By Samantha McKenzie
If you don’t live and breathe by your calendar entries and your alarm clock, this message is not intended for you.
If you don’t write to-do lists and accumulate post-it notes that remind you to check your to-do lists, you are welcome to skip past the rest of this blog.
If you don’t jam pack your work days and weekends by scurrying from one errand to the next, then I am almost positive you don’t need this message.
But if by chance, you are like me, and feel compelled to utilize every breathing moment of your day (and night), then this is for you.
Stop. Breathe. Unplan, unpack and make a concerted effort to uncomplicate your life.
You don’t have to plan out every moment of your day. You just don’t and you shouldn’t. The list isn’t going anywhere. Honestly. If there’s nothing life threatening on it, it can wait. Spread out your tasks. Say no to a few people. And incorporate a relaxing hour in every day. You deserve all the downtime that you can get.
More importantly, your health depends on it.
I know this is going against every grain in your body. When I had this same conversation in my head, it felt as though I was scraping my fingernails against the chalkboard. I literally cringed.
But I made a decision to take better care of myself and that included getting enough rest, enjoying pockets of silence, and choosing to engage in activities that rejuvenate and restore me.
I decided to unplan my life and readjust my point of view. How did I let myself get so busy? I took one baby step towards taking it easy. I forgave myself for sitting on the couch this weekend and doing absolutely nothing. I didn’t rearrange my storage area (an item that is currently on my to do list). I didn’t stress out about my Thanksgiving grocery list (I can shop one day that’s not so busy). I cancelled my nail appointment. And I declined an invitation to a football game.
I realized that my “list” was causing me stress. And these stresses were not good for my mental, physical or emotional health. In the back of my mind, I know that everything I want to accomplish will require me to be at the top of my game. So this new me, this new way of uncluttering my life, in the end, will get me closer to doing the things that matter the most.
This is not an opportunity to procrastinate. That causes stress, too. This is a chance to balance your time and spend your energy in good way. It means that on Monday, when it’s time to go back to work, I won’t feel exhausted.
This weekend I took time watering the plants and playing with my dog. I cooked a long overdue meal with the kids and laughed about everything under the sun. I balled up under a warm blanket and shared family stories with a dear friend.
I relaxed. I exhaled. I made my life simple…and I enjoyed it. Make time to do nothing. It’s worth it.