In our busy modern lifestyle we attempt to cram everything into each moment of the day, striving for another minute here or there, often performing two or three
tasks at at a time. Yet the ever increasing advances in technology designed to time save and make our lives easier seem to consume our attention entirely. How often are we craving weekend freedom or a refreshing vacation but dread the inevitable feeling of mondayitis on return. That feeling of buoyancy a break lends itself to dragged to the depths by the insurmountable mass of emails awaiting on return. Although the idea of taking a holiday every other week is enticing, it certainly isn’t practical or financially viable.
A couple of weeks ago I was forced into a break, literally! I broke my foot dancing at a wedding. Yes, I know what you’re thinking… How?! The subsequent days I spent hobbling on crutches and a moon boot and suddenly daily tasks became time consuming and exhausting. I couldn’t find a physical outlet for stress and tension. I felt bored! So after hearing a story about a friend becoming depressed in a similar situation, I decided to re-evaluate a few things and make a plan for getting through the coming weeks. Firstly I had to manage expectations, there were going to be some things I would be unable to do and others that would take longer. Next I asked myself what I could do to add value to my life? What passions could I cultivate? What have I always wanted to do but never had the time?
I began to set goals. What I realised was that these things I wanted to do would take time, time that I previously felt I never had. I needed to be realistic with how much I was going fit into each day. No more was I going to be able to rush around and perpetuate the stress associated with making yet another appointment in my overcrowded schedule. I started saying no. No to things that would fill the already limited gaps I had in my life, without adding a huge amount of value. Now yes it’s much easier to say no on crutches and a moon boot, but prioritising activities and being mor
e realistic with how long these activities take, has allowed me to enjoy those I do and experience them more completely. I found out I spend more time in front of a TV and perusing social media then I cared to admit. By removing those two things for a day, I could contribute that time to other far more meaningful tasks. I had so much more time than I thought.
Over the last couple of weeks I have meditated and spent twenty minutes learning French each day. The apartment balcony garden is beginning to take shape and I am endeavouring to write a new blog every month and read 20 books this year. But most of all, I feel less stressed, less tired and more present in each moment because I’m not already thinking about how I can fit a gym workout in, do the washing and cook dinner before the next commercial break finishes.
Now they say it takes 21 days to make a habit and while new year resolution intentions are common in January, seldom do these habits make it to February. In my case, it has taken a broken foot and some dedicated will power to make a positive change, but I believe the unique set of circumstances causing me to slow down and notice a difference in how I feel, will be the very reason these changes will make it long past a transient new years resolution. While I certainly wouldn’t recommend breaking your foot to make positive life changes, it has been a wonderful catalyst for me and I hope that by reading this you are able to take a moment and reflect on how you might take a break of your own.