Thursday, August 29, 2013

Make Time for Fun

Do you work long hours?  Do your work one job and then go to a second job either that day or on the weekends?  Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work that piles up?  Are you overwhelmed by scheduling and reading IEPs right now? I have one message for you:

Yes you heard me right. You might think I'm crazy. Maybe I am.  I can very well guarantee you that I would be even crazier if I didn't make time for fun.

I don't know about you, but here's what I'm like when I'm stressed and don't take time to have fun.
I'm grumpy.
I'm tired.
I'm tense.
I say things I don't mean.
I blame things on others when they don't deserve it.
I have less patience with my students.
I'm more likely to snap.

Sound familiar?

Someone once told me that humans are social beings. We're made/wired to be around other people.  While I do agree with this somewhat, I also know that some people get more energy from being alone/not being around people (aka. introverts).  There is absolutely nothing wrong with being an introvert versus an extrovert.  I know people draw their energy/get recharged from different sources, so I'm not going to sit here and tell you exactly how to have fun.

Read a book. Paint a picture. Do a little retail therapy.  Exercise.  Get a manicure. Meet up with friends. Do something that makes you happy.  Just do something!

So why am I telling you this?  Not only is it a reminder for myself as I'm writing this, I hope it can be a reminder for you in this busy, stressful time of year!

You may or may not know that stress can actually negatively impact your health.  So it's good to take time to relax.  Let me say that again:  it's HEALTHY and necessary to take time to relax.

I think sometimes it's easy to get in the routine of life and claim that we don't have time for ________ (insert fun activity here).  I would then recommend that you schedule it in.  Make time for it.  Here's why: I took two courses this summer.  I had both finals on Tuesday. I also had the opportunity to go to the lake for the weekend right beforehand.  Did I want to go to the lake? Absolutely.  Did I need to study? Yes. Here was my compromise:  I went to the lake for one and a half days (Friday afternoon thru Saturday evening). I studied until the lake trip, attempted but failed to study at the lake, and studied once I got home.  Did it stress me out a little? Yes, I'll admit it did. I didn't know if I had studied enough going into the finals.  But I can tell you I was more relaxed than I would have been if I had been freaking out all weekend.  In the end, I did fine in both classes, and I didn't regret going to the lake.  I would have regretted not going to the lake with all my friends.

So schedule it in.  Don't live your life regretting what you could have done.  Live your life to the fullest.  Make a plan and make that plan happen. Your SLP work will get done, I promise.  It always does.

Make time for fun, friends. You won't regret it.

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