by Michelle Porchia
"l can't take time for myself until after I get everything else done."
This is a common statement when I ask people if they take time for themselves. Many people think that it is selfish to put yourself first. It actually will help you have more energy and be more productive when you take time to rest and rejuvenate and even do things you enjoy.
Nowadays everyone is so busy going and doing instead of being that everyone needs innergizing. Innergize Day is scheduled for the day after Autumn begins every year because that is when the earth goes to rest. I want you to rest.
According to Wikipedia, a "siesta" is a short nap taken in the early afternoon, often after the midday meal. Such a period of sleep is a common tradition in some countries, particularly those where the weather is warm. The siesta is historically common throughout the Mediterranean and Southern Europe. It is the traditional daytime sleep of Spain and, through Spanish influence, many Hispanic countries. The word siesta of the Spanish language derives originally from the Latin word hora sexta "sixth hour" (counting from dawn, hence "midday rest"). Siesta is also common in Southern Italy (there called riposo), where museums, churches and shops close during midday so that proprietors can go home for a long lunch and perhaps a snooze during the day's hottest hours. When I was in Italy, it was important to remember to get things done before 1 p.m. or after 3 p.m. because most of the shops and restaurants closed except those who chose to cater to Americans. I must admit, I totally enjoyed having that respite time.
Imagine if we incorporated a respite into our lives on a daily basis? It doesn't have to be 2 hours. We can start small and schedule15-30 minutes a week to do something for ourselves and then try to expand it to15-30 minutes a day.
Here are a few things you can implement immediately.
Take Your Breaks. There is a tendency to skip lunch and breaks while we work—or we eat while we work. It is important to take periodic breaks to rest your body and mind. When you rest your mind, you are more productive and creative. It is also important to eat properly (this does not mean eating at your desk and working through lunch).
Entrepreneurs: You Are Your Business. Investing in taking care of your mind, body and spirit is investing in the foundation of your business. If you are not able to work, your business may suffer. It is crucial to make health and happiness a priority while developing your business. If you work 24/7, you will burn out. You need to schedule time for you in the same way you do for your clients. You can't give 110% — you don't have it to give.
Celebrate. There were two very popular songs out, "Let It Go" from the movie Frozen and "Happy" from the movie Despicable Me 2 (2013). Both songs talk about being yourself and enjoying life. Celebrate life. Celebrate the little things as well as the big things. You don't have to celebrate elaborately. You can do simple things like put on music and dance like no one is watching...they aren't. Corinne Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On" (2006) talks about putting on music and letting your hair down. Treat yourself to a new book (and allow yourself time to read it), buy your favorite tea or latte and sit outside while you can and enjoy the good weather/people watch. Go to bed early, watch a movie in bed, etc.
Whatever you choose to do is fine, just do something that is solely for you.
“I just don’t have time to do the personal things I want or need to do for myself.”
Have you ever said that? Or something like that? If you have, Innergize Day is a day set aside for you. It is a time when you can devote some attention to your own personal endeavors—a “do anything you want to do for yourself” day!
Innergize Day is celebrated the day after autumn begins because we need to do as the Earth does: experience a time of hibernation to prepare for renewal. It is a forced day of rest, when observers relax, reflect, and rejuvenate. My goal is to get people to start with one day per year, progress to one day per month, then one day per week, and eventually an hour per day. It is a time of “self-celebration” to be incorporated into one’s daily lifestyle.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT MICHELLE PORCHIA:
By Michelle Porchia
I have an annual day called “Innergize Day.” It encourages people to take one day a year for themselves to do something they enjoy or rarely take time to do. The goal is that you will take a day a year, a day a month, and a few hours a week for yourself.
A few years ago, I attended a panel discussion comprised of women at the level of CEO. They talked about the importance of learning to unplug; they were reminded of this when their children started commenting about them conducting business on the phone while on vacation.
Lastly, there was an AT&T commercial where the child asked the mother when they could become a meeting. The commercial, of course, was about being able to work from anywhere when you have your phone. The message I took away was the child was asking for more time with the mother.
I recently spent 11 days in Italy. It was beautiful. The food and drink were amazing. I love Italy and would live there if I could. What I learned from this trip is that people really do have trouble unplugging. There were 13 of us as a group on this trip. I only used my phone to take pictures, and I didn’t take that many. I took magazines to read and my journal to write and reflect. Several people had their phones and tablets. They were taking pictures nonstop, and at dinner they would be on their phones and tablets uploading pictures to Facebook and sending pictures to family and friends. Some even took calls at the dinner table. I believe they missed experiencing the beauty of the moment. They missed out on truly tasting the savor of the many courses of authentic Italian food. And they missed out on interacting and getting to know others. Now, I’m an introvert but at dinner I had conversation with the people sitting around me.
After the first day, I didn’t miss being on Facebook or texting. I enjoyed being in the moment. We stayed at a bed and breakfast on the second leg of our trip. The hotel had a room that had a fireplace in it. When we returned from our day’s excursion, I would sit in the room and just enjoy the fireplace. Sometimes I would read a magazine or journal, but most of the time I was still and just looked at the fire.
Europeans take vacation every year and they do not work during their vacation. They enjoy their vacation, family and friends. We, as Americans, can learn from this. I remember on one of my corporate jobs my message said I was on vacation and would not be checking for messages. People left me a message saying a novel idea and then they left me the business message. They actually thought I was still going to check my messages even though I said I was on vacation and would not check for messages. Why? Because in that corporate culture people worked during their vacation. At another panel I attended, a male CEO said he was in Italy and his daughter looked at him when he took a call and said, “Really, Dad? You are going to take a call while we are here in Italy?” She shook her head and walked away. He didn’t take any more calls the rest of the trip.
Whether you have family or not, you need to unplug. You need to enjoy vacation, time at home, lunch (without working). If a business cannot run without you for 30 minutes, two days or a week, what does that say about the people you have chosen to be part of your business or what does it say about your leadership style?
I encourage you and challenge you to try to unplug. Start small. Take lunch and do not have your phone. See what happens.
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