Life in the 21st century is a challenge, to say the least, and the multiple demands on us can seem unending. When do you choose to give yourself a break?
Do you ever feel like there's just no time for yourself? Do you get the sensation that you could spend every waking moment working, communicating, responding, and doing, doing, doing? If you're like most Americans, the answer is probably yes, and if you live in another country, it's likely true for you, as well.
So, what are we to do about it?
Admit That Tasks Never End--But So What?
First, we need to accept and admit that our ever-expanding list of tasks will continue to expand and contract every day, and that list will likely never be completed. If we can accept that without allowing it to overwhelm us, then we're off to a good start.
OK, so now that we've admitted that our to-do lists are infinite, can we then say, "So what?" and then move on? This is hard for many of us, myself included. My to-do list can indeed sometimes feel overwhelming, and on certain days my mind is just teeming with unfinished tasks.
That said, I still work very hard on accepting a certain level of chaos, acknowledge the presence of "the list", and also allow myself time to do things simply for pleasure and leisure. And if I can occasionally say "So what?" in response to the list, all the better!
Have Fun Anyway!
So we've acknowledged the presence of that darn list of tasks and to-do's, and we've decided that we'll occasionally allow ourselves to say "So what?"
When those moments come when you're actually able to sincerely (or jokingly) say "So what?" to your list of to-do's, what do you do then? The answer is that you can choose to have fun even in the face of a massive to-do list.
For example, just the other day, my wife and I realized that we've both been working really hard lately, noses to the grindstone pretty much seven days a week. While we do indeed go out to eat, take a break for a movie or go for a daily walk, we haven't devoted an entire day to leisure and pleasure for quite some time. So, we packed up a bag and headed to a local spa where we spent the day soaking in the tubs and reading magazines. It wasn't an expensive treat, but it was a fun way to spend the day, ending it with dinner out and the total avoidance of our computers!
What can you do to schedule a day away from your to-do list and truly give yourself a break? It can be a day at the park, a local getaway to a movie, a meal and an art gallery, or maybe just an afternoon at the beach or by a local lake.
Break time is important, even when you have a lot to do. In fact, studies show that taking a break every two hours increases your productivity by allowing your brain to relax and reboot periodically, and an entire afternoon or day off really does wonders.
However you do it, give yourself a break, even if it’s just a half-day. Your body and your mind will thank you for taking a pause for the cause of mental health!