Monday, February 18, 2013

Is a change as good as a rest? Not if rest is what you really need.

My mother-in-law used to say: “A change is as good as a rest.” It might have been for her, but for me with my brood of six, sometimes change didn't cut it. What I needed big time was a rest from the numerous demands on my time and the physical demands of mothering, cooking, and cleaning.

People hate to admit it, but there are times when rest is just what the doctor ordered. So instead of involving ourselves in more activity and “busyness,” we need to relax and turn down the volume of our lives.

Meditation is almost a lost art. In today’s world we are seldom unplugged. Noise and confusion descends upon us from the moment we wake up until we go to bed at night. And sometimes the momentum keeps us awake when we should be asleep. Our minds never stop. The wheels keep turning and our nerves keep twitching long into the night.

That’s why vacations were invented. A real vacation should separate us from distraction, stress, and worry. 

Mini-vacations will do in a pinch. My husband and I went with friends to relax on the beach. We chose an isolated spot and sat for hours chatting, smelling the ocean air, watching wave after wave collapse on the sand.

When we returned that evening, I felt like I’d been on vacation. I was totally into the moment. I felt relaxed and revived.

The other day I suggested we attend a movie I’d wanted to see. As I told my husband: “I need to get out of myself.” There’s nothing like a good movie to pull you out of a funk.

Creative people are driven by their passions. And let’s face it that can be exhausting at best. If we don’t take a breather every now and then we’re in danger of burn out. Poor health can also affect stamina. If you want to work at peak performance, the first place to start is with your physical and spiritual health.

While it’s true that pain and sorrow may add meaning and purpose to your work, the reverse is equally true: vibrant health, self esteem and positive thinking give you the power and energy you need to be productive.

Balanced living and setting priorities is the only way to achieve happiness and success. If you are driven to succeed but you neglect your family or your health, the results will eventually stall your efforts. 

Pay attention to the signs. If your tail is dragging and your mind feels like it’s full of cotton, take some time off to relax, reassess, and refill your creative juices. When you come back you’ll feel recharged, refreshed, and changed.