Take time to unwind

Halen Doughty

Those who know me will tell you I'm almost always stressed out. Part of that may be attributed to my struggles with anxiety, but I think at least a portion is due to the hustle and bustle that's become too common in life today. It seems many of us are always racing to the next destination. Whether it's an appointment, getting to work on time, rushing to meet deadlines, or just trying to get through the traffic, some of us are always in a hurry.

So how do I cope with the occasionally unbearable stress of it all? Simple, I don't. Sometimes I do nothing at all. I turn my phone off, sit on the couch, and do absolutely nothing. And it is wonderful.

Now this may sound lazy to some. With so many things to do, how could I waste valuable time doing none of them? I like to think of it as self-care. Taking care of yourself doesn't always mean using bath bombs and face masks. Sometimes it's simply taking a few minutes (or hours, but who's counting) to do what you want to do. In my case, that means doing nothing.

For Christmas, I received a box set of one of my favorite book series of all time. Lately I've been rereading the series for probably the third time or so. Is it a waste? I think not. In taking this time for myself, I am reminding myself just how enjoyable it is to do what I want. It's been ages since I've dedicated this much time to something fun, and I've got to say, it's quite enjoyable.

It feels as though I had lost sight of the things that bring me joy. When young people like myself enter the workforce, it can become challenging to learn about work-life balance. Even coming home can be tiring when there's dishes to be done, clothes to be washed, and a floor that needs vacuuming. Because of that it becomes even more important to carve out time for ourselves without feeling guilty about it.

Furthering my career and building a home are important, but taking care of myself is slowly becoming a bigger part of my life. With a busy schedule like mine, sometimes that means making time for myself along with the other tasks that need to be accomplished.

I am already seeing tremendous benefits from taking a little more "me time." I've found that when I am more rested, I'm able to dedicate more energy to the task at hand. When I'm exhausted and running on fumes for days on end, it takes a toll on my work. By allowing myself to take a breather, I'm more prepared to take on the world and get things done.

If you are anything like me in that you always find things that need to be done, allow me to share a piece of advice. Don't. Stop making everything else a priority and make yourself the priority. Trust me, most everything else can wait.

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