Relaxing sometimes feels like a chore. Don’t get me wrong, most snippets of downtime are divine; however, when you’ve got only a small amount of time off before you need to tackle a huge project, vacation can feel more like mandatory refueling. Do you know the feeling – the pressure to get a good night’s rest before a presentation, and even the stress we sometimes force upon ourselves while trying shut off our work brains during a movie or dinner with friends?
This time of year does little to make free time carefree, what with holiday parties, gift shopping and family obligations coming out of the woodwork, but this makes it all the more important for us to steal away some time for ourselves. It’s so hard to do this amidst the holiday hubbub, but unless we carve out slices of time to sweep our minds clear of work, shopping lists and eggnog toasts, we won’t be at our best (in fact, we’ll only be scraping by) when doing the things that matter to us. This kind of neglect of my own downtime has made entire winters complete blurs in the past, but this year I really don’t want to trudge away from New Year’s with bags under my eyes and scant accomplishments to show for it. That’s right, I refuse to let the holiday season’s downtime-stealing shenanigans get to me, and I invite you to join me. I’m about to start my weekend early with some laid-back birthday celebrations (yup, I’ve even got my own birthday to balance this time of year), and I’m sweeping all work and social obligations under the rug for three whole days. Won’t you switch off your smart phone, finish up with the gift wrap already and come place cucumber slices over your eyes with me?
Psst: These soothing messages spray painted on the side of a rusty railroad bridge are part of a growing trend of uplifting graffiti art in Austin. I hope they get your relaxation mode going in the most splendid of ways, and if you’re diligent about your downtime I’ll promise to share more sweet graffiti with you next week. Happy almost weekend!