Taking another look at one of my quote images, and this one is a restful point…
I took that photo at Bredhurst in Kent. I had gone specifically to try some sunset photos over that tree. I’d been thinking about it for a while, and for some reason that particular day had struck me to check the forecast the night before and then simply get up and do it.
It was the first sunrise session in the winter, and whereas my sunrise sessions in the summer had been warm, this one was, er, *not* warm!
I had my woolly hat scarf and gloves on so my mother wouldn’t tell me off, but oh, it was chilly!
I think the sun was having to come over a hill to appear, as it seemed to take ages, so I was snapping away at the lightening sky, and quite enjoyed this one behind the tree. If it looks a tad blurry, that was my hands shaking!
Despite the cold, I was enjoying myself. I was enjoying doing something I had been wanting to do for a while, and had finally set about scheduling and doing, because I’d realised that I had been putting it off and off and off to ‘someday’.
That’s the point I want to make here…
‘Someday’ can be a long time coming! It’s easy to put leisure activities off to the future, to leave activities that are fun to do ‘just because’, until we have more important stuff out of the way. In fact, not only is it easy to do this, we *should* be doing just that, because after all, rest and relaxation are luxuries, and not to be confused with essentials, right?
Whoa there, hang on!
My answer to that is clear – rest and relaxation are *not* luxuries. They are essentials, and must be scheduled as such.
The idea has taken hold that if we ‘indulge’ in rest and relaxation we are either weak, or shirking effort towards doing more worthwhile things. If we toil away, once we get to certain point, then we can indulge in frivolities like rest and relaxation.
So, why has this idea taken hold so much, and what can we do about it?
It’s not hard to see why this view has taken hold. It’s from the rah rah rah school of goal achievement. Work, work, work, don’t stop ’til you get there, that kind of thing. Work ethic is everything, rest is for the lame, that kind of thing.
Now, while I agree that work ethic is important, taking responsibility is important, taking action is important, being positive is important, it’s also important to ask why we are putting in that work…
I’d say that we should be putting that work in towards our responsibilities, yes, but also towards our passions, what touches our souls, what makes us feel alive.
Otherwise, what’s the point?
If we think that rest and relaxation are only for some vague point in the future, we’re implying that they are not something we deserve right now. That not only begs the same question of ‘what’s the point?’, it also brings up the question of our health.
Physical and mental health.
Both of those will suffer if we have no rest and relaxation. They’ll both suffer to the point of being detrimental, and in a big way.
I simply do not agree that rest and relaxation are things we can only indulge in at some future point.
They must be indulged in the present.
Now, I’ve already mentioned responsibilities, and I accept that obviously we have various and differing levels of responsibilities. It’s not always easy to simply decided to find time for rest and relaxation.
I understand that it’s not always easy, but the decision to make changes in this regard *is* easy!
We just decide to do it.
Once we’ve taken the concept on board, and decided to make necessary changes, it then comes down to time management, and yes, scheduling!
Instead of leaving the rest and relaxation for that 12th Never, someday, time slot, we should schedule it into our diaries.
That may well bring challenges. It may bring conflicts from others, and conflict in your own mind. That’s OK.
The conflict in your own mind can be dealt with by developing your new found understanding of the importance of rest and relaxation towards your long term health.
As for conflicts with others? Well, it could be that the conflict arises because they are more interested in you working to *their* agenda, and if you start freeing up your time for yourself, it leaves things back in their lap.
Maybe you need to say ‘no’ a bit more often, which is something else I’ve written about a lot.
Once you explain your position (which is not the same as ‘justifying’ by the way), they may well agree and come on board.
Of course it’s possible that they don’t agree, that they don’t come on board. If that’s the case, I’d suggest the response is ‘so be it.’ You can’t please all the people all the time, which is why it’s always important to never forget your own needs.
So, in the case of this photo of mine, it was a sunrise photography session, letting me soak in that ‘newness’ and refreshing of perspective that comes with watching a sunrise.
What it would be for you? What would you define as rest and relaxation? Whatever it may be, have you been thinking of them as luxuries for too long? It can be easy to do, but I suggest again, most strongly, that rest and relaxation are NOT luxuries. They are essentials, and must be scheduled as such.
As ever, I’d love to hear what you think – do leave a comment, and feel free to share if you think the message would be of value to others.
‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
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