This past week I took a break. I didn’t write any new blog posts, I didn’t read any new content about simplifying or minimizing. I realized that I needed a break from online media, even if it is about one of my favorite topics. Along with this break, I didn’t get on Twitter at all, and I think I checked Facebook maybe twice. All I did online was necessary work related tasks. I didn’t start out the week consciously deciding to take a break, it just sort of happened on it’s own.
After five days, I woke up feeling excited and energized, ready to do some organizing and decluttering of items around the house that I’ve known I wanted to get rid of, but just couldn’t bring myself to actually do it. I feel like writing more blog posts about living simply. So what happened? Why the change? Honestly, I’m not sure. I’m no psychologist, but it seems like our mind and bodies need a rest from even the good things in life periodically to allow ourselves just to exist, and eventually, when we are ready, to refocus on what is truly important. I’ve found that this happens naturally, almost a kind of burnout on the good things in life, when you are doing so many of them that you can’t appreciate the full benefits of any one single thing you are accomplishing.
In the past, when I’ve taken a planned or unexpected break from ‘good’ things in my life, there have been times when I have felt guilty, like I shouldn’t be tired of activities that are beneficial, wholesome and healthy for me and my family. However, looking back on this week, I realized that it is okay, and there are many different ‘good’ things to do in life.
Some of the things I find myself doing when I take one of these unexpected breaks include-
-Reading a relaxing book.
-Meditating, usually in the form of just sitting and thinking, or not thinking.
-Enjoying more conversations in person or on the phone with family and friends.
-Playing games with my youngest child in the middle of the afternoon.
-Dancing to oldies with my kids in the kitchen after school.
-Trying new recipes like Hummus and Tzatziki.
-Lying down for a rest in the middle of the day.
All of the things above served to help me slow down, relax more and enjoy the immediate moment with those I love. They came very naturally as a product of not being online during my free moments of the day, and it was a very welcome break, and fun! The best part is I don’t feel like I have missed a thing. Those new blog posts by the people I admire in the simplicity movement are still there for me to read, my Twitter followers didn’t stop following, and I feel better rested and have a new clarity to hopefully give a better contribution to the minimalism movement.
So, take a break! Maybe you don’t need one from online media, but maybe you need to take one from something else that is ‘good’ in your life, but has become overwhelming and started to sap you of energy and focus on other important areas of life. Maybe it is volunteer work, too much time in the kitchen, extra hours spent working. Whatever it is, take a break and just do what comes naturally for relaxation.
The coming two weeks I have family flying in to spend time with us, which I am very excited about, so my online activity will continue to be a bit sporadic, but I’m grateful for the time to spend with people I love who live so far away that I don’t see them very often.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving this month, and in line with taking a break, I appreciate this simple quote by William Wordsworth-
Rest and be thankful.