Living for the weekend


I was miserable in my first job out of graduate school. It’s not that the job itself was awful—I was working on meaningful research, had a short commute, and was surrounded by nice coworkers—I was miserable with the way I felt during the workweek. Over weekends I was able to recover some energy for activities I loved, like seeing bands with friends, learning new songs on guitar, and walking on a nearby trail. But Sunday afternoon the anxiety started creeping in. I’d fantastize about being (gently!) hit by a bus; not so I was permanently injured, just enough that I could miss a few weeks of work.

The workweek was something I had to slog through. Like most people I worked with, I took few breaks during the day and ate lunch at my desk. I felt guilty about using vacation time or sick time since no one else was.

I felt like a robot on autopilot.

At the end of the workday my brain and body felt wiped out, so I usually flopped onto the couch with some easy-to-prepare dinner and watched TV to unwind. I didn’t like my workweek lifestyle but many of my friends were coping with work fatigue the same way I was, so I figured I had no choice but to live this way until retirement. Monday through Friday were always going to be energy-sucking obstacles keeping me from the life I really wanted.

At that time I was struggling to get enough sleep, and I’d get migraines that lasted for days. The awareness slowly started to creep in that things weren’t quite right. Surely this daily exhaustion wasn’t all there was? Retirement was many decades away and I realized that I was throwing away vast stretches of something very precious: my life.

Something had to change, and fast.

I wanted to feel more joy every day, and more calm, too. I already had a running list of all the things I wanted to do when I finally had the time and freedom, like practice yoga every day, learn a new kind of dance, volunteer at an animal shelter, and take a vacation with my best friend. Armed with this information I resolved to make some serious changes and quit treating Monday through Friday as inconveniences. I created a self care plan that was sustainable and easy to start in tiny steps (all I had energy for!), and put me on the path to owning my week days.

Fast forward 8 years. That little daily yoga practice led me to yoga teacher training, and I now teach group classes, videos, and private lessons online. I’ve learned 3 new kinds of dance, and taken some pretty cool vacations, too. I even adopted 2 rescue cats who bring me a lot of joy. Suffice it to say:

Designing and committing to my self care plan has allowed me to claim a life I once thought would have to wait until retirement.

This is why I created a simple guide for you: Design a self care plan you love {in 15 minutes}. Trust me: putting your undivided attention on your happiness even for a short time will get you a giant leap closer.

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#selfcare #littlehabits #mindfulness #happiness #vibrantliving

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