In preschool, we are given snacks and nap-time to refuel. In grade school, we have recess to burn off energy and help us focus. In high school, we are given breaks between class periods to talk, walk and clear our minds before the next class begins. With college comes semester breaks to rest and prepare for the next set of classes. In the corporate world, we earn vacation days and are allotted breaks throughout the day to clear our minds. There is a pattern in life that displays the vital need to take time for ourselves and let our body and mind rest and rejuvenate.
My parents have been visiting from Pennsylvania for the past week. It has been seven months since I last saw mom and dad. We are having a wonderful time and it has been a nice break from my normal routine. Spending time with them is like a vacation for me. It is rejuvenating and good for my soul. Our time together goes so swiftly. I find myself striving to soak in every moment and squeeze in as much as I can with them in the short amount of time we have together. I treasure our quality time and the simple pleasures of playing games and cooking dinner together. They leave tomorrow and before we know it, we will be talking on the phone and it will feel like it has been a long time since we have seen each other.
With my husband, Noah, and I living in Northern California, my parents do not have the daily visual reminder of what my day-to-day life is like. Noah is here to see that I take my temperature and blood pressure every evening. To watch me swallow more than 20 pills throughout the day. How I have to use ice and heat on my back daily. That I am not at the same activity level that I was more than two years ago. When mom and dad visited in 2012, we took hikes in the canyon and long day trips. Unfortunately, my back condition means we can’t do that. They are aware of all of this, but I know it is hard for them to see this change, in person. It is hard on me for them to see this, too.
Juggling multiple health issues comes with a lot of work, patience and not feeling the best every day. At times I can be hard on myself. I believe this is a natural thing that can happen in life. I strive to be the best I can be in all aspects of my life. We have to accept we may not feel the best every day and are unable to accomplish everything that we had hoped to. There may be some days when we don’t have a handle on everything in life as much as we may like. This goes for anyone in life, whether facing health issues or not. My parents, Noah and I had a heart-to-heart about all that I endure physically and mentally in life. After our talk, dad gave me a big hug. We have this thing where we touch foreheads and say that we are “connecting.” Dad and I touched foreheads, and he told me, “You need to give yourself a break.” He meant it in the sense that I am too hard on myself at times. This was perfect advice, which I will hold close to my heart. Whether we are dealing with stress with our health or normal day-to-day life, let’s remember to take time for ourselves, let our body and mind rest and give ourselves a break. We deserve it!
How do you take breaks in your life to let your mind and body rest and rejuvenate?