For the last five days, I’ve been on vacation at work. It wasn’t because I was going away to Miami or Las Vegas to celebrate my birthday. I was on vacation for one person – ME. Somewhere between my promotion and events, I forgot about me. I remember during one of my first trainings at work, one of the presenters spoke to us about work and life balance. She told us to make sure we incorporate mental wellness days into our schedule before we plan anything else. I honestly thought I had it all under control. I could take time whenever I need to do so. I have my written planner plus my Google calendar to correspond with my other meetings, trainings, and whatever else filled up my schedule.
However, one day it all went crashing head first. I was overwhelmed and in tears because I piled up my plate. I wasn’t writing. I didn’t cook dinner. I didn’t clean my place. I didn’t spend a lot of time doing devotion. I wasn’t in the mood to socialize with my friends or sorority sisters. I didn’t do anything that I really wanted to do. I lost Crystal. I was literally piled up with papers and curriculum with a jungle of an office. Then, I remembered what the presenter said – schedule time for you off!
I did it! I pulled out my calendar and designated Crystal Days. Honestly, the last few days was amazing! I was adventurous, and colored my hair for the first time. I attended this amazing workshop for Christian women. It was such a blessing because one of the presenters spoke about putting too much on your plate, and leaving little time to pray or maintain your relationship with God. The entire workshop resonated with me. I (tried) not to call the office or respond to e-mails at work. I cooked an amazing meal for dinner. I watched Netflix, and chilled with my hun.
For the last four days, I learned a lot about myself. I wanted to share with you all my five lessons that I’ve learned from putting me first.
Lesson 1: Unplug It
I learned that social media, e-mails, and technology can be a distraction. I used it some days, but there were times when I unplugged it. As I shared earlier, I tried not to call the office. It took a while. I kept telling myself that I’m on vacation, and regardless of the need or e-mail – I can respond to it when I get back to work on Wednesday. Don’t be afraid to unplug your technology.
Lesson 2: Pamper Yourself
“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary,” Mandy Hale said.
I started incorporating this regimen a while ago, but I went all out during Crystal Days. I got my hair and nails done. Pampering yourself doesn’t require a lot of money if you do it wisely. I went to the hair school, and my cousin did my hair. Therefore, if my funds are tight, but I need to pamper myself. You can do it for little to no money.
Lesson 3: Staycations are the Best Vacations
My sister asked me if I was going to down to visit everyone during my vacation. I quickly responded, “No.” It was nothing against them, but I didn’t want to travel. My plan for Crystal Days were to stay put in my staycation. I ate all of the finest meals and relaxed. I’ve heard great things about staycations, but this was a first. I feel so refreshed and energized from it.
Lesson 4: Make a Grateful List
Last year, I started a grateful journal. After these last few days, I realized that I needed to pick it back up. A grateful journal is an opportunity to not only list what you are appreciative of, but also to reflect on the things you are most thankful for in life.
Lesson 5: Schedule Time for You
The most important lesson learned is to make sure you take time for you. I’ve already planned out the next set of Crystal Days. If you schedule the time in advance, then it’s easier to commit to those days. I am making it a commitment to Crystal to set time aside to re-group and unwind.