When my husband and I got engaged, I was still in graduate school. My classes and work schedules were pretty demanding, as they are for most people when they’re in school. I didn’t really make time for relaxation, like reading for pleasure, etc. This started to catch up with me, and my (now) husband suggested I try taking 15 minutes a day to do something just for me. This would be a chance for me to read, or do something creative, or just simply get away from my responsibilities and do something that would make me happy.
The first time I tried this, I went into my room, shut the door, and stared at the bookshelf for a few minutes. I had no idea where to start. I’m not really good at making decisions anyway, but when confronted with numerous ideas of things I really want to do and normally can’t, I’m like a kid in a candy store. Well, more like how I was when I was a kid in a candy store. There would be times when I was a kid where my dad would bring me to the store, and would let me pick out a candy. I would be so overwhelmed by all the choices I had that I would stare at the wall of candy. After my dad patiently waited, he would eventually give me to the count of 10 to pick something. There were times where I just couldn’t possibly make a decision, and would leave empty-handed. I apparently would’ve rather make no decision than a decision I would regret later. Though, I still don’t know how I could’ve regretted candy… Anyway… So, when my guy came to check on me when those first 15 minutes were over, I was… doing a Sudoku puzzle.
Since then, he sometimes jokes with me that I have the most productive hobbies of anyone he knows. I read sometimes, and spend some of my free time on Pinterest (of course), but I don’t really have hobbies that are mindless. I don’t play video games, because I am terrible at them. Now that I have this blog, this takes up some of my free time, and so does learning how to build websites! But, those are also both pretty productive hobbies.
I don’t know if this makes me abnormal or not. For some reason, I feel guilty when I do things that I don’t view as productive. I am working to change that, or at least change what I view as “productive”, because relaxation is important. When people don’t take time to relax, they can become overwhelmed. Many people also say that when people don’t take breaks or time to relax, they aren’t as productive as they would be if they took breaks. I need to remember this because I generally think of all the things I should be doing or need to do. I need to remember that those things will still be there when I come back to them, and I will be more capable of working when I am relaxed.
I also tend to stress out about things. To me, it seems counter-intuitive to step away from the things I need to do in order to do them better later. I don’t like things hanging over my head, so I would rather get things done as soon as possible, even if I might not do the best job on them, It’s become my goal to remember that life is all about balance and moderation. It’s not healthy to work all the time, just like it isn’t healthy to sit on the couch all day.
I am learning this lesson, and the older I get, the better I get at being balanced. I still have room to progress, of course, but it’s nice to be able to relax sometimes.
Lovely readers, what do you do to relax? Let me know in the comments!