Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Importance of Embracing Downtime & Self-Care

It is easy to get caught up in the maelstrom of life, particularly around the holidays, and lose sight of caring for oneself.  Many Americans - in particular those who subscribe to the worldview of the Puritan work ethic – feel discombobulated or even guilty if they just indulge in doing nothing productive.

Fortunately, I do not have that ailment. I am perfectly at ease enjoying my leisure time avoiding work that can wait for tomorrow, or next week, or next month. I like to think of our minds and bodies as needing a recharge just like my iPhone.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I found myself with unexpected free time. Mother Nature interrupted our plans to host our relatives.  So Thanksgiving Day we did our P90 workout, lounged around with cappuccino and home made biscotti, and decided to go to a movie. Yes, the Alamo Drafthouse was open and showing The Hunger Games – Mockingjay – Part I. And it was an ideal time to go to the cinema because the theater was nearly empty for the 2:00pm matinee!

For the balance of the weekend, I hibernated – for 4 days. Todd chose to spend the time organizing the basement.  With the exception of doing the laundry and dishes, keeping up with our workouts, paying our Personal Property Tax, making granola, scrubbing the ceramic tile floors and sterilizing the litter boxes, I lounged in a chair and read books, watched the birdies at the feeders, surfed the Internet and played innumerable games of Candy Crush, Pet Rescue, and Plants v. Zombies. Yes, it was mindless, but also refreshing.

We declined to be drawn into the vortex of post holiday madness in which our fellow citizens frantically shopped for faux deals on televisions and DVDs. We ignored talking heads on the stations that used to broadcast news reports rather than opinions. We watched a couple of movies on Amazon Prime. And by the time the weekend ended, I felt refreshed and re-energized.

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