Thursday, January 2, 2020


The holidays were hectic.  Your family came to visit.  You had entertaining obligations.  All of these demands equal a stressful time when you were supposed to be "on vacation" from school work.

Then, on the last day of vacation, you crammed your lesson plans, handouts, and grading into a few short hours before bed.

Do you feel relaxed? Of course not!  You didn't plan "me time" - that special period of time that can last from 10 minutes to 2 hours when nobody wants your attention, nobody needs your opinion, and nobody knows where you are.  No, the bathroom visit does NOT count!

Here are some ways you can capture some valuable "me time" so you can emerge rejuvenated and ready to take on the demands of home and work:
  1. Maintain a relaxation ritual.  That might mean you need to get up 10 minutes earlier when everyone is still asleep to meditate, read a book, give yourself a facial mask, or whatever you enjoy doing by yourself.
  2. Keep a happiness journal.  Find a happy little journal, as Bob Ross might say.  Then every evening, record the wonderful things that happened to you. Make sure you block out the family by posting a Do Not Disturb sign on your den or bedroom door.  When you find yourself getting overwhelmed some time in the future, go back to your journal and relive the wonderful moment when your spouse surprised you, your kids did chores without being asked, or a student gave you a thankfulness note.  
  3. Schedule lunch with a friend once a month.  Your family will be just fine without you for one meal and you'll feel much better about returning to the daily grind after your enjoyable afternoon.
  4. Look at soothing pictures.  Scour Pinterest for beach, lake, or mountain scenes.  Picture yourself there, enjoying the sunshine and warmth.  It's not as good as being there, but with enough concentration, you can imagine that you are having a fun time there. 
  5. Take your "me time" outside once in a while.  Hike, fish, swim, boat, or simply sit.  The sunshine will help you create valuable Vitamin D, and nature is, well, a natural, healer!
  6. If all else fails, hire a wellness coach to adjust your diet, lifestyle, and other ways to make your life easier to handle.  
You're probably wondering where I'm going with this list of ways to relax, rejuvenate, and revive yourself.  Check out my book, My Peaceful Place - A collection of stories to comfort and heal.  Each of the short stories has a happy ending, but not without a few twists and interesting plot elements.  Each story also has a painting or photograph that you can focus on while reading the story.   So, give yourself a gift and read one of these stories every week - you'll be glad you did!

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