“The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.” – Audrey Hepburn
Those are wise words, and particularly important to remember now that summer is over. When you are busy running kids to school, or perhaps getting yourself up at 5:30 AM to get a workout in before work, you will need to remember to take a break from the routine sometimes. You need to find ways, even if they are small and simple, to enjoy your life.
Everyone has a passion. Mine is travel. That works quite nicely in the summer when we have the time set aside and the money budgeted for family reunions and road trips. That doesn’t work out so nicely during the school year when school is in session and books, tuition, and supplies take over our portion of the summer budget that was for travel. I find that I feel cooped up by the end of October and that never fares well for the rest of the family – I am grouchy and unmotivated.
Rejuvenate Your Life
I have discovered that if I make sure to find small ways to enjoy life I am a much more capable person – I am a kinder wife, a more patient mother, a more thoughtful friend, and a happier being. If I concentrate on taking advantage of a little R&R everyday, I find I am more able to enjoy everything throughout the day as well. I can laugh when the baby throws her corn and rice cereal all over my freshly mopped floor rather than grumble in frustration.
It’s the same idea really as the oxygen masks on an airplane – we are instructed to put the oxygen masks on ourselves before we assist smaller children so that we have all of the essentials first to then be able to take care of others who need help. I’m not an expert by any means, only an expert by personal experience. Here are some ideas you can try for your own situation that have worked for me and my family.
- Find an everyday way to enjoy something you love. I mentioned that my love is travel. I love travel because it gets you out of your normal environment and experiencing different food, new people, and often a unique culture. I have found that I can get an everyday taste of this if I just plan little outings for my baby and I to enjoy. That may be as simple as a park we haven’t been to yet, or a trip to a different grocery store. It’s fun for me because it mixes up the routine.
- Set aside 15 minutes for yourself when you need it most. If you need 15 minutes in the middle of the day, but there is a sink full of dishes waiting for you, take the 15 minutes and come back to the dishes later. I’m not a proponent of procrastination by any means, but sometimes realizing that a break will help you be more efficient later. That may be 15 minutes to read a book, 15 minutes to take a nap, or 15 minutes to call a friend, whatever it is, it will be 15 minutes well spent.
- Plan something periodically so you have something to look forward to. I love this one because I am such a planner. I find that if I plan something, even if it is 6 months out, I feel like I don’t mind the everyday routine as much because something out of the ordinary is coming. This is often our family trips for the holidays or planning where we will go out to eat for a birthday dinner. It can be large scale or small scale, either way it is a great little treat for me to look up on the calendar and know we’re going to do something fun in a few weeks or few months.
I know that life is full of things to enjoy. And I’m not saying that life is dreadful without coping mechanisms, but often times we get stuck in a rut and it can be hard to get out. Just remember that life is to be enjoyed and there are small and simple ways to do that – it doesn’t have be left until “someday”.
“If we are ever to enjoy life, now is the time, not tomorrow or next year.” – Thomas Dreier
What do you do for R&R throughout the day?