The Importance of Taking it Easy
So I’ve been reading a book called The Power of Full Engagement. I expect I’ll tell you more about what I’ve learnt from it once I’ve finished it but, basically, it’s about focusing hard on what you’re doing when you’re doing it, and switching off properly when you’re not doing things. Essentially, it’s saying that we really should work hard and play hard.
And that makes sense, right? Just like your body needs sleep – a break from being awake -, it also needs relaxation – a break from being active. We all know this, even if we don’t live that way.
And that’s my problem.
I was reading along: ‘yeah, yeah, yeah.’ *nods*.
But I wasn’t applying what it was saying to my life.
So much so that, on Monday, I actually got carted off to the doctors because I’m too stressed.
And do you know what the doctor prescribed?
Amongst other things, relaxation. She said I need to spend time just on me, with no interruptions, just doing things I enjoy.
Instead of trying to be productive from when I wake up to when I go to sleep, I need to set some time aside to just be. That’ll not only make me happier and calmer, but it’ll mean that, when I am working, I’ll be more rested, so I’ll work better. Win-win.
So I started wondering when I could schedule in my relaxation time.
But then I remembered that I’ve already started taking weekends off. I go to the cinema, watch programmes, and faff around with smaller jobs. Surely I can’t take even more time off? Surely weekends are already relaxation time?
But THEN I got it.
When I’m alone, I’m working. When I’m with other people, I’m having fun.
I’m never on my own relaxing or having fun.
When I’m trying to have some downtime, I’m always with my girlfriend or family or friends. And while I enjoy that, it means that I’m always on the go. When you’re around other people, you have to consider how what you’re doing affects them, respond to them, or, at the very least, acknowledge them. You still have to be alert and aware.
So I’m never just me doing nothing.
Apart from when I’m asleep, I never let myself stop and just be. And being on the go all the time means that my body never gets a chance to recover and build itself up again.
I’m going to try to have some downtime on my own from now on.
Last night, I stopped working at about 8pm, and just watched some easy-to-watch programmes. By the time I went to bed, I was feeling quite calm, and my to do list was no longer darting through my mind, stressing me out.
I don’t know how well this will work out for me, but it can’t hurt to try. It certainly makes sense.
How often do you completely switch off?
Really think about what you did yesterday, and what you’ve done today, and work out how much of that time you spent truly relaxing on your own. Be honest with yourself.
If it’s less than an hour or two, you know what to do.
Oh, and I’ve made this post slightly shorter than normal, so why not use the extra time to read a book, just lie down and think, or play with a pet? Relax.
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