We all have been there. Stress from work, no time taking care of the kids or family members, and just life in general being hard and out of balance. A lot of us have gone through some sort of a burn out, which is life draining and very demotivating. “[…] as many as 4.1 million German workers, out of a workforce estimated at about 40 million, have experienced mental or emotional distress”, was reported earlier this year on the Wall Street Journal. It is clear that we all need a break from time to time to take care of ourselves.
So did I. I took a few days off and went to the beach to enjoy the weather, the food and the people. It was a wonderful time and I was able to shut down for a little while and appreciate my own company. After the holidays were over, it was time to go back to work and life in Berlin. I felt relaxed, well organized and down to earth for the first few days, but then it all started to become harder and after a couple of weeks it was just as straining as before. I needed another holiday.
‘Running away’ from stress is helpful at times but it is not a long-term solution. The cycle would only repeat itself and life would stand still. In a hectic society, we need to take it easy to get a better grip of life. Some investment into oneself will be required in order to end the cycle. There are so many different ways to do so and there is no general formula as everyone is different with different needs and desires.
My advice is to experiment and explore:
Try to arrange your calendar so that you have some time just for yourself or for your loved ones. Get a routine going. Do something that you love or try out new things. Maybe pursue that yoga or self-defense course you always wanted to do. Or go to that little café you like so much and enjoy the coffee. Eat healthy, or spoil yourself with delicious dishes from time to time. Meditate or go out jogging. Visit friends or stay home and watch a movie. Find what suits you best.
Sometimes I still fail and am not able to pamper myself, as circumstances won’t allow it. Of course, it is all easier said than done. But that is ok. Nothing wrong with that either. The only important thing to watch out for is balance. There will be stressful times and there will be relaxing times.
I had to find the balance bit by bit, reorganize things or start anew. No one should live a stressful life every day for the rest of their life. The world is your oyster. It is your life and no one else’s.