June came in a hurry, and now we are almost done with half of 2018. At times, busy feels like an understatement, and if I am to become completely honest with myself, I am getting tired. They say there are two kinds of tired: one can easily be satisfied with sleep, while the other with peace. These past few days, however, I find myself thinking whether I am just experiencing a physical need or longing for something deeper.
Feeling the second kind of tiredness is not necessarily work-related. It can be the effect of change or growth, a relationship, studies, dreams, or even life in general. But in the hope of salvaging myself from the brim of exhaustion, I revert to some practices that I have learned over time. My hope is this list helps kick our blues away.
1. You can't always save the world. The world needs to save itself.
As an ENFJ-A, I believe that the "world" needs some saving. I grew up looking for opportunities to help out, though not necessarily asked. I get the thrill when I see smile on other people's faces, when expectations are surpassed, and great results are achieved. But the other side of it, I find it difficult to say no. I try to do the best I can to take care of every single thing my eyes can set on. I can't remember the number of times I'd fall asleep in the wee hours of the morning while typing something. I came to the point where I asked - why am I doing this to myself? Why am I so hard on myself? What am I trying to prove? What is this for?
However, because of this, I'm also learning not to over promise. I am learning that it is okay to say no and let people fight their own battles or fight it with someone else. If we spread ourselves too thinly we will not be able to help anyone, including ourselves. The truth is, sometimes people do not ask for help because they do not need it. We need that challenge, that phase so we can grow on our own. So we can learn from our mistakes, and thrive.
2. Let go. Stop overthinking.
It is not always about us or what we think. There is always another side of the story. Whether we admit it or not, our opinion on something is always half the truth. That is why we need to talk to each other. That is why we must try to broaden our view. Fact of the matter, you and I are two different people, but whatever similarities we have are far stronger than those that keep us apart.
I watched this clip of a guru delivering a speech about the importance of smiling. He said that we love to get stressed on so many things. But why stress if there is a solution to every challenge or if the situation is beyond our control? Sometimes, we just have to do what we have to do and allow the world move the other parts.
3. Forgive others, but most especially, forgive yourself.
Angry is one tiring place to be in. They say that staying mad at someone is like drinking poison and expecting that person to die. We are only hurting ourselves in the process. If God was able to forgive us for our many sins, why can't we do the same for others? If we expect others to forgive us when we have wronged them, is it not fair to be expected the same thing? We all make mistakes. We all have shortcomings - things we do not know yet, things we forget, and the list goes on. That is part of life. That is the beauty of it.
Do not think that someone is completely evil. Hold on to the belief that people are generally good, and capable of changing for the better. See where people are coming from - where we are coming from, and forgive. It takes a lot of guts to engage into an argument, but it takes a lot more to take the higher ground and forgive what has been done.
4. Put that phone down.
Our mobile devices and other technological advancements allowed us to see the world, but it also taught us to appreciate life from a distance. It also taught us to compare our life with others, forgetting that life is always greener on social media.
Now more than ever, I appreciate real life conversations. I like people who do not find the need to look at their phones when they are with you. Who share their thoughts and experiences no matter how big or small the idea is. I appreciate experience that we can grasp rather than those we can get a high score from or a like or a share. Life has taught us that it is happening now - around us.
5. Leave your work in the office.
It is difficult, I admit, I am struggling. This especially if you are running your own business or your work is highly dependent on "perfect timing". But we really have to learn that we need to give time for ourselves. We need time to laugh with our family and friends. We need time to travel, to paint, to cook a sumptuous meal, to get that karaoke mic and sing our heart out. We need to find the balance. Our work alone does not define us. We do not live in order to work, but we work in order to achieve the life we want to have. Life is too short to be spending it entirely in front of our screens.
I always go back to that time when my previous boss, Keith, caught me finishing a project at 12mn in the office. He said "is the world going to end if you do not finish this now? If no is the answer, then that job can wait. Go home." I was moved, and I tell this to every person who is starting to fall into the same trap of becoming a workaholic. Do not get me wrong. Working for something you love or believe in is not wrong, but drying yourself out will kill that "passion". I admire people who work tirelessly for their dreams, but they, too, find time to go out and be passionate about other things this life has to offer.
Ever felt the weight of your back or your shoulders, and your neck suddenly feels tight after a long day of typing or attending meetings? "Yup, you got it. You need to exercise, Mister." That is what I told myself at least. Research do prove that sitting down is the new smoking. We spend so much time at our desks or binge watching at our couches or wallowing in the bedroom because of a bad breakup that we forget to stretch out. We need this body to function, and not just hold our brain or eyes and fingers.
Exercise releases endorphins, our happy hormones that help reduce our perception of pain and triggers positivity in the body.
Have you ever gone to a boxing class? You should. I love it, and miss it, too. I love the adrenaline rush, the physical stress, and the techniques from the coordination. It really is a good exercise. Also helps if you are looking forward to getting rid of that belly. Of course, it should go with diet and some other things, similar to other types of exercise. Point is, just move and do what works for you.
Finally, meditation. Spend time in the stillness of life. Find your center amidst the noise. Meditation teaches us that it is only the thinking mind that continues to want, the other part of our mind is only there to observe, to appreciate. Let us learn to breathe and surrender. It is okay to spend time in a quiet place and just be.
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Before I put this post to a close, I'd like to share a recent video of Vogue featuring the beautiful Gisele Bundchen for some added positivity.
Stay inspired, and later days!
Niguel is an experienced creative and marketing professional pursuing his dreams while growing with infinite possibilities.