Some times you have no choice when it comes to down time.
After a week of summer holidays, a week to prepare for September’s back to school, and the first few days back at work, one would think that it would be a set up for a restful ease into fall. Yet, it was not to be.
The first thing that happened? I fell sick. And not just sick. Over forty-eight hours of bed-ridden sick, and now improved only enough to sit upright as I type this. Certainly not improved enough for public. My own body made me do nothing and thinking nothing for over two days.
That’s a lot of down time. A lot of wasted time…right? Over two days of nothing! That’s just depressing. And I don’t like getting cranky about stuff like that, so, let’s reset the head space here: what did I gain out of this? I certainly didn’t get caught up on any emails or tasks. I had to reschedule appointments because I couldn’t talk and, even if I could, I’m not sure I would have been coherent. But I did get:
- a new appreciation of a new-to-us tv channel
- lots and lots of sleep
- snuggle time with Office Cat
- to pick my daughter up right after school
- to say no or not now to a few things
- time to consider and say yes to a few others
And that list of accomplishments? Not a bad way to spend a few days amidst rest and recovery. I got to prioritize what I needed. A lot of that was sleep, and other things reflected simply what I was physically capable of at the moment. A bit refreshing, really. This down time thing has its merits and was certainly not wasted or full of nothing. It’s a done deal. I need a few more of these sprinkled in my life.
Next time, though? I think I’ll schedule it in by putting regularly planned empty spaces in my calendar. To rest. And recover. If I don’t, it may be forced on me again by a over-zealous virus, and I’d really rather have down time on my own terms. I have the sneaking suspicion that it’s a lot more enjoyable when you’re fever-less and coherent.
Your turn to chat in the comments! How do you fit down time into your schedule? What does your down time look like? And how do you recognize when you are in need of down time?! How do you take advantage of it when it sneaks up on you like an end-of-summer cold?
Very thoughtfully written. In my case, down time is closely related to being organized. I can relax and detox and overlook the small stuff that is undone but I find it hard to do this if big and overwhelming stuff looms.
Working Moms with busy schedules and commitments need to prioritize their commitments and get some real balance between “being busy” and “being fulfilled”. Didn’t I read somewhere that folding laundry or scrubbing a bathtub is mindful activity if one allows it to be so? Think on these points ….
I even wonder if the balance is between being busy & being fulfilled – that may vary wildly with what “fulfilling” is to each person! Some days, naps are very fulfilling…and some days, downtime can look very “busy”. If organizing rocks your socks, then how can that be a mindful, fulfilling activity? Or how is it not?