Sometimes taking time for your self is nothing but bunk! It just can’t be done. There are certain times and circumstances that just take up a lot of your time and there is nothing you can do about it. Moms with young children understand this. Women who are pushing a deadline along with children, home and outside activities into an already overcrowded schedule know this. And even the retired know that life happens in big doses from time to time.
I’ve just come off a big push that brought with it its own kind of stress. There were few opportunities for a ‘time out’ just for me and after a couple of weeks of this, my body, mind and spirit cried UNCLE. Realizing there was nothing that was life or death on my schedule I took a deep breath and decided to get creative with my schedule.
So this past week has been a week of recharging. Long nature walks, a massage, coffee with friends, dinners out and a concert or two. An extended exhale after what seemed like an interminable inhale and I am refreshed, restored and raring to go again.
I think sometimes we go to extremes. We fall into either/or thinking. Either take time for myself and feel guilty or don’t take time and become exhausted or worse sick – which also makes us feel guilty. Instead, if we accept that we can’t do it all without stopping nor can we always stop while doing what we have to do, then we can take the perspective that we will stop when we can. It becomes a both/and without the guilt.
Most will live in tension between the doing and being side of life until the day we die. It is what responsible, mature adults do. However, if we can be creative in that tension we will find ways to see the big picture, take a break when it is most needed in times of uber busyness, and sprinkle in shorter intervals of rest and recovery in less busy times. It will keep us in that both/and mode where life can flow much more easily without so much stress, guilt or anxiety.