The first principle in my time management work is self care. Why? Because self care is necessary in order to take care of anything and everything else in your life.
A few months ago I started re-reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. In it, she talks about going on Artist Dates. She describes Artist Dates as “a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you.”
This week I was fortunate enough to participate in a Women’s Writers Retreat at Heritage Place in Hinckley, MN. Heritage Place is a scrapbooking house about 80 miles north of downtown Minneapolis. Twelve of us shared the large house and all worked on our own projects – some were writing and some were working on other projects. There was also plenty of food and wine and even a massage therapist onsite. This was the ultimate Artist Date for me – the change of scenery, the bonding with other amazing women, the quiet time of reflection and renewal.
For my mental health, I’ve scheduled weekly Artist Dates through the end of the year and I will also be signing up for the next Women’s Writers Retreat in February. Years ago I would have felt guilty for leaving my family and my clients for three days. My wise self now tells me that these dates and retreats are not optional. They are a necessary part of my self care.