Photo Credit: Owen Duncan
I used to live my life where at a certain point in each given day, I was done, simply done. Whatever was left unfinished was left until the next day, and I HAD to stop and rest. This usually happened after dinner with dishes, toys, and undone tasks scattered everywhere. All day, I never stopped, never took breaks, and was in a constant state of "Much to do! Much to do!"
I do still tend to get every minute out of every day; not necessarily with tasks, but with whatever I deem most important in each given moment. Sometimes that is sitting on the kitchen counter chatting with kids, and other times it's checking things off the mile long mom list I have yet to ever finish (although, my general rule of thumb is that people come first whenever possible). However, I have come to learn that resting is so important. Pressing the pause button, vegging-out, putting your feet up, porch sitting. Pausing is a priority in my day. Everyday. Where I used to go non-stop all day until I collapsed at the day's end, I have learned there is a better way to push the pause button. Taking break-intervals actually helps me to accomplish more! I realized that I was so overwhelmed by my own to do list that I was afraid to stop and recharge. By allowing my fear of something being undone or my list getting out of control, I ran my batteries down till they were empty. I also found that if I ever did stop that I had a lot of trouble restarting, or even moving for that matter. Realizing when you need to pull back and stop DOING will actually enable you to DO more! So, I am making some new areas of my life priorities and also using them as break intervals from constant work. Quiet meditation in the morning, exercise before work, green tea in the mid afternoon and extending our dinner time together to sit for a minute and share our days are a few break intervals I am currently enjoying. The first few days and weeks I actually had to schedule these new habits into my day. I was used to just rushing from thing to thing. Learning to pause throughout my day is helping me lower my stress, and believe it or not, I am getting SO much more done. Try out some other kinds of relaxing breaks for yourself! Massage, hobbies, or doing something that you love are a few, and the list is endless. Be purposeful to spend some extra time on the weekends to recharge. I am learning to reward myself every day with something refreshing so that I can not only be recharged to complete my work, but I am happier, less stressed and making my values my priorities. On the weekends we are carving out longer periods of time for rest and fun instead of using our days off only to pack out even more to do. So, make time for rest. Pause your day so that you don't miss what is most important in life. Take time to get balanced.