Last week was spring break, and I took full advantage of the opportunity to relax. I hope you did as well. But if you are anything like me, it was a long way down! The pace of “the real world” is intense. Slowing down is a challenge. But every so often, we all need to slow down! It helps our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
The first few days were the hardest. My natural inclination is to go, go, go. Letting go of work is hard for me. I love what I do, and I feel an awesome responsibility to do it well. Emails and phone calls and texts kept coming during the week. It took a few days for me to put the phone down. (It helps though when you are at sea and the wifi is crazy expensive.)
It was probably Wednesday before I truly felt disconnected, before I had actually changed my pace. I set no alarm. I used my phone only as a camera. I took a nap. It was wonderful.
The pace of our lives can take a toll on our bodies and our minds. Intentional down time is critical. I was lucky to carve out an entire week away. Those are rare. I encourage you to take a week if you can, but it does not take a week (or a cruise) to slow down.
I’ve written about this before. We are at times too connected…to work, to email, to Facebook or Twitter. Unplug.
We need long walks outside.
We need long breakfasts with our friends.
We need Blake Shelton concerts and free Saturday mornings at the art museum and musicals at the Orpheum.
We need time with our family and time with our friends and time alone. Spend some time alone. A game of solitaire or a movie or a night watching The West Wing on Netflix is not to be underestimated. It can bring “balance” back to our lives.
I believe though that true balance is an illusion. I’ve written about that before as well. The best definition I’ve ever heard of balance is to have enough energy to enjoy all areas of your life. Do what you need to in order to find that energy. For me, work is energizing. But so is down time.
Slow down! For a week, for a day, for an hour. It can make all the difference!