So I don’t actually believe in work/life = balance.
Stay with me. I mean, we all strive for a balanced life, and work is just something we add to life. The goal of balance isn’t to work, it’s to LIVE! Work doesn’t mean you have to be go, go, go all the time!
We all have the choice to take breaks. How and when you take breaks can be your downfall.
Some people NEVER take breaks.
You know these people, because this special kind of person will always tell you about how they never take breaks, not even on Christmas. Say what you want about Christmas, but the truth in that statement is “I don’t take care of my needs, ever. Not even when society says I should.”
One of my very favorite neighbors has literally said this to me. He later told me he hadn’t taken a day off in 20 + years, until…he was hit by a semi. A freaking semi. And hospitalized for months. My response to him was this: "you either take a break or the universe will give you one!" He agreed.
(Side note, this was not a cold response. Neighbor man is a caring man, and a client of ours and we love him.)
The average American takes yearly vacations & for some a vacation every 6 months is “perfect.” I don’t know about you but ONLY taking a break once a year or every 6 months is exhausting! What is going on the rest of the year?
I have a new plan!
A way better plan!
Daily Vacation! Really. Even you can build a life that you don’t NEED a vacation from. That week or so your job gives you, or the one Saturday a month you give yourself, can just be a bonus!
Before I tell you HOW to do that, let me first bore you with the benefits of taking time to yourself every day and allowing yourself to slow down and be present.
Why make the time?
- Taking the time to be present daily (by the hour or by the minute) can reduce stress and anxiety. Imagine not having any regrets about the past or fear of the future. Already sounds good huh?
- Tuning in to your needs has a profound effect on the mental (see #1) and physical state of the body. In yoga we say “listen to your body.’ When we slow down and tune in, our body actually tells us exactly what it needs. Food, water, strength, flexibility, RELAXATION, massage. Some people find this really hard to do. Do it anyway. It is what we are meant to do. Take yourself seriously enough to be in the best physical shape you can be in.
- Being a little “selfish” (in good ways) actually helps to raise self-esteem. I’m not talking about entitlement because you can do whatever you want whenever you want with no regard for anyone else’s feelings. I mean like when you make yourself a priority by eating well, exercising regularly, keeping your spiritual practice alive, ya know, by practicing it. You will reap the benefits and feel great about yourself!
If the mind, body, spirit stuff didn’t make you want to commit to taking daily breaks, then just Google benefits of Yoga or meditation or something.
(Spoiler alert, There is a free Chair Yoga at Work video at the bottom of this article. Keep reading)
Here is the how.
Schedule it. If you’re like me and find yourself thinking you have free time but you actually don’t, you’re just forgetting what you were supposed to be doing because it wasn’t on the schedule. You’ll want to consider scheduling things. Schedule when to relax. Make a list, prioritize the tasks, and execute them. Self-care is number one priority.
Oh yeah, and stick to the schedule. If your only time to do this is in the morning, then actually get up and do it. Shower off or something if you need a minute, but start the day with the intention of being the best version of yourself. Anyway…
Your schedule may be something like everyday at 9 or before meals, or maybe it’s a goal like, when I start to notice feelings of _____ I will, practice self care by _____(yoga, walking, meditation, singing, practicing breathing, etc.). Tight or loose, just set it.
Ok, next. Tell the world! I mean, if you don’t see it on Facebook, it probably didn’t happen. No, I’m kidding…but
Seriously though, it’s ok if you don’t want the whole world to know you struggle with anger or anxiety, but let someone know. Let your family or the people you are close to know that you are making time to relax everyday. Invite them to do it with you. It can be really helpful to have someone to relate to you on your “self care path.” Encourage each other to relax.
Try a gentle yoga, slow flow, or stretch class. Tell your teacher or another member of the class why you decided to try the class. Side note: there are many styles of yoga that are great for you and can allowing amazing things to happen for you!
***Gentle or slow flow classes are designed to help us identify and let go of what is keeping us in an anxious state of mind. Lucky for you, you found us and that's what we specialize in!
Don’t be that person that only takes care of everyone else and does nothing for themselves. Remember I said be selfish! If you can think of even one person that needs this, then you need it too.
Do it together.
Inspire others like you (& me) who just freaking need this in their life! I think you get it.
This quote inspired this whole series of blogs and videos. It made me really reevaluate what in the hell I’m doing with my life. I heard this about 2 years ago when my husband and I decided to lose our minds and open a business together.
“The journey is the reward.”
– Steve Jobs
Heard of him?
Enjoy the journey. Yeah, be a little selfish and enjoy life! That’s it.
Use tools like journaling, yoga, meditation, & prayer that allow you to look at your life.
Notice if you have been using activities as stress relievers that are only helping you to ignore life or problems, i.e. work, strenuous exercise, social media, smoking, drinking, watching TV…the list goes on. A lot of the “Ignore it” list are activities that people claim relaxes them, but it’s kind of like a Band-Aid.
Intense workouts or even TV watching helps us to tune out, not tune in. Tuning into our Self is the only way to really experience our Journey.
Life is the journey. Not work. Yes we work to eat and play, but when you’re working so much you’re eating like crap (guilty) or not eating at all (also guilty) and you don’t have time to play, you’re not really working. You are dysfunctional. You are a busy body. You are in prison and you have lost sight of what is truly important.
Hello, my name is Shelby, and I used to be a busy body!
Still with me? The journey is our process. It’s the way we get to our destination, our goal.
The way we are once we reach our destination is a result of our process. So many of us are merely looking for results and ignoring our process. This sort of thinking explains why as a society we want the quick fix, the miracle pill, the instant gratification. Sound familiar? It does to me too.
When we take the time to understand and align our process with our morals, our dreams, and our goals we will be able to enjoy, blissfully enjoy, our journey.
- We have the choice to live, no longer in fear of the future (anxiety).
- We don’t have to be frustrated about the past (anger and resentment), and
- We can say no to living in a constant state of stress.
We can find happiness and contentment with our results because we are enjoying our beautiful & sometimes scary, process.
This is called being present. This is balance.
When we keep our focus on enjoying our journey we are capable of growth. Keep your goals in mind daily and allow the journey of reaching that goal to bring you joy.
Practice being present daily so that you don’t need to escape.
Write down your goals, your needs, and your heart’s desire. Pause for a moment at least every day to meditate on the joy your journey is bringing you. Write that down too.
This way of living is like a daily vacation.
You don’t have to tune out to get the break you need. Tune in. When you find yourself dissatisfied with your journey, take a tune in vacation and enjoy your journey.
Try this Chair Yoga class at work to practice tuning in and finding stress relief.