This weekend I did a wonderful thing: nothing. I did no work! I can’t remember the last time I went an entire day without opening up my computer and doing some kind of work, whether it’s blogging, working on freelance projects, responding to emails or tending to my full time job. I think this break was well deserved, and I made the best of it: I went for several runs, watched some great movies, and had lunch with my mother, who I don’t see nearly enough considering she only lives ten minutes from my doorstep.
The Importance of Down Time
We don’t place enough importance on down time as a society. I know growing up that I always felt guilty for relaxing, like I was being lazy or worthless because I was choosing to spend a few hours lounging on an outdoor swing and reading. Looking back, I realize how unhealthy that life view was. Working constantly is a good way to make a lot of money, to move up in your career, and to burn out. So, while I like working hard, and I enjoy the fruits of that labour, I also enjoy taking time to relax, to step away from work, deadlines, editorial calendars, and email notifications.
Adding a Bit of Down Time to Every Day
As I mentioned, my schedule has been a bit full lately. Whether it’s this blog, freelancing projects, or some big deadline at work, I never want for things to do, emails to reply to, or blog posts to write. On top of that, there’s house work, trying to find the time to get in a decent amount of exercise to stay fit and healthy (which is becoming more important as my metabolism drops off), squeezing in time to continue with my dog Molly’s training, and let’s not forget the most important thing of all: maintain a strong relationship with my husband. Heck, as I write, I’m half watching the Emmys with him, because I didn’t have time to get this post done beforehand.
Even though I’ve got a lot on my plate, I still need to make time for a bit of relaxation, even if it’s just for a few minutes every day. I know that this should be a priority, and I know that doing it will help me stay on track and not burn out or get sick.
It’s Almost Time for Vacation
Of course, the occasional weekend and hour once a day isn’t quite enough. Lately I’ve been finding it really hard to get out of bed in the morning, because I know I’m not going to get a chance to lay back down until the very end of a very long, packed day. I think that’s a sign that I need a vacation. Fortunately, I’ve got some coming up. It’s been over a year since I’ve had a vacation and I’m more than ready. Sure, it’s FinCon and I’ll be pseudo working most of the time, but at least it’ll be a change of pace, a chance to see a new city with new surroundings. My husband and I decided to make a real vacay out of it so he’ll be coming with me and so will a few friends.
After that, it’s a few more months of work, work, work and then I’m heading to Paris the first week of December. That is going to be a true vacation. No work, no deadlines, no blog. I’m very, very excited for that trip. Until then, I’m going to keep squeezing in little bits of down time here and there to tide me over.
What’s your favourite thing to do during down time? I want to know!