Every summer my family went on vacation. This year, we went on a three-day vacation. Last year it was five days. I can’t complain because in 2015 our vacation lasted about three weeks. However, most years we took a ten-day vacation. I think ten days is perfect. It’s longer than a week, so it’s not too short, but shorter than two weeks, so you don’t feel as if you missed out on too much back in the non-vacationing world. I always looked forward to vacations, but never for relaxation purposes. I was already a kid on summer vacation, and I never really had to “relax.” At twenty years old, things are a bit different. Vacations are important (even if it’s a stay-cation). Resting is important. Taking a break is important.
The most difficult thing about vacation is breaking daily rituals because I feel like I’m doing nothing. Seriously. Yesterday, I went on a boat, read a book, took a nap, and went to dinner (don’t worry, I ate breakfast and lunch too). As I reflect on my day, I feel as if I didn’t do anything. However, I did do things, just not things I normally do. I relaxed more than anything. What’s funny is that I didn’t realize how tired I was. In the past two days, I’ve taken four naps. I can’t remember the last time I napped twice in one day. Honestly, I wish I could do that more often (lol).
Unfortunately, when you become accustomed to a schedule and a to-do list, after a few days, relaxation can be mistaken for laziness (or maybe that’s just me). Word to the wise: don’t be like me.
If the day escapes me and I haven’t done much (even if it’s because I don’t have much to do), I’ll feel guilty. I’ll assign myself demeaning attributes such as “lazy bum” or “worthless” or anything else of the sort. I know that I shouldn’t equate my self-worth to the amount of work I do. It’s a bad habit that I’m trying to kick.
Also, often times I’ll base my eating schedule around when I complete my work. If I’m too hungry and all I’m thinking about is lunch, there’s no way I’m going to complete the assignment to the best of my ability. That’s when I know it’s time to stop being so hard on myself and take a break. After I eat, my head is much clearer. My task at hand then becomes easier to finish. Turns out, all I needed was to step away for a while. Hard work is undoubtedly important. However, it’s also important to recognize when you need to step away.
Side note: always step away with the intentions of stepping back into it. Nothing is gained from quitting (except a lesson on never to quit).
Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned and we can’t complete all the tasks we set out to do in one day, and that’s okay. Be patient with yourself (but always respect deadlines). Be as organized as possible, so that things are completed when need be, but if you suddenly have a mental break down and nothing is going right … don’t be afraid to give yourself time to recuperate.
Happy Independence Day to my fellow Bahamians. I hope you get to relax, even if it’s just for an hour or two. Life isn’t about work, it’s about balance. Even if you work more than you relax (as most do), once you’re able to fit some relaxation into your schedule things should flow as smoothly as possible.
Quick disclaimer: this is also a note to self.
A Tribe Called Quest – Electric Relaxation (for those who need help relaxing)