Travel is at the top of many of our wish lists right now, and after a year-long delay I recently went on a long-overdue vacation to Maui. While I was very excited to go back to this special place, I had considerably underestimated how much the past 18 months had affected me in terms of staying at home, working remotely, doing my duty as a good citizen, and worrying about the health of everyone around me and across the world.
As you can imagine, this trip was very different from any of those in the past. Not necessarily because of COVID restrictions, but rather because of my state of mind. There were no grand plans or activities or itineraries. No big family gatherings and no traditions (though my wife and I did get into a heated daily competition on the resort’s putting green). Instead, I got up early every day to watch the sunrise, I played tennis or took a walk, and we put up an umbrella on the beach and enjoyed watching the waves come in. Dinner was usually takeout for two on the lanai.
I share this with you because I have realized just how critically important it is to take care of yourself and your well-being. Not just your physical health but also your mental health and your spirit.
I was reading an article in The NY Times recently about “self-care,” which touches on this exact subject of where we are mentally in 2021 and how it’s important to prioritize our time to get back on a healthy track after a very challenging year. The article interviewed an executive coach and a psychologist and shared a few tips on how to lean in on focusing on ourselves. Here are a few that stuck with me:
- Giving the best hours of the day to ourselves. It starts with mapping out our day and determining which two hours we feel our best, our most energized, our most creative or our most productive. Rather than stick to a routine, why not take back that time for a hobby, a passion project, or time spent with loved ones? “Giving yourself time every day to focus on your personal goals and values is the ultimate form of self-care,” says Dr. Jack Groppel, an executive coach and professor of exercise and sport science at Judson University in Elgin, Ill., and the co-author of “The Corporate Athlete: How to Achieve Maximal Performance in Business and Life.”
- Creating a family respite plan. What is a respite plan? If you’re a caregiver for older or ill family members or simply raising young children while working from home, life can get very overwhelming quickly. We all need time to unwind and relax, and leaving it to chance means it may not happen. Calling a family meeting and giving everyone a chance to communicate their needs for respite can be very valuable. Also, the advocacy group AARP has a guide for designing a respite care plan if you are caring for older or ill loved ones.
- Helping someone else. It is very rewarding to be able to give back to our communities, whether you volunteer your time to a cause you believe in or you donate to help enhance the resources of a charity or nonprofit doing good for the world. Recently, we announced that Private Ocean would be matching donations for SR3’s SeaLife Rescue Center fundraiser in Seattle, and it was incredible seeing how quickly the donations came in!
If you haven’t taken a moment for yourself to slow down, exhale, and focus on something that reinvigorates you and feeds your soul – whether that’s camping ten miles away, taking that grand vacation far away from home, or something in between, my wish for you is that you do so soon!
- New York Times, January 2021. Why-self-care-isnt-selfish.html
- Groppel, Jack. “The Corporate Athlete: How to Achieve Maximal Performance in Business and Life.” https://www.wiley.com/en-us/The+Corporate+Athlete%3A+How+to+Achieve+Maximal+Performance+in+Business+and+Life-p-9780471353690
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