When people hear the term R and R they tend to think about rest and relaxation. These are two words that generally don't come across my normal work week-- or even my vocabulary-- to be honest. I don't like to rest because it gets me stiff and relaxing seems to be more stressful than it's worth at times with 2 young kids, a husband, and ill relatives.
I'm sure all of you have come across a vacation or two that you took, but wished you didn't because the work load at work (or at home) was twice as much when you went back. I have felt that on more than one occasion when I was working a manager's position at a popular retail store chain.
When I got back, I felt guilty about leaving, feared for my job, and over compensated by trying to finish all the stuff that was "left" for me to take care of. My "to-do" list was huge the first few days back and I worked like a crazy woman to get things done. This, of course, was not good for me or my health because I wound up working overtime to finish things that should have been taken care of by someone else.
Jobs most certainly can suck because of this, sometimes home life can too. People today, unfortunately, just don't have the time to help out others. We have become trapped in our own little cubical that we call life. Our co-workers, our friends, our neighbors, and even some of our relatives can become strangers to us because we get caught up in our mundane, bill paying lives.
Some people try to spiritually search out why they are being so mundane, and some just turn a blind eye to it. No matter which you do, it does not matter, because that not the subject of this blog. I will never, not ever preach to any of you a doctrine of religious beliefs. I'm not like that because I'm a firm believer in believing what is good for the soul. I can't feed your soul because I don't know it-- and that's more so the topic of today-- feed your soul!
One has to feed the soul the way that is best for them. I find that meditation, reflection, and deep breathing works for me. I make it part of my R and R ritual. I've discussed a bit of meditation in a previous blog, as well as, my books, so I won't bore you with that here. Instead, I'll discuss reflection and deep breathing.
Reflection can be simple or complex, it depends upon how deep you would like to take the subject. I've always loved to reflect on things, even as a child, but once I got to college, I loved it even more in philosophy.
Philosophy is a beautiful course because it can take the mind to places that it may not ever go unless provoked. I remember talking to a philosophy student who was contemplating a world made of nerf and how that world might be. Silly? Maybe, if you don't let your mind go with it. If you do, the possibilities are endless...
People would not need guns. Rubber rooms would be non-existent. Conflict would be taken to a ball field. The job of a policeman might not be. People might actually be kinder to one another... the thoughts could go on and on when you reflect on this.
Granted, reflecting over a land of nerf might not be everyone's cup of tea, but reflection of the day's events can help you to determine your mind set for the evening, or even the next day. If you've had a particularly bad day, you may want to readjust your diet or your work load for the next day to prevent a major flare. Sometimes this is your best safe guard.
When all else fails, you can try a little deep breathing. Sound crazy? Well, maybe, but not to a three year old. A parent who has tried to teach their little one the art of working through frustration can totally relate to this. Sometimes you just have to stop and breathe before you do anything.
Just today I had to go to the food store for my Grandparents and took my two year old for the trip. She had just woken from a nap so I thought she'd be refreshed for a nice trip out. Once we got there, however, I found out exactly how sorely mistaken I was...
My little one decided to have a meltdown right upon entering the store. She didn't want to be in a cart, she didn't want to walk along side me, and she certainly did not want to be reasoned with. Her screams were pretty loud, and I was feeling like the worst mother in the world for bringing a totally cranky kid out, so I proceeded to nearest exit. Makes them scream louder by the way LOL!
We get to the car and she throws a fit about getting into the car seat. Now I'm stressed and haven't a clue as to what to do. Do I risk going back in? Do I try and leave? Do I sit there for a minute and hope she calms down?
Well, I decided to sit there a bit because I was already having a bad day with Grandpa. He was confused and not talking straight and it was hard to understand what he was trying to convey. My little one seemed to like looking at the sea gulls and I thought all might be good, so I tried to put her in the car seat again. Well, that didn't work.
Finally, I took a deep breath, tried to release all of my anxiety from the task at hand and relax. Once I relaxed, a thought came into my head. The thought? To call my father who lived literally 5 minutes away from the store I was at. My father, or PopPop, as my daughters like to call him, was home with Ama, my mother, Uncle Ronnie, my brother, Jon, the cat, and Emma, the dog.
It took a bit of convincing, but my little one calmed down enough to go over there for a few minutes so I could shop for my Grandparents. The moral? Find your breath of fresh air so your inner voice can talk to you. Find your special place or time to reflect on what you need to-- be it a room, a park, or a journal. Find these things, feed your soul, and be well!
Love and friendship,