The balance of life
Taking a break in sunny California
Since immigrating to Canada with my family in 1990 I have never gone south of the border, until today. As a matter of fact, according to the on-board navigation screen, our plane is in the process of flying over the US-Canadian border as I finish this sentence. It has been one busy year and I very much look forward to some rest and relaxation.
I believe everyone deserves a little break from time to time. It’s important to provide your body and mind an opportunity to recharge. Think of yourself like a rubber band is constantly being stretched. If you don’t take time to relax, you may never return to your original self and serious permanent damage to your health may occur.
You see, we live in a backwards world that preaches us to work, work and only work, in order to achieve some perceived plateau of success in life. Although I believe in the core ethics of work and determination, you are not doing yourself any favours by overworking. When you are overworked, you will find that the level of productivity and quality in whatever you are doing is compromised. You may also be biting off more than you can chew and are involved with too may things. Remember if you chase two rabbits, you may end up losing both. Establish your priorities and start with them first.
Even the relationships that you have with the people around you may be affected by increased stress. You may notice yourself becoming impatient, easily agitated and isolated. Some people become sick and cannot understand why they are getting progressively ill. Others find themselves easily fatigued or have difficulty maintaining normal sleeping patterns and diets. All of this can be attributed simply to stress. Be cognizant of these signs and take a break when needed and if necessary, seek the services of your medical professional.
Unmanaged stress over long periods of time can harm you. It is caused by a multitude of life situations even outside of the workplace. Sometimes it can be the stress of being a student, a parent or taking on a position of leadership. It can be financial stress or stress caused by ongoing conflicts with family and friends. Although avoiding stressful situations is next to impossible, the management of stress is something that is within your capacity to control. When you are lost in a maze, the best view is always the bird’s eye view. Sometimes we get so caught up and frustrated in the details of a task or situation that we lose all sight of its original purpose. By taking time to walk away, clearing your mind and looking at the situation in its entirety will often give you the solution you are looking for.
It was the Greek who said, “All things in moderation." Finding that balance of work and play in life is important to your overall well-being. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Know that you are only one person and you don’t have to conquer the world in one day. If you spend too much time preparing for a good life, you might miss it entirely. Be proud of the things you have already accomplished. Learn to relax, laugh out loud, be silly once in a while and always appreciate your family and friends. Remember that we only have one life to live and we must make every effort to take care of ourselves and each another.