Machines we Aren’t | A needed Time Out

About two weeks ago I arrived in the little town where my grandparents live. I returned “home” from a three month language exchange in Canada. Coming back home, besides fighting jet lag I had a big plan of writing three articles, working out 5-6 times per week and eating the perfect healthy meal plan we all wish we did. But like in a lot of cases life got in the way of things – or better said my energy levels got in the way of things. Travelling takes up more energy than I like to think. As much fun as trotting around the globe is, the constant changing of time zones, cities, countries or homes is also tiering for our body. Heard of the expression: “I need a holiday from my holidays”? Yeah that was me the past two weeks. As much as I wanted to go out and be the productive me I usually am, I just couldn’t bring up the energy to do so. For days I felt useless, tiered and sluggish before I came to the realisation that I should maybe just take a few days off, regenerate and then come back with a fully charged battery to crush my work. And that is exactly what I did. 

Two weeks later. Although I am still feeling a bit exhausted, I am feeling a lot more rested than I did at the beginning. Over the past two weeks all I have been doing was read, relax and occasionally go outside for either a walk or a run because I know that makes me feel good. I haven’t written a single article since my arrival. 

I started writing this article wanting to apologise for my absence as I had written in an article previously that there would be content up three times a week. For days I have been stressing myself that I didn’t write. On the days I got up and actually sat down to write something, my brain was such mush that the quality of my writing was so bad I ended up deleting the article again. I have thought about what I wanted to write for many days and it got me thinking: We people are so obsessed with working, even when our bodies are clearly screaming for some rest. Toady that is exactly what I want to address:

we don’t let our bodies rest enough

In todays world where performance plays such a big part in our everyday lives, we tend to forget to nurture and care for the machines that give us the energy and possibility to perform in the first place – our bodies. Wether we are students, travellers, businessmen or housewives we all have to start seeing that working long hours wether that is physical or mental work, it takes a toll on our bodies. Like a machine we need to be fuelled. Our form of fuel is food and water for example. What we often forget though is that unlike our fellow machines we can’t work for 24 hours 7 days a week non-stop. It doesn’t matter how much food we eat or coffee we gulp down. There isn’t a plug to keep us going at the same rate forever – it is a fact that our human body as well as the brain need to rest occasionally. But in a world like ours today where performance plays such a big factor we tend to forget this very important part. It isn’t a joke when we can see that in some countries people have heart attacks at their desk due to over exhaustion and not seldom can we read about our top managers having burnouts. A lot of us neglect this big important part that we need to rest.

This got me thinking some more. I might not be a top manager working in an office but still I too need to rest my body. Until I realised though that I needed to take a break, it took me a while and that got me thinking again – I know a lot of thinking happened the past few days. Why is that? Why don’t we acknowledge when our bodies need a break? Why do we just keep going until we are forced by the collapse of our machines to finally take a break? Honestly, I haven’t come to a conclusion yet. Maybe it is the not wanting to accept the fact that we maybe need a break because we can only see where the end goal is and maybe overestimate the path there. Or Maybe it is that some of us see taking a break as a failure because when you take a break you stop working and therefore you failed, right?

Whatever the reason is, I believe it is important that we slow down from time to time and admit that maybe we need to take a little break. There is nothing wrong with that. On the contrary, we give our brain and body the chance to regain some energy and to work better afterwards. Taking a break isn’t a way of failing – no, it is a way of ensuring you won’t fail longterm. Don’t get me wrong, sitting around on a couch watching tv all day won’t get you anywhere either but neither will overworking yourself. Balance is the key to success how many like to preach.

It felt good taking a break. I realised that my body needed to recharge and rest for a bit. I don’t blame it, the past year has been quite the ride. Even if the perfectionist in me didn’t like the idea of taking a time out, I know it was what my body was craving and by listening to it, I am here two weeks later finally able to finish a long awaited article! If there is anything you can take from this article it is to listen to your body and occasionally take a break. Drop back down from your work cloud and take a moment to recharge because even the best of us can’t work on forever and sooner or later we have to realise or accept that even the best of us need to take a break from time to time.

Take care and until next time. Bye bye, ciao, au revoir, tschüss.