Take Your Time

by Jillian Cecchini, Managing Editor

It’s that time of year. The alarm goes off and you get out of bed to start the day. You peek outside the window and surprise – it’s still dark. Your motivation to get the day started is lagging. You pull yourself together and head to work. You manage to have a successful and productive day. When it’s time to leave, surprise – it’s dark again. Your energy levels are back down. The feeling you had first thing in the morning is slowly making a comeback. These days are back upon us. The days of missing the warmth and sunshine. The days of cancelling evening plans to get home to the couch. The days of feeling unmotivated. Though these days can have a negative connotation, I’ve personally come to embrace them. These are the days I now take advantage of when my body tells me to.

In today’s society, it’s a constant feeling of go, go, go. With hectic lifestyles of non-stop demands and schedules, we must remember how important it is to take the time to rest and recharge. And maybe these darker evenings are just the solution we’ve all been looking for.

Dealing with stress is inevitable yet we all tend to accept stress as it is. We stay stressed thinking it’s our fate. Trying to find constant motivation when managing a busy lifestyle can be an everyday struggle but the solution is simple. We all seem to forget that rest is one sure way to ease stress and it requires no skill at all.

It’s easy for all of us to let rest become a foreign concept. It’s often considered an indulgence and most people feel guilty for taking time to simply do nothing. I’m not suggesting that we write-off all responsibilities when the workday ends. We can’t simply just put our feet up and expect others to take on the work for us. Of course, we have commitments and families and schedules. But what I am suggesting is that we be more mindful of our down time and understand that taking the time to recuperate can do wonders for the body and mind.

It is essential to keep in mind that leading a life with minimal to no rest is mentally and physically exhausting. We are not designed to push our bodies to the limit. A well-rested mind will make every aspect of our lives more productive. Down time is one of the most essential ingredients for continued workplace success. Rest allows us to recharge our abilities to deal not only with our careers but our busy schedules, relationships, and not to mention our overall health and well-being.

We all lead different lifestyles but here are two key changes that I’ve implemented in my life to keep a (somewhat) healthy lifestyle despite a busy schedule. First and foremost, I’ve made sleep non-negotiable. Sleep is essential. Enough said. Secondly, I’ve allowed myself to not feel guilty for doing nothing at all, even if it’s just for a short period of time. My suggestion for you: take a few moments to yourself. Read a book, exercise, have a bath, or simply just pause, breathe and reflect. Trust me, it works.

I’ll leave you with this – your body and mind know best. Listen to them. It’s okay to temporarily leave behind the stresses of life and put yourself first. You are the greatest project you will ever get to work on. Take your time.