Find ways to make time for yourself if lockdowns return

When much of southern Manitoba slowed to a crawl thanks to heavy snow and all-around bad weather, I took it in stride — from the comfort of my couch, bathtub and bed. And it was great.

The pandemic gave a lot of people, if not everybody, the opportunity to reassess what they do, how they do it, how long they do it, why they do it and when they do it.

For me, and it’s partially because I “retired” from hosting one of my syndicated radio shows after 15 years in June, that I’ve chosen to slow right down. Right down. Right. Down.

The pandemic didn’t shutdown my work at all. As a broadcaster and someone in news media, my job continued. Granted, it involved less back and forth to my office in West Hollywood because the entertainment world was largely at a standstill, so I stuck close to home in Manitoba.

Over the past year and a half, however, I’ve taken a pause and allowed myself to be lazy for once. You see, after 18 years as an entrepreneur on the radio every day, in the newspaper every week, promoting books whenever necessary, and constant travel for all of the above, I’m taking it easy for a while. I’ve slowed right down. Have I mentioned that?

Now, I’m quick to scuttle my arbitrary or trivial plans for the day on the slightest inconvenience.

It’s raining out? Meh, I’ll watch movies in the bathtub for the morning… and afternoon. It’s blowing snow and the wind is howling? TV night and throw a frozen pizza in the oven. A celebrity interview got cancelled at the last minute? Fine, I’m off to a spa for a massage and steam… for the rest of the day.

Given everything that’s happening in the world, it’s quite gratifying to shut it all out, if only for a day.

When I’m ducking for cover and hiding out from everyone and everything, there’s no phone tracking my every movement, photographic evidence of every meal or shoutouts to the fabulous and relaxing spa.

The emails wait a day or two. The texts remain unanswered until there’s a frantic followup from someone.

Did I mention how nice it is?

It’s a reminder that as winter arrives and potential pandemic lockdowns once again mess with everyone’s mental health, that we take a moment to chill the frick out. Take a pause. Take a breath. Most importantly, take a moment for yourself.

If you have kids, or a spouse, or pets, or a boss, remember that it’s OK for you to say that you need a quick break. The best part is that, for the most part, everyone knows you’re going through a lot because they are, too.

There’s no shame (or selfishness) in carving out some “me” time.

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