Taking a Time Out


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With the holidays, I find it too easy to get wrapped up with activities, commitment, and overwhelmed by the stress that comes with it. Not just those regular stresses, I get the full on stomach churning, heart rate lifting, and sweaty sleepless night kind of stress that goes on and on. Things don’t always go as planned, it’s too easy not to feel wonderful.

The past couple of weeks especially have been completely overwhelming for me. As the end of the year approaches, there is suddenly more unplanned work, family member that needed extra attention, things got broken that needed replacing and fixing, hot water not working, Christmas shopping, scheduling invitations, volunteer requests, re-scheduling kid’s extracurricular activities for next year, holiday planning and bookings, so on.

Yes of course, I know all the theories on dealing with stress: get into the sunshine, sweat it out, and have a quiet time. However, it is always a struggle to decide whether to take time out first and hopefully come back to work refreshed; or endure the stress – finish the work first – and then maybe I will enjoy the time out more. The more I overthink, the more I wake up drenched in sweat, feeling much anxiety and miserable.

What seems to work for me, however, to make myself commit to sticking in taking time away for fresh air and sunshine, is when it is booked into my agenda as part of my schedule. Yes, it is still way too easy to cancel an appointment with yourself, and I am still working on this.

It is too easy to put oneself into lower priority, especially for one that is a goal-and-result oriented individual. It is too easy to neglect taking care of oneself.

I am glad that I did take the day out in the midst of all the chaotic feelings. Though the situation and tasks have not changed, but a fresh perspective does make a huge difference to my attitude and priorities. Everything starts to fall into place, I can reorder my priorities and not everything needs to be perfect and planned.

From now on, I will make sure to schedule time out in the sunshine even though its only for a couple of hours a week, fit in exercise – even if its only for 15 minutes a day, stick to my daily routine, learn to say no – be picky to jobs, try to forget perfection, and not to over schedule and slow down.

Wishing everyone a wonderful new years.

Marina Arifin
instagram: @SimpleMuffin

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