Frankie Goes to Hollywood was wrong when they sang “Relax, don’t do it”, you absolutely should do it (not the thing Frankie was talking about – bad analogy really) I’m talking about the relaxing.
Life is full of relentless demands over which we have no control: work deadlines, house cleaning, form filling, insurance arranging, meal making, nose-blowing, lawn-mowing and list-making. If you don’t take a break from those, and find some time for yourself, the minutiae of life can over-run you and bring you down.
“Me Time” sounds like something that involves incense and candles, and maybe some gentle-yet-potentially-crippling stretching; it can, but it can alternatively involve reading a book, watching a film, taking a walk or playing a computer game. It is anything you do that is just for you.
I heard your giant gasp from the future and yes, I did just say you should play computer games, SOMETIMES.
In a world where we are encouraged to work “smarter” to fit more in, to “clean whilst you lean” and generally “do more with less” we are missing out on essential downtime to rejuvenate ourselves.
In the olden days, before technology filled our every waking hour by making us infinitely contactable and in touch with the world, people used to have a little thing called “thinking time”.
Have you ever concentrated on a problem so hard you got a head-ache but not much else? Then you give up and do something else and the solution appears as if by magic? Well, it’s not magic it’s a direct result of you taking a break.
I agree that occasionally pressure can be a great motivator; sure, without it I’d never get any exercise.
But to get the best out of ourselves we also need a little bit of downtime to balance things out and allow our brains to recover.
Find some time for yourself, each day if you can, each week if you can’t, and stop berating yourself for times when you feel like you’ve “done nothing”. Human beings are amazing creatures who are always doing something, even when they appear to be doing little.
Make sure that some of the time that thing you are doing is resting, re-charging your batteries, processing problems sub-consciously and, most importantly, enjoying being alive.