By: Victoria Santoro, Guest Blogger
I recently read an article, shared by a good friend, extolling the virtues of taking a “bestiemoon.” The idea, of course, sounds fantastic. Why wait to take the trip of a lifetime until you meet a romantic partner and spend what will likely be an exorbitant sum on a wedding? We have all types of friends and partners in our lives. We must seize the day! Travel! See the world! Certainly, there is no time like the present. I agree with all of that.
But taking yourself and your best bud off to Tibet just isn’t in the cards for most of us. Hectic work or school schedules, tight finances, and the practicalities of life mean most of us are tethered pretty close to home. In the face of so many perfectly curated Instagram shots from the beautiful beaches of Greece and Spain, us regular girls can get discouraged. We keep our heads down, we work hard, and we wait for our moment. Except your moment is now. Don’t miss it.
It doesn’t have to be Greece, and you don’t need to leave the country, your state, or even your town. But you do need to take a vacation. It doesn’t matter if you’re in middle school, college, working at a hedge fund, or doing part-time work at a restaurant. Taking time for yourself is paramount in the maintenance of good mental health. And good habits start early.
The inherent value of a vacation isn’t that you flew halfway across the globe. It’s that you took some time for yourself, to spend with your friends and, even more importantly, to spend with your mind. This can be referred to as “self-care,” a concept that I am newly familiar with. But taking time for ourselves isn’t something American women and girls are all that great at. Study after study confirms how overworked and overtired many of us are.
I started practicing law at 25 years old. I took my first real vacation (longer than 2 days) over three years later. In the words of the world’s greatest boss, “The work that needs to be done will get done, and if it doesn’t get done, then it didn’t need to be done.” Could you follow that?
Those words changed how I viewed my workload and my life. And they helped put more emphasis on myself, on my mental health, and, yes, on my vacation time. And I hope all of the girls and women out there take those words to heart. Whatever it is that keeps you from taking time for yourself, stop that internal narrative now. There is nothing stopping you from self-care except for yourself.
Sometimes, taking the time to “smell the roses” means you have less time for other people. For friendships, for teammates, even for family members. Always remember you can’t give your best self to the world unless you’re tending your own internal garden. If your mind is serene, everything around you will feel and be better. So go ahead and take a mental and physical vacation from your world, right now. Check in with yourself. Do the little things that bring you immeasurable joy. And when you return to your regularly scheduled life, you’ll bring that joy with you and watch your world blossom.
Why are we so good about spending time on others and not on ourselves?
- Give Victoria's advice a shot: Invest in a time-out for YOU. Whether that is the vacation, getaway with friends, family, or a partner, or whether it's clearing a Saturday to go for a run, to work on your scapbook, to go for a long drive. Feed and nurture yourself FIRST so that you can do the same for others!
Victoria Santoro is a trial attorney who practices law in Boston. She is also a teacher, speaker, and writer, maintaining her personal blog The Limber Lawyer, and contributing to various legal publications. Victoria is passionate about helping young girls and women not only succeed but also find contentment and purpose. In her free time, she can often be found training or competing for half-marathons and triathlons.
image via humana.com