“Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares that will not withdraw from us.” – Maya Angelou
How often do you fully grasp the concept that you have the power to step back from the difficult situations in your life? Maybe you don’t ever do it (or maybe you do it in some ways that are not healthy), because you know that stepping back for a while won’t make the problems go away. Taking a break is not for the purpose of making them go away. It is to give you a breather, a time of rest – like sleeping, or taking breaks at work or from a long day of chores, so you can gather the strength to go back into the fray. Our body-mind is not meant to keep going and going without breaks. It is about expenditure of energy and giving yourself enough time for your energy level to be replenished. It is not even about a particular length of time. I talk to some people, who have not been on a vacation in years, or who work through every lunch time and allotted break at work, or who feel guilty if they consider giving themselves scheduled times for rest and quietness. Multiple scientific studies indicate that pushing our bodies and minds to near exhaustion is not only diminishing our quality of life, but often creating unnecessary dangers to our health.
Those people who know how to embrace the rejuvenation of their body-mind understand that taking care of their own needs is a sign of a well-balanced person. Some of those people make it a priority to take regular vacations – as long as their obligations and their budget will allow. Others take several long weekends a year for getaways to rejuvenate themselves and/or their relationships. More and more people are experiencing the enormous value of brief moments throughout their day, in which they re-energize themselves by centering fully in present moment awareness. When we repeatedly bring our attention back to living fully in each present moment, without allowing thoughts to take us elsewhere, we have access to a continual source of energy. Perhaps this is ultimately the best way to take care of ourselves, and of others in our life and work.