Wisdom//

How to Embrace Downtime in a Fast-Paced Culture

Life is the ultimate balancing act and it’s important to recognize and prioritize where your energy goes.

MirageC/Getty Images
MirageC/Getty Images

An on-the-go lifestyle is something that our society looks at with heart eyes. We tend to put those that seem to be the busiest on a higher pedestal because they seem to rest less than others. Millennials have this unspoken obsession with keeping up and always finding what the next best thing is, regardless of what it takes to get there.

The back half of 2017 taught me a lesson that I will carry with me from now on – you can do anything but not everything. Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. What do you MEAN I can’t do everything? What am I supposed to do if I’m not juggling a million things at once? Oh, rest? I’m supposed to REST?

Like some of you, I was hypnotized to believe that rest translated directly into failure. Through my eyes, “downtime” used to mean that I didn’t have anything else to knock off the to do list which meant that I was putting myself 10 steps behind.

But wait… hold on.

Could taking a break actually be a much needed blessing? You bet your a*s it is. Life is the ultimate balancing act and it’s important to recognize and prioritize where your energy goes. Now, before you take a hiatus and enjoy pure silence, brace yourself that going from 100MPH to a dead stop can be a hard adjustment. You may feel a little shook, uneasy, frustrated and fighting the urge to push down on the gas pedal. Don’t push. Put yourself in park and just… be.

(It’s been five minutes of rest and you’re not sure what to do with yourself.)

Here a few ways to cope and embrace downtime:

…it’s all in your head.

Do not be discouraged if you find yourself in a slow period. Let your mind rest easy knowing that even the most successful people in the world close their laptops or cancel their meetings purely so they can eat breakfast instead of scarfing it down as they run out of the house. Remind yourself that you are not abnormal for hitting slow days and that it’s all a part of life’s cycle.

…focus on your health.

Are you ready for an earth shattering suggestion? Get eight hours of sleep. Let your covers swallow you up and catch up sleep that you’ve worked so hard for. Once you open your well-rested eyes, lace up your shoes and go for that morning run that you rarely had time to get in. Go check out the new yoga studio or stop and smell the roses, literally. If you’re looking for some out of the box ways to take care of yourself – here are some suggestions.

…the one thing.

You know those times that you’re sitting at your desk, caffeinated to the max, pushing yourself to make the project deadline and you sit there thinking, “I wish was ____ right now.” What is your blank space? What is the one thing you wish you could do but you never “could” because you were too consumed with work or couldn’t find a break in your schedule. Make a promise to yourself that you will fill in your blank while you have the opportunity to. It can be as simple as calling your grandmother to check in on her or as big as packing your bags and checking a destination off your bucket-list.

This post was originally published on The Millennial Miss.

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