“Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport.”
-Pope Francis
“Forgive yourself for your faults and your mistakes and move on.”
-Les Brown

We live in a connected world.  We always have access to our work through the internet, email, and smart phones.  It can be so easy to get trapped in the rat race.  We can get sucked into working past our normal hours and limits.  Work is important.  it will always be.  But, work is not all that there is.  When work becomes our central focus, we lose sight of what is beautiful and most important in this world.  we miss time with family, special events, and just enjoying life.  Everyone’s situation is different.  Your work is different than mine.  But, if you feel overwhelmed and sucked into work too much, take some time to reflect.  Look for ways to step away from work and take a break.  Take a personal day here and there.  Delegate some work responsibilities to someone who could take the responsibility.  Shut off your work phone while at home.  Your family and health will thank you.

At the same time, love yourself for your decision to prioritize your health.  We often chastise ourselves for taking time to improve our body and our minds.  Give yourself some slack.  you’re human.  you’re not a machine.  You have physical, mental, and emotional needs.  Stress becomes apparent when these necessary needs are not being met.  Forgive yourself for times you make a mistake or miss an opportunity.  Give yourself some time to learn and get better at something.  Remember, success does not happen overnight.  Neither does absolute failure.  Give yourself permission to fail and take some time for you.  Here are some ways to go easy on yourself:

-read a book
-get a massage
-go on a walk
-take a “mental health” day
-listen to soothing music
-eat a food you enjoy.  Eat it mindfully and slowly so you appreciate it.
-Go to yoga
-go workout

This is just a short list. Find activities that allow you to disconnect and regain your sense of peace and energy.  What sort of activities get you relaxed and rejuvinated? As always, Eat, Move, and Improve!
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