WE ALL NEED MORE DOWN TIME

We're onto "D" in the "List of More" and it's all about giving ourselves some down time - not always having to be doing something, not always having a plan in place, not always marching to the beat of a drum - just learning to chill out a little.

IT'S TIME TO SLOW DOWN A LITTLE

We're onto "D" in the "List of More" and it's all about giving ourselves some down time - not always having to be doing something, not always having a plan in place, not always marching to the beat of a drum - just learning to chill out a little.

HOW WE THINK ABOUT DOWN TIME

When I started this post I was thinking about calling it "Treat Yourself to More Down Time" but I realized that had the connotation that taking time out of our busy life is something special and occasional - rather than something we should be allowing ourself as part of our normal daily lives.

I wrote a post a few weeks ago on 4 Things You Deserve and one of those four non-negotiables is Rest. Most Midlife women have lived their lives on the run - whether it was running after our children, running after our jobs, running after our parents, or running after our extra-curricula duties. We seem to have every moment of our day (and often our evenings!) tightly scheduled. It might have been necessary when your nest was full, but if your fledglings have flown, maybe it's time to look at what you fill your life with and have a re-think about what's important.


PRIORITIES

It would be so easy to trade the responsibilities of parenthood for the babysitting of grandchildren. It would be easy to trade full-time work for a dozen little volunteer positions. It would be easy to trade running around after your kids to running around after your aging parents. All those trade-offs have merit, but why not also factor in some time for yourself too?

It's time to make ourselves a priority. Nobody is going to begrudge us taking some time to do things that we love, or things that refresh our souls. We can make assumptions about the expectations we think other people have of us, but really it all boils down to the expectations we put on ourselves. We are often our own task masters (mistresses?) It's time to give ourselves some grace and some rest and some respite from the busyness of life. If we don't do it now, then when will we get around to it?

You have permission to rest. You are not responsible for fixing everything that is broken. You do not have to try and make everyone happy. For now, take time for you. It’s time to replenish.

PICTURE RELAXING

What does Down Time look like to you? Stop for a moment and picture yourself in a place where you're relaxed and happy. It's different for everyone, but once you figure it out, then it's the first step in allowing yourself to bask in some rest and relaxation. I'd be interested to know what you see as your Quiet Place - for some it's reading, or napping, or a massage, or a coffee date. For others it might be something more energetic - like hiking, or fishing, or running. 

Ultimately it's what makes you feel happy and at peace - and if you haven't figured out what that is for you - then please take the time to pause and put some thought into it - then act on those thoughts!


WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Where is your Quiet Place? What do you do in your Down Time? I'd love to hear about the variety of things people do to relax so please share your thoughts in the comments x


RELATED POSTS




To keep up to date with my posts, feel free to add your email into the spot especially for it on my sidebar and I'd love you to share this post by clicking on a share button before you go xx
This post was shared at some of these great link parties

34 comments

  1. My quiet place is my reading chair. In the corner of our bedroom I retreat there with my dog, a book and a glass of wine most evenings after I log off from the day job and before the dinner thing starts. It gets my head out of work and into some other space and slows my heartrate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds like heaven Jo - especially with all the stuff you juggle in your life. Those little snatches of peace and doggie companionship would be just perfect.

      Delete
  2. Hi, Leanne - This is a very wise post. We do have permission to rest. And if we don't have this from others, we need to grant it to ourselves. Richard and I were discussing this topic yesterday. He had spent the morning watching music videos on Netflix and was berating himself. The day before we had had a 4 a.m to midnight babysitting shift with our sick grandson (involving two ferry rides). Tomorrow we have a five-day babysitting session with our two granddaughters. (Father is out of town and mom in sick). What I heard when Richard was chilling out with his videos was much-deserved rest and laughter. Absolutely nothing to berate ourselves about!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we still get caught up in the idea that we should be doing something constructive, but downtime is what helps us recharge our batteries so we can do all that practical and constructive stuff. I love that he found some time to laugh - something we all need more of!

      Delete
  3. Hi Leanne, great topic. My downtime, and place, is reading on (or in) my bed. It's the most comfortable place and has the best reading light. I also often berate myself for spending hours there instead of planning lessons or doing something for my blog. But I know it's the right thing to do sometimes, and I do try not to feel guilty when I do it - something I'll be working on now thanks to your wise words. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it funny how we are so hard on ourselves Cheryl? We put in a full commitment to work and to all our other busy needs, but when we stop for a break we feel guilty. I definitely think that picking up a book for a while, or taking a nap or whatever is something we should all feel entitled to - it's not a treat :)

      Delete
  4. Hi Leanne, I couldn't agree more and whilst I do love volunteering, and also looking after my grandsons I also factor in downtime for myself. I enjoy reading so my downtime is usually relaxing with a good book. We sometimes forget that downtown should be a normal part of our life rather as you say just a special occasion or treat. Loving the 'A to Z of More' great idea and series. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love a good book too Sue - and have one waiting for me at the library (picking it up tomorrow!) It's so nice to get lost in a fantasy world for a while - to just tune out all the busyness of life and give our brains a bit of a rest - bliss! And I'm so glad you're enjoying my series - it's fun to write as well x

      Delete
  5. This is something I have been concentrating on this year. I felt exhausted most days last year and realised that it is time to slow down and not feel guilty about taking a slower pace and picking up a book for pleasure now and then xx Maria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm the same Maria - the last few months have been really draining for me and I'm putting things in place to kick back a bit and breathe. Less work and more play for me!

