Pressed for time? Time for a break (literally).

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.img_1273

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.

2 thoughts on “Pressed for time? Time for a break (literally).

  1. Great blog post James! Glad that you could turn a negative experience into a positive one. It gives me something to contemplate as I face busy week after busy week…it’s ok to say no sometimes and take a break 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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