Do you feel like you are always on the run with no break? In Las Vegas, as everywhere, we can get caught up in the day to day going to work, caring for children, going to activities, socializing, chores, errands, and keeping in contact with friends and family that we become overwhelmed and loose ourselves.
Have you ever gotten to the point where you need a break so badly that only a coma would be adequate down time? Then you know when you have pushed too far. One secret to staying happy in most situations such as your job, family, life, social activities, etc. is balance. You have to know ahead of time that to stay balanced, there is down time or “me” time that must be taken. If you are new to this concept, it takes some time to master. I am not sure how much time since I haven’t perfected it myself yet. However, here is what I have found out so far.
First, begin to recognize the warning signs that you are in need of a break. Maybe for you this is irritability, more easily upset by normal stuff, more tired than normal, wanting more sweets, beginning to argue with others, thinking mean thoughts about others, not being able to focus, becoming less efficient…I think you get the picture. The plan is to not get to the point of being completely stressed out and exhausted.
Second, recognize what will work for you to de-stress. Is it a day of shopping, getting your hair done, a day off work, a day alone, a movie day or a day with just friends? If you have pushed yourself too far, one day may not be enough. If you have learned to listen to your inner self and recognize the warning signs early, a couple of hours may be enough. Keep in mind that time or activity is not the only factor, but quality is also important. Taking a day for you but doing all running chores is not a day to yourself. It’s a chore day. Being at home watching a movie is not de-stressing if you are catching it in between cleaning rooms. I am not saying that these momentary breaks aren’t helpful, but if you are totally stressed, recognize you need to focus on feeling better otherwise the stress will continue.
Third, look for little breaks to let off steam. The days of watching a movie while cleaning or doing shopping without children are good ways to get a momentary break and give you a short reprieve to help you not stress as quickly. Other options are taking a long lunch at work to get a haircut, meet a friend or get a massage. Or putting headphones on at work to listen to calming music and block out co-worker interference. Momentary short breaks are most helpful to those who have gotten to a point where they can see stress coming and stop it by taking moments for themselves instead of days. This works for me most of the time; however, I still get to the point about every 6 months that an entire “me” day is required. Momentary breaks are also a good help when you know you are stressing out but knowing that a “me” day is not possible immediately. Maybe your vacation day is scheduled in the short future. Maybe you are in the middle of a huge project at work and can’t take a “me” day…but in 2 weeks you know you will have adequate time. Use the breaks to let off enough steam to not get overwhelmed prior to taking a true break.
Finally, let others know. In order for a break to work, you have to not be interrupted by normal life. Let others know you are taking a “me” day or “mental health” day. Once it has been set, stick to it. Don’t go into work anyway, answer a call from work, or get pulled into chores. The whole point is to refresh to be more efficient and better able to handle work and home. I believe Vegas is a great place to accomplish this. It has endless options for both short and long breaks.
This is not an easy concept. Especially for you type” A” personalities. Think of it as an oil change. Your car will just stop running without an oil change periodically. Maintenance on your self is the same thing. I have had my own struggles with letting go to allow others to handle things, worrying things won’t be accomplished without me, thinking just one phone call won’t hurt or believing that just being out of the house alone is enough. People around you will be thankful you are able to be more efficient and calmer and will be willing to help out for a short time to get you there. This is what vacation time is created for. It is amazing the difference you will feel and the results are addicting. At least this addiction is healthier than gambling, alcohol or….well…whatever.
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