      Delete
  6. I am right with you here Leanne, downtime is often overlooked. I'm getting better at downtime and not feeling guilty for taking the time. As my WOTY is time it fits in very well for me. Reading is my go to for escaping :) . Great series #lifethisweek

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deb - whenever I think of you doing downtime it's in your lovely glass cubby house. I can see you there with a book and a glass or wine or a cuppa x

      Delete
  7. Yes, since my recent diagnosis of type 2 diabetes I have been changing my lifestyle and getting more rest. It is important and that is actually my next blog post for this week.
    Thank you for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Antionette - I didn't realize you'd had a Diabetes diagnosis - I hope you're managing it well and yes, giving yourself time to rest and regroup would be vital to making headway towards getting on top of it. I'll look for your blog post x

      Delete
  8. Leanne, I totally agree with your points about down time and having a quiet place. And I am finally accepting it's necessary. While I do love to plan things and be out & about, I am learning to love the down time days as well. We had a week of go-go-go and today, I'm just sitting and reading posts. Nothing at all planned for the rest of the day except walking the dog. And tomorrow it's supposed to rain, so I plan to wrap in a blanket and read a book. And that sounds lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat, I've been trying to schedule one day a week (usually Thursday) when I don't leave the house - other than to go for a walk. No plans, no coffee dates, no errands, just sitting and reading or blogging or whatever I feel like that refreshes my soul. Your rainy day plans sound lovely.

      Delete
  9. My downtime is actually part of my new career as an author. I spend lots of time reading and reviewing books. During the evening I enjoy watching movies or TV with my hubby. For outdoor relaxation I enjoy boating and swimming in the warmer weather.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds like you have the whole downtime thing down to a fine art Barbara! A little bit of everything and I think variety is so important because it stops us getting bored with doing the same stuff over and over. Good luck with the new author career.

      Delete
  10. Good point, Leanne. I think downtime is necessary at all ages. I'm grateful to have lots of flexibility with my downtime currently. #anythinggoes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Flexibility is the key isn't it Natalie? I think doing little bits of this and that and mixing it up means that downtime is restful and also fun - what a great combination.

      Delete
  11. Downtime for me is disconnecting from my devices and doing rather than thinking. At the moment, yoga in the evening is working for me.

    SSG xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still haven't gotten around to trying yoga SSG - I will one day - and seeing I'm planning on stopping work soon, I might finally have a nice little spot in my day to slot it into!

      Delete
  12. I totally agree Leanne. I am good at time alone - got that mastered - BUT - I put so many pressures on myself to achieve and be productive. I find it very difficult, for example, to give myself permission to read a book (generally only when away on holidays). I know I need to have more digital detox time, and more rest time. I know I can't fill my life with too many demands on my time because I get overwhelmed and stressed more easily than I used to. So I've got some things sorted but still a way to go! Thanks so much for linking this post up with #ZTT Have a great week! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Min - I think the trouble is that we feel that we need to be busy to have purpose. We might not be working full-time, but we're still really busy with all the things we feel we need to cram into our days. I'm getting better at cutting myself some slack and leaving time for some pleasant pastimes - whether it's reading, or puddling online, or doing a jigsaw, or whatever - just fun things for me and not for any real reason - hard to get my head around, but I think I could become good at being lazy :)

      Delete
  13. Downtime is either my bedroom or in the garden both are quiet havens and a daily neccesity :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gardens are such soothing places aren't they Caz? I wish I was a lover of gardening, but unfortunately I'm not - so I just enjoy the work of others instead :)

      Delete
  14. When I'm super busy, I use audio books in the car as my down time - still squeezing everything in but the 'getting there' feels like time for me rather than stuck in traffic...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm finding that I need to listen to mellow music in the car - it helps calm my road rage tendencies! I've never been a fan of audio books, so I'll have to stick to the real thing for now.

      Delete
  15. It has taken me till this year (5th one since retirement and 2nd since cancer diagnosis) to "allow" myself downtime. A product of the protestant work ethic and liking being busy and needed has made me work harder and longer than I ever needed. However, I behaved then as I thought I needed to. Now, I actually schedule my day with iphone reminders and they are gentle ones about reading for leisure, having lunch and "walk, get outside and walk!"

    Going from productive to non-productive person cannot happen swiftly but it can happen gratefully for best results.

    Thank you for linking up for Life This Week. Next week's optional prompt is the first Taking Stock in 2019. Denyse

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Denyse - it's about getting past feeling guilty for taking time to do "nothing" isn't it? We need to really believe that it's good for us to take some time out for ourselves and de-stress and seek some calm and peace. I'm getting better at it - and once retirement becomes a reality I intend to make it a priority to chill out more.

      Delete
  16. I love downtime - that can mean reading, walking, watching tv...I'm in the middle of a big project so my downtime has been slim. But I know there is a deadline so I'm looking forward to getting back to a better harmony.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My downtime looks a lot like yours Janet - and I just love the tranquility it brings with it. I hope your deadline comes soon and all's well so you can get back into enjoying some serenity.

      Delete
  17. Fortunately, for me, I have a lot of down time and I try to put it to good use in the garden!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I loved gardening - I always envy people with beautiful gardens, but I just don't seem to have the knack for it and it seems more like a chore for me. Looks like I'll have to stick to reading and jigsaws instead.

      Delete

I love it when you leave a comment and I reply to them all.
If you'd like to have a conversation, feel free to email me any time - leanne.lecras@gmail.com