Coaching Options
Healing Perfectionism Group
Free Webinar

Putting YOU on the Calendar

boundaries burnout self-care Oct 28, 2023


We are used to following a schedule. We have been handed course schedules, appointment schedules, testing schedules for years. We are not used to making sure that WE are on our schedule. As in, time for our humans selves to relax, move our bodies, spend time thinking/reflecting, etc.

So today, we’re going to practice that skill. Putting ourselves on our calendars.

When you look at your calendar, it likely has work time on there already, but does it have commute and non-patient-schedule (inbox) time on it? If not, put that on as working hours so you can be clear on how much you time you are spending at/on work. Be truthful about the time. If you don’t like the amount of time spent, I hear you, but for now, be honest about how much time you spend during that big chunk of work.

Next add blocks of time in the morning and evening for morning routines, dinner/bedtime routines. This captures the time from waking up to leaving the house for morning stuff, and from arriving home, preparing/eating dinner, getting kids to bed, etc for evening routines.

Next add scheduled things, like soccer practices, meetings, church, etc.

Now step back for a minute, and check in. Is it accurate? Is it realistic?

If you are feeling overwhelmed, looking at the calendar, take a deep breath. Recognize that there is so much on there, that no human can realistically do this. Take this as an opportunity to see that you have too much on your plate. I don’t even need to know you to know that this is likely true for anyone here reading this. We’re likely going to need to move something off your plate, but for now, I want you to go to the next step.

Now add you. Be it exercise, relaxation time before bed (you know, to help with sleep), hobbies. Nothing work related goes here, even if you have some kind of important professional goal.

This rest/relaxation/self time comes before anything else (including time with family, friends, household chores, etc).

And it lives on your calendar. 

And you treat it like any other appointment and show up.

This can be uncomfortable, it can feel selfish, it will trigger things, because it's different and you are all used to putting others first (for most of us, with the way we actually live, it's work, family, partner, friends, pet, ourselves).

But if you get used to putting yourself on the calendar, and following through with time for rest and relaxation and play, other things will become easier.

Even if your calendar is too full, put yourself on it. And then you can start deciding what needs to come off the calendar. What can you delegate (which yes, will require some discussion and coaching)? What can you stop? What can you hire someone else to do? Again, what can you stop?

If you need more convincing that you have too much to do, here is an article published last year that talked about how we need 26.7 hours per day to take care of the needs of our primary care patients. Yes, this specifically is talking about the Physician-y stuff, but it’s not a huge leap to extricate this to the rest of our lives; many studies have shown this related to women in the workforce, working parents, modern parenting, etc, that the amount of time we spend on all of these areas is too much.

Put yourself on the calendar. Take intentional breaks, even in small amounts, or once a week if you have to start there. It could be a lunch break that involves eating a real lunch and stepping outside for fresh air. It could be Thursday night “enjoy a book on the couch after dinner” night. Or an art class you want to take. 

You deserve to be on your own calendar (and, you deserve more help with the stuff that’s on there and/or to take stuff off the calendar).

Your mind will be more relaxed and better at thinking.

Your body will feel better.

Your attitude will be less irritable and cranky.

You benefit. And others benefit too.

Hi There!

I'm Megan. I'm a Physician and a Life Coach and a Mom. I created this blog to help other Physicians and Physician-Moms learn more about why they feel exhausted, burned-out and overwhelmed, and how to start to make changes. I hope that you enjoy what you read, and that it helps you along your journey. And hey, if you want to talk about coaching with me, I'm here for that too! I offer a free 1:1 call to see if we are a good fit. Click the button below to register today.

Schedule your free 1:1 call today

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join my mailing list to receive helpful tips and insights to your mailbox each week, as well as updates about my latest coaching offerings.

Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

I hate SPAM (all kinds really, don't come at me). I will never sell your information, for any reason.