It is Saturday night here in my beautiful home in Hidden Valley Lake, California. I am home alone, listening to the frogs in the pond in my garden singing up a ruckus! Otherwise all is peaceful. I was wondering what to do with myself and as usual when I am not sure what to do, I get on the computer! Can you relate? It seems as if the computer is our main companion in life these days; for many of us, taking the place of real social time with friends, making it almost impossible to notice when it is work time and when it is “off” time…. As someone who has worked for myself most of my life, I really have to discipline myself to take time off, to relax and enjoy. Someone once said “An entrepreneur will work 24 hours for themself, to avoid working for one hour for someone else!” That has definitely been me in the past folks! Is it you? This culture has become so identified with the work ethic, way overvaluing the productivity of life, rather than the enjoyment aspect.And many of us feel guilty for simply relaxing and doing nothing much, except enjoying. When was the last time you curled up to read a book, or hung out with friends for endless hours talking into the night, without thinking you should be doing something more useful? Maybe you don’t have this problem, but I had to actually train myself to value relaxation, rejuvenation and play time as much as I do work and my career.
I want to share with you a few tips to help you take guilt free time off and enjoy that free time that you work so hard for.
1. Get out of your head, When we work too much we are focused on the future, on where we want to go in life,the to-do lists, and all the things left undone…This body can only ever be here now, take some deep breaths, move your body, shake your head and your hips, stretch your limbs. Put on some music and dance. Remember the lightness of Being. There will never be another moment quite like this one!
2. Revive your inner child! Remember when you were a child and life was all about how much play you could fit into a day? I remember staying out long hours into the evening, playing and having fun with my friends. I invite you to revive your inner child (remember her/ him?) and see if s/he can show you how to have fun and play again. Just for the hell of it!
3. Give yourself a cut off time to stop working, no matter what. I have to say to myself that 6.00pm is when I stop working, and give myself a way to transition out of the left brain “doing” mode and into my right brain “Being” mode. Then I make dinner, relax and enjoy for the evening. I like to get up early and work and then wind down in the evening, but if you are a night person and enjoy working at night, then give yourself time in the morning to enjoy.
4. Make a date with yourself or a loved one. Spending social or romantic time with a friend or lover is a great way to relax and enjoy. Being with others is definitely soothing to our overworked brains and nervous systems. We are social creatures by nature, but often these days we can become very isolated and disconnected. So call up a friend and make a date to have some fun!
5.Spend time in Nature. This is a great way to tune into the still, slow and cyclical rhythm of Life, and the precious immediacy of the beauty before us. When we are in Nature our senses expand to take in all the delights that the earth offers. It is very resourcing to our nervous system. Nature reminds us to slow down, be present, and enjoy the moment. There is so much beauty around to take notice of, no matter what the season. Life is always calling us out from behind the computer screen to enjoy.