Making time for yourself

Making time for yourself

Boredom Definition;
“In conventional usage boredom is an emotional state experienced when an individual is left without anything in particular to do, and not interested in their surroundings. “

I remember spending summer holidays at home with absolutely nothing to do (no holidays abroad in my childhood). I had so much time to play, to imagine and to day dream. To be alone- a feat in a home with 4 boys!.

I can’t remember the last time I was truly bored. 

Reading a Brian Pickings post about boredom really resonated with me. I’m currently trying to get my evenings back. I work more now self-employed that I did in a full time job. I know exactly what I’m doing everyday till christmas.

+ my digital limbs. Emails, checking Facebook, listening to podcasts, so much information….
… sometimes feels like sleeping is the only real break.

Maria Papova has written quite a lot about “the modern cult of productivity and our compulsive busyness.” And why we need to take time for ourselves.

Time is todays commodity and we don’t seem to have enough. We live in a productivity & distraction age. I can look at all the people I know and everyone is the same. Constantly working even when on a holiday (“but it’s fun work” we say).

When was the last time you were bored — truly bored — and didn’t instantly spring to fill your psychic emptiness by checking Facebook or Twitter or Instagram?” Brain Pickings.

Boredom is the antithesis of everything we are encouraged to do. We tell kids off for being bored “well find something to do!”

But we need to look after ourselves. Busyness is a distraction from actually livingI often feel like I don’t have or take the time to appreciate what’s happening around me.
To be truly present.
To be truly with my own thoughts.

It’s a choice we make. I can always say no instead of taking on more projects, work or fun projects. Workaholics anonymous….

For me taking time for ourselves has several elements, each with it’s own type of commitment.

Holidays. Weekends and evenings to some degree. This is what we picture as a break. A scheduled chunk of time. I’ve been relatively good at taking holidays. My partner and I have been going on mini-breaks, usually around weekends all year. It’s something lovely to look forward to every couple of months.

Then there’s meditative and or prayer practice. Taking time for your inward self. To look within and to focus. It’s a personal practice. Alone time.

Mindfulness which I’ve recently come across is about being present. Being conscious of your environment (as my mum is constantly telling me to do). You aren’t necessarily alone.

Together they allow you to become in tune with yourself whilst in tune with your environment. Open and aware. A motor cyclist told me that cycling is like this. You can’t do anything but drive. Can’t use your phone, read or listen to something. You just have to be there present with the wind, rain, sun and your thoughts.

Daydreaming is the flip side. It’s about letting your mind wander instead of focusing. Detaching yourself from your surroundings and blurring your contact with reality.

And there are positives about taking time to do nothing or taking time to be alone.

It allows us to listen…..

“This is particularly pause giving considering the developmental function of boredom in shaping our psychological constitution and the way we learn to pay attention to the world- or not.” Adam Phillips

“Often we already know the answers to the questions we are asking or worrying about” as Connie McLaughlin from Your Inner Buzz said at a seminar I attended “but we are too busy to stop and even ask ourselves.”

Tiffany Schlain talks about technology shabbatsHer whole family spend every weekend unplugged. She talks about how present, grounded and balanced she feels after a few hours of lots of jumbled up thoughts. She is just ‘there.’

It makes us more creative….

We get some of our most creative thoughts when we let our mind wander. Day dream.

Like the shower principle on 30 Rock, where when you are doing a mindless task such as showering, toilet breaks, walking or solving Liz Lemon problems your brain is free to wander and explore and bring out the stuff that’s hiding in our subconscious.

As John Cleese describes in his brilliant talk on creativity.
“By the “closed mode” I mean the mode that we are in most of the time when {we are} at work.
We have inside us a feeling that there’s lots to be done and we have to get on with it if we’re going to get through it all.

By contrast, the open mode, is relaxed… expansive… less purposeful mode… in which we’re probably more contemplative, more inclined to humor (which always accompanies a wider perspective) and, consequently, more playful.”

We also need time to rest…

Think about it, we spend a third of our life sleeping.

“If sleep is the apogee of relaxation, boredom is the apogee of mental relaxation.” Walter Benjamin

Taking time for yourself is a way of operating. A continuous act.

And like everything it takes practice- and that’s what I’m doing.
I don’t know the answer. Yet. 
I just want to have time without that constant itch to do something.

“Don’t replace boredom with work or fun or habits. Don’t pull out a screen at every idle moment. Boredom is the last privilege of a free mind.
Leisure is our last luxury, be kind to yourself and take it.” the Guardian

Let me know if you have any tips on making time for yourself 🙂

Want more?

Jessica Hische Ultra Schedule (I aspire to be like this)

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