In the blog this week I would like to discuss rest and relaxation. Something that I have just had the pleasure of experiencing for the past 5 or so days with my wife. We spent some time, finally, being able to celebrate our honeymoon after about 16 months of covid delays. That however is neither here nor there, the trip was a blast and something that everyone needs to be doing more frequently. I am not of course talking about going out of town on lavish vacations all the time, although, if you can swing it, are very nice! I am simply talking about the act of walking away, taking time off, disconnecting from our work and social lives and connecting with loved ones and ourselves..
The rat race is a real feeling that we all experience in one form or another, it’s virtually impossible not to. Life happens around us all the time whether we want it to or not. Being a part of a society and many different circles, you will always be pulled in many different directions, frequently conflicting directions. I have found that of myself recently. I was/ am being pulled by so many different forces; work, client needs, friends, my wife, other family, even recreational time! Day in day out, obligations, commitments, promises made, feeling bad about promises not kept, and on and on. The rat race will wear you down over time, it is inevitable.
I mention the rat race as a general feeling, since it will be different for all of us. My rat race as a small business owner and home cleaner is certainly different from yours as a finance manager or ER nurse, but we all have them and know their feelings. They feel like a tax on our soul. Before I give us all a panic attack about our work lives, know there is hope! Not hope, so much to get out of the rat race per say, but there is hope to not feeling so lost and like we’re playing catch up, all the time.
Self care, a topic in the news very frequently, often paired with mental health. Unfortunately these two phrases have become buzzwords it seems and have kind of lost their meaning. Now more synonymous with a catch phrase said by podcasters in pop culture and not so much a term that should be applied with intention. What I mean by that is, haphazardly taking a day off here and there, while potentially helpful in the short run, does not do much to change the habits that lead you to your state of distress in the first place. The real benefit, like all prescriptions, come from a planned prescription from a medical doctor who has based their directions off of research, years of experience, and quantifiable scientific results. Each person doesn’t need a doctors permission to take time off, but planning your time off and how your are going to use it best to your benefit, like a doc would a prescription for your cough, will achieve better benefits just like a prescription is likely better than just running to Walgreens and buying some over the counter Nyquil.
Think about all the stress in your day, every day. Think about the stress free life you would like to live and look at all the roadblocks you put in your own way. Stressed about getting to work on time everyday? Why not just leave 15 minutes earlier, shower 15 minutes earlier, wake up 15 minutes earlier, which leads to going to bed 15 minutes earlier. This is a small and semi silly example of getting to the root cause of your stressors, but the action remains the same. Look back, to every step, review every chink in the armor, where are the holes, where is the stress coming form. Take time and intention this holiday break to really think back on the year, the good and the bad. Zero in on the main culprits of our pain and the tax it levies on our soul. We are our own best friend and worst enemy most of the time.
Taking time to ponder, think, reflect, call it whatever you will is significant to our growth and sense of well being. This is a practice I have been succeeding at and failing at the same time over the course of the past year. I am highly passionate about journaling as a form of reflection for two reasons. First, I am not a smart person, so having a written record of my experiences and feelings helps put me back in the seat of when I wrote about them and helps me recall my emotions better. Second, it allows me a prolonged period of time to think and reflect about life and plan for the future.
Planning for the future, seeing the life I want to live in 5 days, 5 weeks, 5 months, and 5 years is something that I do, albeit not to the master level I would like, but making progress! The rat race feeling comes as a result, to me, from living without intention, no reflection, all action and reaction. Playing defense all day is exhausting, no wonder we feel worn down at the end of the day, month, and year. All day all we do is respond to the rat race. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that taking time off, going to a different physical location, turning off your phone, are all luxuries not all of us can do all the time, but it is an investment in ourselves. Like all investments, you wont see results right away, but they will compound over time. This holiday break, whether you have 15 days, 5 days or 5 hours off, I urge you to take some time, reflect on the year, acknowledge what worked, what didnt, where you want to go, and how you will need to act differently to get there.
Thank you as always for reading the blog. End of the year can bring on mixed emotions. If you are ending this year in a bit of a slump, good news is there is a fresh year only 20 ish days away. A clean slate for you to plan how you can and will rise above the rat race in 2022. If there are any questions, comments, concerns, please email me at Jack@ParkWestCleaning.com Thank you again, see you next week!