The end of August is when summer and all the fun adventures are coming to end and our regular routines begin to pick back up again. Living in Oregon, we all tend to take full advantage of the warm, and dry, summer days as much as we can. We know that the rainy seasons of Fall, Winter, and Spring will be here before we even know it. Are you one of the people who tend to fill your summer schedule up with weekend getaways, road trips, hikes, camping, social gatherings, and numerous other time commitments that you may not put on your calendar the rest of the year? The odds are you probably do, especially if you lead an active lifestyle and/or have kids to keep busy and entertained. You take the time to plan and schedule trips and activities to do all summer long. If you do not take the time to schedule these things in advance, then you may never do them.
Life and health are pretty much the same way. If you do not take the time to schedule time to go to the doctors, to go see a loved one’s performance, to go to a concert, or to meet up with old friends, then you go through life and look back, realizing that you may have missed out on important opportunities.
We tend to take time, our health, and our happiness for granted. We need to remember to schedule time for ourselves. We schedule time to do things that we deem to be important. Need to schedule a time to take the car in for an oil change, need to schedule a dental appointment, need to schedule a meeting with coworkers, need to schedule a time to meet with your financial advisor, and so on. So why do we tend to forget to plan ahead and schedule time to take care of ourselves? Sure, we remember to make the doctor and hair cut appointments, but what about the down time? Do you schedule regular time to relax? Do you schedule regular time to unwind? Do you schedule in time to do something fun and creative? If the answer is no, then it is time for you to pull up your calendar, look at your schedule, and start blocking off time to do so.
There are numerous things that I make a point to schedule into my daily, weekly, and even monthly routines, as a part of my overall health, well-being, and even my sanity. One thing that I always make a point to schedule every day is taking an hour each night right before bed to unwind. I turn the computer off, set my cell phone aside, and cuddle on the couch with my pup and either watch a show on Netflix or read a book. Anything to take my mind off of work and life’s stresses, and allows me to relax and promotes a better night sleep. I also have scheduled that every Monday and Thursday is my gym day. Sure, life happens, traffic makes it impossible to make it over there, etc., but even if I do not make it, I either work out on another day, or do a quick mini workout at home, do a yoga or pilates video, or take a little longer walk with my dog. The point is to schedule the time to do it. If I never make the commitment, then I would not go, or at least not nearly as often. Then there are the things I schedule at least monthly. For me, it is scheduling massages. I make the goal to schedule one a month and try to look at my schedule to squeeze a second one in when I can. Again, if I do not put it on my calendar, the months will pass and I will be missing out, and my health and happiness will take the toll.
Scheduling time to take care of yourself, to make you a priority, is essential. Whether you pencil the time on the wall calendar, or enter it in on your phone’s calendar with a reminder, it is important to schedule the time. As a Licensed Massage Therapist and being self-employed, I know and understand how time consuming scheduling the time to take care of yourself can be. With today’s technology, scheduling is made even easier. If you are not ready to schedule your next massage right after your appointment, no problem, that is why an online scheduler is so useful these days. You do not even need to play phone tag with someone anymore. You can simple go online, find a day and time that works best for you, and book an appointment. It is that easy!
So with summer winding down, and your regular routines begin to pick back up, remember to schedule time for you. Make it a habit to plan ahead, look at your schedule, and book the time into your daily, weekly, or monthly routines. You can always adjust the days and times, but by simply scheduling the time, you are more likely to follow through and make yourself a priority. Take a few minutes now and schedule some time for you.
Courtney Truax, LMT is a graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon. She is licensed through the Oregon Board of Massage Therapy and a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. She has her own studio massage practice in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego, Oregon.