During this past year I have experienced highs, lows; gains, loss; frustration, pure joy; and everything in between. I learned 5 Lessons in my Year of Bliss and I'll share them one by one over the next few weeks before we enter year 2020.
#1 Give Yourself Permission to Take A Break
There were many days where I was on the computer researching grants for my non-profit; surfing on the internet for businesses to reach out to; and reading/responding to emails from 7:00am to 11:00pm at night. I was WORKING, WORKING, WORKING! And it seemed I never got anything completed. I later learned to give myself a break.
Art Therapy - Give your brain a break with creativity. Several weeks ago I did this. I went to old travel magazines and cut out pictures of destinations I've traveled to and have not traveled to. I grouped them into beach themes; continent themes (Africa); and taped them to the walls in my bedroom. Now on my bedroom door are the words “Grab Your Passport” and when I enter I see all these fascinating destinations abroad. Grab paper, scissors, and color pencils; jewelry; and create a twinchie (see picture above) with affirmations on them. Two by two squares from the paint store will work. Another suggestion is to sign-up at your library's Art Studio if they have one. This is a free space at your local library where they have some art supplies for you to draw, paint, and just create. Contact your local library to see what supplies you may have to bring.
Visit Family/Friends - Take time to visit people during the day. If you are able to take an extended lunch break eat with a friend; visit a family member who maybe sick; or spend quality time with an older relative/friend who does not receive many visitors.
Read a magazine – Essence Magazine is my go to. It takes me literally the entire month to read the articles. As soon as I finish that month's issue, the next month's issue is in the mailbox.
Binge on Netflix – I did not check my email or social media one entire weekend. I was able to watch 16 episodes of the CW show All American on Netflix.
Take a Nap - I always say I'm going to take a nap, but often do not. Does that happen to you? These naps do not have to be long. Twenty to thirty minutes of rest and stillness. The internet is "Off" and cellphone on "Do Not Disturb" so you will not be tempted to answer “the buzz, buzz” of an incoming text message. Or if you are at work and able to – Close your office door – and take a nap. A former colleague brought her yoga mat to work and slept on it during her lunch break.
Take a mini-vacation – Take Friday off from work. Don't read or answer emails. You don't have to travel 6+ hours away across the country or abroad. You can travel 2-3 hours away to the other side of your state. Depart on Friday and return on Sunday. The different scenery refreshes your mind and creativity as you prepare for Monday morning.
Take a day/half day off from work – What do you do during your day? It is up to you. Try one of the many tips mentioned in this lesson; go to all your doctor appointments; car oil change; or take care of that one item you keep pushing off, such as, going to the post office to submit your passport application or the DMV to obtain your "Real ID". How often should you do this? One recommendation is to take one or two days off per month, especially, when many US residents do no use their Annual /Personal Leave by the end of the year.
All of these suggestions benefit our mental health. So take a break!! The work will be there when you return, and you'll be more refreshed and focused! Have you used any of these suggestions before, or is there one you'll like to try?
Imagine This Scenario:
It's the 3rd day of your 6 day/5 night vacation. You enter your debit card into the ATM and your card is DENIED. Shock and confusion as you know you have $500 in your account for food, excursions, and souvenirs for the entire trip. Or do you?
What many people do not realize is that hotels or cruise lines can withhold $200-$300 on your debit card from a week prior to a week after your trip. Eating ramen noodles for the last few days or missing out on an excursion due to limited funds while on vacation is not fun.
Cons of Debit Cards
- Your hotel reservation can be denied if you do not have enough money in your checking account prior to travel
- You will have $200-$300 less in your account to pay on food, excursions, and souvenirs
- $200-$300 will be on hold days prior to and up to a week after your trip.
Tip: Have additional money in your checking account to pay your bills the week prior, during, and a week after your trip
Pros of Debit Cards
- Peace of mind that the trip is paid in full upon your departure
- No interest rate
Cons of Credit Cards
- Interest rate
- Additional money added to your credit card balance
- Expired or overextended credit card (Bring a back up card.)
Tip: To not pay interest, pay the credit card in full at the end of the month
Pros of Credit Cards
- Very little is withheld (as low as $1)
- The money charged can go towards Airlines mileage or cash back
- You can still pay in cash upon your arrival and nothing is charged to your credit card
Rhonda is team credit card. All the money in her checking account has a designation: Mortgage; Savings; Investing; and Other bills, including paying all her credit cards in full each month. Having $200-$300 less on her vacation by using her debit card is not fun. Sharee concurs!!
Are you Team Credit Card or Team Debit Card? Why?
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Rhonda W. & Sharee W.
It's November 1, 2019. Mornings are crisp; skies are blue; leaves have vibrated colors of orange, yellow, and red; and birds chirp in the air. The Holidays are soon to arrive. Time moves on. A year ago, October 31, 2018 I had taken the leap of faith of leaving my full-time employer to pursue both entrepreneurship and the world of non-profit.
The non-profit, Take Flight Project began in November 2018.
The travel consultant business, Take A Leap, LLC came into full fruition in February 2019
My next step is to enter year two and meet – and DEFEAT - these challenges head-on.
Have you ever made a life altering decision such as leaving a job or a relationship? How did your first-year go?
Rhonda & Sharee Washington