This past summer I worked basically everyday. I'm not complaining, it was my choice. I have a goal and opportunities were given to me I wanted to take. But at one point I was employed by five different places. It was crazy and I was stupid.
I have since learned the importance of days off and taking time to relax.
(You may be thinking how does this relate to the idea of this blog? But it does, trust me on this.)
When you are working so many days in a row you tend to get caught up into the mindset of "where do I need to be next?" Juggling work schedules so you can keep up with your commitments is a lot more exhausting then even I originally thought. I had done it before, but never to the extent of having somewhere to be everyday and some days multiple jobs. Before this summer I always had at least one day off a week, a day to wake up late, check email, and run errands. I never knew how important those down days were until mid August when I realized I had only had a small handful of them in the past three months. And it being summer, I had used those days to head to the beach, which is relaxing, but requires travel.
So imagine my surprise when I discovered I had a couple days with nothing to do and no where to go at the beginning of September. The first thing that popped into my mind was "where should I go, what should I do?" And then I started to feel guilty that I had the days off. It took a lot of will power to just tell myself to do nothing, not to plan anything, and just laze about the house. I felt a bit antsy, like I had forgotten to do something and was missing an appointment, but eventually was able to turn off my inner running list of things to do and enjoy my book, watch tv movies, and just plain relax. I pushed back my guilt over not giving my employers all the time I had and taking some of it for myself. The next day when I went into work I was well rested and clear of mind, ready to handle anything that came my way, a state I had not accomplished in a couple weeks. I had even crossed some things off my to-do list, freeing myself of those burdens.
My point? Taking a day to do nothing is just as important to living and experiencing life as going out and doing something extreme. Down time, as everyone will tell you, helps to refresh your mind and body, preparing you to take on whatever there is coming at you in life. It helps you to catch the truly important things, like laughing at a joke with friends, reliving memories with family, or discovering what you like to do when no one else is around to entertain you. I've learn to relish and cherish these days I have no obligations and to take them as the re-charge needed to keep my life moving and exciting.