We are all busy. The pace of our modern; suburban or urban lives are beyond recognizable to our parents and grandparents that came before us. For the most part, I do not have a pessimistic perspective on this, I am thankful for modern advances. But I don’t think anyone can deny the strain this pace can put on our overall physical, emotional, social, spiritual well-being (ok, literally, every aspect of life). It is more important than ever for us to carve out time for activities that fill us up. We are almost always being drained; drained of energy, sleep, nutrients, patience, hope… the list goes on. We cannot sustain this pace and drain rate and still be a functioning, let alone thriving, human being.
GBO New York reported in 2015*, the self-help industry is a $10 billion dollar/year industry, showing the fastest growth rate of all reading materials. The unfortunate truth about self-help books is there is little research to support that these books cause positive behavior change. In fact, what does cause an increase in positive behavior change is engagement with another human being. Go figure; we need interaction with each other.
The best way to take breaks from the pace of life we described, is to carve out “Fill-up” time. You can’t run on empty for long without (sometimes serious) effects. Make a habit of your time (1 time a week, daily, after your least favorite projects are completed, etc). Take a break for yourself with some of these simple (not revolutionary ideas).
- Be with your people
- Call a friend
- Write a friend
- Get outside
- Get rid of things
- Turn off screens
- Turn on music with no lyrics
- Go to the library
- Read a magazine
- Read a book
- Read a blog
- Write a blog
Add things to the list that are specific to you; things that fill you and things that drain you. One of mine is the Norwegian/Swedish practice of “fika,” which literally means: to have coffee. The implication is to 1. take a break 2. sit down alone or with friends, colleagues, or your kiddos 3. to drink something enjoyable and warm, 4. eat a little something that goes well with your drink and 5. simply, recharge. My afternoon fika has become that moment to love myself daily, that doesn’t need to happen only on vacations or special occasions, but can be found in the everyday. So whether you adopt fika or create your own space and routine, you will start to see a difference in your attitude and demeanor about the other parts of your day. Taking time to love yourself makes the mundane sacred, and the everyday beautiful.
*Source: 2015, Book Market, GBO New York, http://buchmesse.de/images/fbm/dokumente-ua-pdfs/2016/book_market_us_jan_2016_56617.pdf
Written by: Melissa Law-Penrose & Josi Garcia
Melissa is the Administrative Director for ZimZum Consulting Collaboration. She has extensive experience advising in Higher Education and has a Master's degree in International Peace & Conflict Transformation.
Josi Garcia is the Co-Founder of ZimZum Consulting Collaboration. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has experience working with schools and families supporting an individual with special needs.