Build a life you don’t need a vacation from

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happy children horsing aroundIn the frenetic times we live in we tend to keep filling up our days with more and more busyness.  We tend to be so on the go that we are often exhausted.  Stress fills our lives as we try and keep up with all the activities and time deadlines and on Sunday night we wonder where the weekend disappeared to.

If you write a list of what you had hoped to do and then find you didn’t do much of that but spent a lot of time on Social Media or watching TV and have an empty or restless feeling somewhere in your body, you probably are not balancing your life well.

If you scrutinise your week you will most likely notice a lot of wasted time.  I’m not saying you mustn’t relax – on the contrary – but if you add up all the time you spend on unimportant activities, you will probably be shocked.  Social Media and TV are recreational activities but can land up taking over the day without you noticing and they aren’t as relaxing as you think.

In November last year I made a decision to cut down on my Facebook usage.  I would wake up in the morning, browse Facebook while still in my bed and then realise two hours later that I was really hungry and still in my bed in my pajamas!  I hadn’t started work and I had a huge to-do list.  It was a really horrible feeling!  I had to spend the rest of the day rushing.

I made a decision to take Facebook off my phone.  No more reading about everyone else’s’ lives while procrastinating in bed, having breakfast, lunch or lying in bed at night.  I only check my Facebook on my computer now and it’s not as comfortable at the desk so I don’t spend that much time.  I have a good book downloaded on my phone and a journal in my handbag for when I’m in a queue or waiting in the car for my kids.

It was Facebook for me, it could be something else for you.  If you find that you are not fulfilled at the end of the week, then chances are you are not using your time well.  Take notice of signals in your body of restlessness, boredom, cravings for refined carbs or other stimulants, irritation for no real reason (or whatever yours are – you will know when you take notice).

What are the things you love to do but never do?

For me, spending time in nature is one of those things.  This past Sunday, I lay on the grass at Emmarentia dam looking at the birds, the sky and the trees, had a picnic by myself (because I love picnics more than the rest of my family does) and enjoyed the down time.  When I got home, I had energy to do the other things that needed to get done.

Relaxation time is important.  You are not really relaxing though when you are busy with technological devices all the time.  Every time you hear a beep coming from your phone, you check your phone.  That is not relaxing.  Is it?

So think about something you would like to do and make a point of doing it.  Take a paintbrush and paint, lie under a tree and read, do some gardening, choreograph your own dance, write some poetry, pray, visit someone lonely, window-shop (if that’s your thing).

We all need time to do what we love, it’s not fulfilling to run on the treadmill of life all the time.  Add fun, pleasure and maybe even a bit of silliness to your week and see things happen differently.

Of course, there’s more to balancing your life than relaxation but that’s for another day….

 

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