So this post is a little bit cheesy, but bear with me here.
We live in a busy world nowadays. Our schedules are filled to the brim with appointments, tasks, meetings, jobs, kids, friends, parents, and other requirements. You’re not allowed to simply watch TV anymore — you have to be doing something productive with the TV as background noise. When you realise you’re doing nothing, you’ll quickly grab your phone and check your e-mails or check some other small task off your ever-increasing to-do list, just to feel a sense of productivity.
I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to take it easy. There is nothing wrong with taking some quiet time for yourself, to simply be with you and relax for a bit. Don’t worry about your daunting tasks, they will be there when you’re done, and you’ll be able to tackle them with a clearer mind.
Take a break
Us human beings weren’t made to work for hours. Anyone doing mental labour, such as a writer or a student, will quickly notice their concentration going “NOPE” after an hour or so. Everyone is different, but in general it’s advised to take a short break after an hour, even if it’s just 5 minutes to stretch your legs, grab a glass of water or your caffeine IV-drip, get some fresh air, or pass that pesky level on Farm Heroes Saga. It’ll give your mind and body a moment to recharge and you’ll be more productive (as long as you don’t spend the next three hours on that pesky level).
Live in the moment
“The days are long, but the years are short.” As someone who’s house bound, I think this is incredibly true. I find it difficult to keep myself busy during the day, which makes them feel really long. On the other hand, it’s weird to think that I’ve been house bound for almost two years already, in which I’ve experienced almost nothing, and I haven’t really lived.
This is why it’s so important to take nothing for granted. Take a moment and stand still at what you’re doing, and truly enjoy it. There may come a time when you’re no longer able to do this, and you’ll miss it and kick yourself for not enjoying it while you still had the chance. Take a look around you and appreciate the beauty of nature, the company of good friends, the unconditional love of family members. Take pleasure in your hobbies, from sports to binge-watching series on Netflix, and be attentive.
Don’t let the moments pass you by. Running on auto-pilot means you need a break.
There is almost nothing so relaxing as the simple act of breathing. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, one deep, reinvigorating breath can make a world of difference. So imagine doing this for five minutes, or ten minutes, to sit or lie down and allow yourself to just breathe. If any thoughts rise up, whether it’s “I need to go to the store” or “I wonder what penguins would look like with shoes on”, acknowledge them and gently push those thoughts away.
It’s okay to not be busy all the time. It’s okay to take a breather. You are not a robot programmed to live up to your full potential 24/7; you are a human being, and sometimes it’s okay to run on 30% and spend some time recharging.
“F*ck That: An Honest Meditation” is the best meditation guide video ever. Out with the bullshit.
When you look at your average week, how much time do you spend on self-care?
Most of us tend to neglect ourselves, when it’s so important. Just like your phone, you too have a battery that drains and needs to be recharged regularly. So start taking care of yourself.
Start small, like going for a walk to get some fresh air. Use some extra products to spoil yourself; have an indoor spa day; go all out – you deserve it! Take a bath. Ask for help with chores. Smile. Drink water and tea and eat well and healthy (but feel free to indulge – I will never be that person who says you can’t have cake). Take a nap. Hug someone. Catch up on that series you’ve been meaning to watch. Call an old friend. Stand still at the good moments in life rather than waiting for the big things. Daydream. Read for the love of reading. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. Buy yourself something nice. Do something nice for another.
Remember to live in the present and to take care of yourself, because there’s only one you, and you’re a wonderful and beautiful human being. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.