I've been finding myself increasingly frustrated lately and even more easily agitated, and I know these feelings stem more from my lack of NOT doing than from any amount of doing. What I mean is, I know that I need more space - space to breathe, space to do nothing, space to be aware and fully present.
I think about several occasions over the last few weeks. One of many examples, I'm on a call, and by the time I get off the call, I have three more to return, in addition to several text messages. I start returning calls, but by the time I wrap up the last one, I have three more to return. On and on it goes, until it's late (late) evening, and I'm spent.
This problem isn't unique to me. I think we all have a tendency to leave too little space in our lives. We're frazzled and exhausted and can't manage a complete thought most of the time, all because we leave ourselves no room.
What could we do with that extra space?
- Have a cup of hot chocolate, coffee, or tea,
- Sit in silence for twenty minutes,
- Have breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the table, without watching television or checking news feeds or email,
- Take the time to cook a nice meal for ourselves, instead of grabbing the fastest and most convenient thing available,
- Go for a walk without the mp3 player,
- Meditate or do yoga first thing in the morning, before starting anything else,
- Read a good book without music or television going in the background,
- Take a nap mid-day without reason or guilt,
- Take a few minutes to spend time with pets, or
- Simply be still and do nothing.
We all know this already, but modern conveniences are only making it more convenient to never turn off. I work 100% remotely and via the Web, and as I told someone just recently, Internet would be one of the hardest things for me to have to give up, but at the same time, I know it makes it to where, as a society, we're always on. That's no good. It's no good for creativity, for our health, for our emotional and mental stamina, nor is it good for our relationships. Everything suffers if we don't allow ourselves time to rest and recharge.
This is the perfect time of year to take a little extra space. The holidays can add a lot of additional stress, and I find that we all have a tendency to feel the need to make one final work push for the year. The combination makes it all the more likely to feel tense and on edge. This is a good time to set up expectations and intentions for the coming year, and what better way to start things off than with a little more breathing room to create, experience, and live?