For me, there’s a lot of things that make up health.
The physical: being able to do daily activities, being hydrated, well-nourished, feeling good physically.
The mental: taking stress in stride, finding ways to be happy, enjoying the little and the big things in life.
Of course, life likes to test that. When I just read a post by Lisa Richardson, about her conscious efforts to slow down, I had a very ‘yes, yes, exactly’ response.
I have likewise been making efforts to slow things down over the last few years. Cooking dinner instead of microwaving dinner. Getting to sleep a little earlier instead of cramming things into the evening that probably get done sloppily when tired anyway. Appreciating little details, like nice breezes on spring days. And, importantly, making time for the physical health that assists with the mental health.
It’s funny, because there are times when I would have thought that taking a break from a hectic schedule to pop into a yoga class, or go for a bike ride would just be delays in meeting deadlines, delays which would make me more stressed. But sometimes clichés become clichés for a reason, and I’ve found that it’s true that taking breaks is a major help. Not just taking breaks in the middle of a specific project. I just mean breaks in my overall day, my overall life. Taking a pause from musts and shoulds for some movement that often clears my head, gets me re-energized, lets me tackle the musts and shoulds with a fresh look.
It’s a constant process, and there are definitely times when a deadline is just too pressing to be ignored. But I’m trying to prevent those times from becoming the default again. Leave them as the exception, rather than the nose-to-the-grindstone rule.
Do you find you’re able to make time to slow down and do something for yourself?