Ain’t no rest for the wicked…
“Do not be afraid to rest.” I vividly remember one of my higher ranked marines telling me this as I continued to run up hills after hills without taking a break. It was against my principle. I never believed in resting during a run. As long as my limbs are functioning, I was going to keep moving. If my legs are gone, I will crawl with my arms to the finish line. Having this type of mentality, it was never easy to just chill and take a break.
If you are a workaholic or a goal oriented individual, sometimes it may be hard to deviate from your work or everyday routine. You are busy trying to get closer to your goal or that you have gotten so used to your established routine, you may feel uneasy and even guilty about doing something outside of your work. I am not saying it is bad that you are a daily grinder and you love putting in work while everyone is chilling and relaxing.
I myself is like that. I have an established routine that I follow almost every day for seven days a week. And it became more like that especially during this year since I decided to work on three long term goals all at once. It is hard for me to deviate from working on these goals, because I am so eager to get closer to the finish line and I hate being distracted or put on hold from pursuing my goals.
I disciplined myself to focus mainly on my goals and minimize instant gratification and pleasures. And I have gotten pretty used to it and I do not mind my monk-like lifestyle, because it’s been producing some positive results. And I thought time spent with my son can be considered as taking a break and balance out my work life. However, not too long ago, I got very stressed out from a situation that I was dealing with and I decided to give myself a break.
What I learned from taking a break…
This may not seem like a break to most of the people, but to me it’s a big change from my every day routine that I’ve been stubbornly following for a long period of time. I still kept up with some of my daily tasks but decided to omit a few from my every day routine and to just lay down, sip some adult drinks and watch some movies and TV shows rest of the day. And just by doing this for one day made a big change.
Here are some benefits I got from this “one day” chill out “session”
My mind was liberated from my goals. My mechanical brain got accessed to my creative side and a broader perspective. Since every day I was just focusing on things that need to get done before the end of the day, my life and my perspective became too serious. I forgot to see things from bigger perspective and evaluate my progress and my life in more open and lenient way. Also I became more forgiving of myself from some of my shortcomings and praised myself on how much effort I put in so far to keep up.
My weight on my back was lifted and felt more refreshed. All that stress and pressure that accumulated for a long period of time seemed to have lifted up a bit. And I felt like I can put all that weight behind and start everything anew. Even though, I am going to pick up from where I left off, I still felt like everything was fresh and new.
The most important thing that I learned is that taking a break once in a while is not so bad. In the long run, it can have some positive effects and can help me progress further with my journey. And this is something that I need to get more refined with. I need to learn to know when to take a necessary break and when not to. At the end, everything is all about balance. Too much of one thing can be harmful whether it’s work or break.