Downtime is essential, but often overlooked. As dads we are usually trying to accomplish 100 things before the end of the day. Who has time for downtime?
Relax. Breathe in, breathe out. Let stress melt from your body. Wait, you can’t relax, you have that work deadline you have to meet and it’s your turn to carpool to soccer and you promised your wife you’d take her to dinner. You’re so stressed out you feel like a hamster on a spinning wheel.
It probably seems like you wake up each morning just to make through the day to get home, go to bed then get up the next day and start all over. What you need is downtime. We’re not talking about going to the gym and having a killer workout, we’re talking about real downtime. Downtime that takes your mind off of everything and just lets you “be”.
Read a book. No, not the books that help you be a better person (yes, they are important, but you are still working). The books that take your mind off of your responsibilities and transport you to a different place (remember your favorite books from childhood that would do just that?). This allows your mind and body to rest from stress and helps you recharge.
Take A Hike
A hike, not a run. Again, this is time for your mind and body to break from your usual stressful cycle, and even though running may be relaxing for some, it still puts stress on your body. Let’s face it, stress is stress and we don’t need more of it.
It doesn’t need to be in the Lotus Position with candles lit everywhere (but we’re not frowning on this practice, either. To each his own), but just time out to reflect, pray, take your mind to a different place so it has a chance to replenish itself. Your mind works overtime as it is; giving it a meditative breather from time to time lets you get ready for the next life challenge.
Downtime is necessary to life. Of course, we’re not advocating extended downtime (you know, permanent couch potato syndrome), but enough to let your mind and body get ready for the next part of your life’s journey.
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