We live in a society that has become enamored with being busy. This may be because being busy has become equated with being important and needed, so busyness is now a status symbol. We say yes to everything to ensure we are always busy. After all, we can always cancel at the last minute using busyness as an acceptable excuse.
An unfortunate side effect of all of this busyness is we don’t have time to recharge. Many of us find the thought of pausing uncomfortable. What would we do without the hum of our schedules and smart phones to keep us company? And yet others long for some “me time” but are either addicted to the buzz of busyness or too enmeshed in the busy lifestyle to break free.
If all of this busyness has turned your life into one long to-do list that you’re too frazzled to effectively work through, it’s time for you to recharge with some down time. Your family, friends, coworkers and any others who rely on you, will thank you for it when you return to them refreshed and with your full attention.
Down time doesn’t mean doing nothing, and in fact can be very active. Some of us have no desire to spend time in a bathtub by candlelight listening to soft music or being pampered at a spa. Down time comes in many flavors: a rugged hike in the woods, hands-on hobbies like woodworking, painting or photography, or travel to places near and far. The important thing is to find something that takes you away from your normal busy routine and leaves you feeling energized.
Me time is not a selfish act. In fact, it’s one of the most selfless things you can do. Think about the flight attendant’s instructions on an airplane. We’re told to put our own oxygen masks on first so that we can help others with their oxygen masks. How can you help others if you can’t breathe? Taking care of yourself, which includes taking time for yourself, follows the same principle. And it allows you to meet your obligations with energy, thoughtfulness and pure attention.
Before you run back to your busy schedule, take a moment and think about how you’d like to spend some “me time”. Write it down somewhere so you don’t forget! But be sure to come back to that idea and make it happen. You owe it to yourself and all who depend on you.
Photo credit: unsplash.com/@frankieis