I have a confession. I’m a bit of a selfish person. I do some things for myself every day without interruption or guilt. I use the word selfish loosely, because these aren’t things that make me conceited, just happy. I call it “Take 5” because it reminds me of my favorite candy bar….lol. These are long term habits that will benefit me just as much in my future as they do now. People who know me well enough can tell if I had my “Take 5” just by being around me for 2 minutes. I’ve gone through, and sometimes still do, times where I have a negative outlook. I don’t like it, and no one around me benefits from it. What I quickly realized is that nobody cares about my bad attitude, no one is going to throw me a pity party, and no one owes me anything in return. I’m in charge of my attitude no matter what life throws at me. That’s the only thing I need to tell myself when I’m feeling down, and these are 5 actions that help bring out my best self:
1. I begin each day with 30 minutes of exercise
For some it’s to lose weight. For others it’s to gain muscle. For myself and many others it’s for mental clarity and to set intentions for the day. I blast music or a motivational speech and focus on my body for 30 minutes. I stream my workouts right from my iPad, and lately Shaun T has been kicking my butt. When I exercise in the morning I feel amazing the rest of the day.
2. I take a bath every single night
No, I don’t use this as my primary way of getting clean. I shower every morning too! I use this as time to unwind from the day. It’s the very last thing I do before bed and it helps me sleep better. Add in a fun bath bomb and it’s a pretty crazy time. But in all seriousness I look forward to soaking my troubles away every night. Bath time isn’t just for babies!
3. I get a massage every 3 months
Why every 3? Well first of all it’s not cheap if you want a true massage experience, and 3-4 hours spent at the spa will keep you pretty happy for a couple months. I value this time just as much as I value going out with friends. My massage is an hour but I spend a few hours taking advantage of all the fancy spa amenities. I can even eat lunch in my bathrobe there! If you haven’t treated yourself to a massage in a while, consider this your voice of reason and DO IT. The two places that I know and love are CNY Healing Arts and Skana at Turning Stone.
4. I read personal development books
10-15 minutes a day. Reading them makes me feel excited for the day and I learn a lot from them. A lot of people think they’re too inspirational, but when was inspiration ever a bad thing? Most times I’ll read a line or two that I’m able to apply to my day. Here are some of my favorites:
“You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero
“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey
“Motivation Manifesto” by Brendon Burchard
“Napoleon Hill’s Keys to Success”
“20 Something, 20 Everything” by Christine Hassler
5. I get 7 or 8 hours of sleep
Too much makes me groggy, and too little makes me feel like a zombie all day. I have a great group a friends, because we share the excitement of rushing home to our warm beds as soon as the second creepy guy comes up to us at the bar (the first one is usually funny). I also take a QUICK power nap around 4:00, but the trick is to only sleep for 15 minutes. Any more and you’ll feel like you got hit by a train when you wake up. You could probably get away with this at your desk and feel energized for the afternoon. Someone try it and get back to me (if you don’t get fired first). Cool? Cool.
Here’s the thing. I hear people say to me all the time that they would do these things if they had time, and that once I start working full time I won’t have time for it either. The truth is, if it matters to you, you’ll make time for it. You’ll make it a priority to be a little selfish. I fully plan on continuing these habits next week when I start hustling my butt in Nashville, because I know they’ll make me a better worker. All in all, these 5 things don’t take up even a quarter of my day. I’m a better person because I found some things that make me happy. Very few things in life really matter, and personal happiness is one of them. I challenge you to “Take 5” and be a little selfish. You’ll be happier, more relaxed, and better focused at work and home. Believe me when I say, everyone around you will benefit from it just as much as you will.