I come from a family of hard workers, and a culture where the phrase “mental health day” doesn’t exist. Growing up in Mexico I started working with my dad literally at six months old. (so I really wasn’s much help, but I did ride with him all around the city visiting different clients) I have never stopped working since. From 1st grade all the way to 6th, I worked at my mom’s business after school. Homework, dinner, and playtime were done at the market, often leaving at 10 pm.
I loved it, I didn’t know anything else, working hard was in my blood. In High School, working was replaced by every activity possible. Dance, TV Production, President of the Hispanic club and as you guys know at 16 I started interning at Spectrum (Formerly known as Bright House). I just completed my 15th year with the company at only 31 years old.
I wouldn’t change it for the world. I believe in destiny and faith, but until last Thursday at 5 pm during a therapy appointment, I realized I have not taken a break in a long time. Even though I have taken many many trips, weekend getaways (including my recent Miami trip) I have not taken 5 minutes to take a deep breath and just be. I literally walked into a Dr’s office and started crying. I have been exhausted for 31 years.
Why am I sharing all this? Because I want to remind you, that you are worth taking a day just for you. As I sit here on a Sunday night, knowing I have Monday off, I feel guilty. “I should go to work”. “We are short staffed”. “I have so much to do” However, I know a mental health day is way overdue and taking the day off is going to make my week more productive. I plan to take my car for an oil change, come back, watch Gilmore Girls and THAT IS IT. I know it won’t be easy and I will have to force myself to do it, but I am determined and that is the first step.
I know a lot of you my #Littlefinders have kids or other responsibilities that might prevent you from taking a full day off, so here are some ideas to help you recharge for this crazy thing we call life.
- Take 5 minutes to meditate (there are tons of apps such as headspace and calm) and a little bit of time can go a long way
- Drive home in complete silence, no radio, no phone, give your brain a break if that’s the only time you have.
- Take a lunch break. In America, we are so guilty of eating at our desk and not taking time to eat. Go to your car, go to the lunchroom or anywhere you feel relaxed and take at least 20 minutes to eat your food. It’s worth it.
- If you have the luxury of taking a full personal or vacation day for yourself don’t hesitate. The work will be there when you come back, but your mind will be at a better place.
- Lastly just breath. Take deep breaths throughout the day and make it a point to repeat it every hour.
I hope this post, as well as the tips, help you understand you are human and you need a break once in a while. Start small and work your way up . Remember you can’t take care of other people if you don’t take care of yourself.
Until Next Time Littlefinders!