This past weekend the weather was warmer. The sun was shining, there was a slight breeze, and it was gorgeous. I had a ton of computer work to get caught up on, bills to pay, and laundry and cleaning to do. But inside was the last place I wanted to be.
I love to garden. I wanted to be in the yard, pulling weeds and dead-heading flowers. I wanted to clean up the area where I’ll soon plant tomatoes and veggies. I wanted my hands in the dirt and to feel the sun’s warmth sink into my skin.
There was no reason I couldn’t do my work and also go outside. I just had to manage my time well, balance my priorities. It’s like a see-saw, with work on one side and play on the other. If I focus on just one of them, I’m lopsided. I’m either stuck in the air with no way to get down. Or I’m planted on the ground, without ever having the joy of swinging upwards.
Life is all about balance.
Some days I do a better job at this than other days. I’m super busy with work, both business and personal. The chores must get done. But it’s also important for me to decompress.
I often remind myself that being productive doesn’t always mean checking things off my never-ending to-do list. Being productive can also mean carving out “me-time” — without feeling guilty about it. Activities that benefit me both mentally and physically.
Here are some of my favorites:
- Take a walk and get closer to my goal of 10,000 steps per day.
- Hike in the mountains with my husband and dog.
- Go to lunch with my mom or friends.
- Take a bubble bath.
- Watch TV.
- Call my sisters.
- Sit and have a cup of coffee or tea.
- Read a book or magazine.
- Exercise. Walk, ride the stationary bike, do yoga or stretching, even if it’s for just fifteen minutes.
- Brush and pet my dog.
- Sit in a quiet room and meditate. Breathe in deep and slowly exhale, counting my breaths as I go along.
- Go outside and listen to the birds while watching clouds float by.
One of the best ways for me to unplug and recharge is to be outside and dig in the earth. Which is exactly what I’m going to do.
The bills and piles of laundry can wait.