Relax, Breathe, You’re Only 24

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are rare, cherished moments in my day that I could just switch off my brain and not do anything. I always feel under pressure to finish a goal, to work towards something and always struggling against the clock. I guess it all falls apart once I start taking on too much. Type A personality. Definitely. I find it difficult to relax because relaxation is not a reward for a job well done. A job well done is celebrated with the completion of the next thing. The next step, project or challenge.

This past year I have really been trying to reward my efforts better and trying to enjoy the moment. Be more relaxed. Respond to stress with my higher brain function and not let instinct and drive guide me because I will surely fail and burn out. Without meaning to, I have boxed myself into Type A personality category and to be honest, it sucks and I want to get out. I want to sit in between the boxes. A healthy combination of the two. Driven but not to become unbalanced from stress.

Here are a few things that I have done to help myself relax:

  1. 10 Minutes of Me Time
    I have been trying something. I pick one day a week, and an hour, half an hour or even just 10 minutes to stop and do absolutely nothing. Just be an observer and enjoy the present and being in the moment. Just for that short moment, let the world go by. Be a part of the world and at the same time apart from it. Just for 10 minutes, don’t worry about what the next minute will bring, let it all happen.
  2. Stop Multitasking
    I do multiple things at once, I guess it happens when you are time-poor. It’s either you get it done or you don’t sleep for me and I do like my sleep so I pile the tasks up and hope it works out. I have however discovered that if you focus on one thing at a time, it takes less time to complete it and you actually feel more satisfied with the overall results!
  3. Accepting that I can’t do everything
    I try to take on too many projects at once, I haven’t been too successful. I have been trying to streamline my ideas and create a realistic timeline for completion. As well as that, I have accepted that there are a few things in my life I could do without.
  4. Reward Myself
    I have started to reward myself for completing tasks by sitting down and watching movies (not interrupted or multitasking), seeing friends, going out to exercise, being in bed earlier and occasionally chocolates.
    I don’t want to make food rewards a habit because I can quite easily over-indulge! I am not great at doing this one. I got for weeks forgetting to reward myself. It’s really great to have supportive friends, partner and family to remind me of the important things in life.
    Another form of reward I try to include is seeking out new life experiences. For example, I went on a whale watching cruise with some work friends and Matt where we saw hundreds of dolphins escorting our boat midway through. It was epic!
  5. Slow Down, Breathe, You’re Only 24
    I tell myself this, repeatedly and often.
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