I can’t take time out and I really need it!

A few weeks ago, during the grip of a heatwave (ah, remember those days!), my friend’s daughter threw open the patio doors and marched into the garden armed with a blanket, book and speaker. She settled in the sun with a beach soundscape she discovered online and declared; “Well, if we can’t go on holiday I’m going to make it feel like we’re at the beach!”.

What brilliant, innovative thinking! When she was physically trapped, she mentally escaped and discovered some tools to help her do so successfully. 

For some of us, the chance of taking any annual leave may not possible right now (although for most people it should be possible to get at least a couple of days off - take them if you can!). And the humble social media brags of friends in relaxing holiday poses is likely to lead us to that dreaded feeling of FOMO, or worse - resentment.

But, let’s take a lesson from a 10 year old and look at what we CAN do to make the most of what we have and try to ensure that burnout isn’t inevitable.

Our COVID well-being blog posts have featured a huge number of articles on how to ‘Look After Your Biggest Asset’ over the past few months. Here are our top three tips for finding some kind of personal time out to take care of yourself right now:

  1. Sleep: There is nothing better than a good night of sleep. Restorative for mind and body, weapon of destruction when not administered in correct volumes. We’ve blogged extensively about sleep, in fact this blog offers several great resource links within this subject!. If you struggle getting good quality sleep, then this article around sound frequencies may interest you. A friend who tried this along with a blackout mask has found it revolutionary! 
  2. Self-care:  For me self care involves eating well, and also sometimes with someone else providing the food! Order a decadent take-away, eat at the table, don’t be distracted by screens, relish the delight of a well cooked meal. Failing that, there are several online companies who will deliver the ingredients and step guides if you prefer to cook for yourself without the planning and shopping required!
  3. Personal time: Don’t always be busy. Book in a ‘duvet’ day, or plan a day of your chosen ‘switch-off’ activity - for my friend it’s fishing, for me it’s a bike ride then reading. Whatever it is that allows you to feel like you’re off duty, find that - and book it in, literally into your calendar.

When you can’t take sustained time out, like a holiday, make sure you take time to switch off. Do less, go screen free, read a book, listen to music, take a bike ride or a long walk, lie in, take a long bath, but whatever you do - do so guilt free. There will always be things that you ‘should’ be doing - and one of those, is a little self-care.


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