, I’m starting to get better acquainted with which activities replenish me, and which ones feel more like work. Many of my experiments thus far have become part of my regular self-care practice, while some will likely remain a one-time trial.
In fact, I’ve noticed that I’m starting to include two or more acts of self-care on a regular basis, and yesterday I found myself in the midst of a self-care trifecta: a much-needed haircut, a pampering pedicure, and a relaxing massage. Essentially, I ended up with an afternoon of restoration, and it was relatively easy to pull off too. By simply clustering three appointments together, I inadvertently pulled myself away from work for a few hours.
I tend to color-code my calendar–self-care activities in green, networking meetings in yellow, coaching appointments in orange, and all other projects in red by default–so you can imagine my delight when I realized by accident that I had booked three self-care appointments in a single afternoon. When I noticed the “green out’ on my calendar, it was like someone had handed me an unexpected gift.
Taking time for self-care gave me the space to pause and think more creatively. It allowed me to zoom out and assess the projects I’ve been working on to make sure they align with my grander vision. The truth is that some of them aren’t in alignment, and if I hadn’t taken a moment I wouldn’t have realized this until much later.
This valuable “afternoon of self-care” might just become a regular part of my practice. Taking an afternoon off periodically, whether it’s monthly or quarterly, is quite the restorative treat.
When was the last time you took an afternoon for yourself?