As I browse through the blogs and profiles of WorkitMoms, I see a lot of C and D ratings in the “work/life balance” profiles. I had a light bulb moment and couldn’t help but write an essay about this, particularly since I rated myself with an “A” in this area. I may be a “B” some of the time, but I take notice, and redirect myself at that point.
Now, I am not saying I’m perfect. But, the older I get the more I realize how lucky I am that I am capable of this balancing act. I only know a few people who do it really well, and I personally have my parents to thank for teaching me how to enjoy the simple things and truly relax. You don’t want relaxation time to be “work”, and “simple little things”, like sitting on the porch and having a cup of coffee or lemonade, or reading a book in a comfy chair, are no work at all.
Fitting some relaxation into your day is an important thing to learn how to do. Relaxing in our fast-paced society it is often looked as “a waste of time”. If you are idle you are categorized as “lazy”. If you dare allow someone to see you sitting on a park bench or having a cup of coffee, you risk the chance of giving the impression that you aren’t busy, or “have nothing better to do”, and therefore you must not be very productive or successful (another key to being content is not placing too much value on what most other people think).
I say this simply couldn’t be farther from the truth. Taking a little time each day to decompose not only can increase your overall productivity, but allows you to enjoy your life more. When we are constantly busy and on task, we can’t have private thoughts. We aren’t still enough to really “think”. Remember recess? Well adults need recess too!
Those simple little things, which are actually big things: things like your health, your children, your family, your good fortune (having a computer to read this article on is plenty good fortune), should not be undermined. Take a recess break today!
I hope I have convinced you that taking a moment is important. Now here are some ideas to help you find those moments:
- Get up twenty minutes earlier so that you can enjoy your cup of coffee or tea on the front porch or in a special comfy chair. Just sit, breathe, and relax.
- Think about your vacations. Are they all fast-paced? Consider a beach or lake vacation. Nothing says, “get calm” like the sound of the ocean or a lapping lake. You don’t take a vacation? Schedule one immediately. You have to get out of town at least once a year, preferably twice, to really decompose.
- Consider yoga. Balance is the basis of yoga practice: physically, spiritually and mentally.
- Take a moment in your office chair. Stop. Close your eyes. Just sitting back allows you to have a quiet moment to reflect on things, to clear your head. Even if you are thinking about work, it is in a different pretense. Quiet moments are often where big ideas are born.
- You know that patio furniture you had to have to complete your “outdoor room”. Use it! Don’t wait for a dinner party; go sit outside for ten minutes in the evening. Better yet, set the table and have dinner out there.
- Enjoy the little things. Look at and hear the birds chirp. Listen to the trees as the wind blows through them. Look up at the stars when you are out at night.
- Take a deep breath and feel your body.
- In the winter months, (especially if you live in a cold, dark place) place a favorite chair by a window. Make it the best seat in the house and make it a point to sit in it once a day for at least ten minutes.
- Enjoy life one day at a time. Sure we all have bad days, but try to move on to the next one with a new outlook. Just sitting quietly may be the light bulb moment you have been waiting for.