Recently I took a weekend trip to Philadelphia to serve as a judge for the Miss Liberia USA 2019. (I won the crown in 2009!) But what I didn’t expect was that a two day trip to Philly by myself would be one of the biggest forms of self care I’d experience this year.
This is a very busy season in my life – we’re moving in the next few weeks, expecting our third baby and work is still very busy. The week before I made this trip I was a keynote speaker at a conference in Charlotte and six days later I jumped on a plane to Philadelphia. I do better when I have a full plate, but having a full plate and being pregnant can be a lot.
Self care has been something I’ve ignored in the past and I’ll be the first to admit that doesn’t serve me (or even my family) well. For 2019, I have been very determined to prioritize it and make room for it in my schedule. These last few weeks have been hard because we sold our house and moved out rather quickly.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I really thrive when I have a solid morning routine in place and it usually requires me to be up 1 to 2 hours before my family wakes up. The alone time is so special to me because I get to hear myself think, meditate, pray and feel like myself before my everyday chaos ensues. Naturally, I’m an extrovert so I love to be around others. I really does energize me. But as I get older, having designated time blocked out for myself is key.
While 1 to 2 hours a day is nice (and doesn’t always happen on my super tired days) this trip where I had two days to myself pretty much was amazing. Because I knew I had 2 days to myself, I was adamant I bringing work with me to write blog posts and even record podcasts. Not nan bit of work got done and I’m so glad it didn’t.
To me, the hardest thing about my life personally and professionally is the decision making, not just for myself but for others as well. Whether it’s what we’re going to eat for dinner (always such a task to answer) or what direction we should go in for a shoot as a team, the decision making is constant and tedious. For two days, I only had to make decisions for myself (even as a judge) and it was incredibly freeing. It was like my brain got the break it finally needed.
I didn’t realize the amount of mental fatigue that came with constant decision making.
It was truly self-care.
When I came back home, even though it was to such a full plate – I was able to approach it with a clear and refreshed mind. I had never truly considered no decision making for others self care until now. Moving forward, I’m going to take a mental break staycation quarterly where I leave for a day (or two!) and make no decisions for anyone but myself. No work, no planning, just being.
Have you ever taken a solo trip? What’s your go to self care for when you’re feeling overwhelmed?