Working, Resting, Playing
From my daily time on social media, I find myself struck by the amount of memes and stories and inspirational quotes and reminders about self-care. About shutting yourself in and taking time for long showers and naps, eating the chocolate cake, and relaxing because we deserve to relax.
Coincidentally, I read through so many articles that push us to seek more and do more. My bookshelf at home is full of self development books encouraging me to expand my mindset, to not settle for a life of mediocrity, to push myself beyond my limits and strive for greatness.
And when I sit down at the end of the day, I find myself asking, Wait, am I supposed to be relaxing and treating myself, or am I being lazy and wasting my potential?
And when I stay after school is dismissed, writing ferociously through stacks of papers, I find myself asking, Wait, am I supposed to be pushing myself right now, or am I being a workaholic and not allowing myself grace to live and leave tasks for tomorrow?
It’s a tension that maybe humans haven’t had to navigate as much before this day and age, maybe because we were too busy working and getting food and staying alive to worry about whether or not we were striking the balance of leisure and work. In any case, I find that I find myself worrying less about the balance of it all when I am just actually doing the things, both relaxing and working, without worrying about what I am supposed to be doing.
I think it is a mental plague when we cannot savor the work or the rest because we’re too consumed with the thought of us ignoring our potential or running ourselves into the ground, and I think the answer is just doing both at full force and accepting the fact that we need both work and rest to function and both are necessary for us to feel human.
Yes, if we work ourselves into the ground and never pause to enjoy the moments in front of us, we may very well feel fried and emotionally burned out, because humans are not programmed to work alone.
Yes, if we relax and treat ourselves into the ground and never pick up our work and push ourselves with dignity, we may very well be bored and restless and unfulfilled, because humans are not designed for endless relaxation.
Working hard and sweating feels good, but it feels great after a good night’s sleep and rejuvenation.
Reading a book and watching a show feels good, but it feels magnificent after a hard day’s work and honest toil.
At the end of the day, remember to work hard and play hard. Both are the two legs on which we stand, and if you stifle one aspect, you cripple yourself. Rather, use both of your legs and just go run, or just go lay down, and do whatever thing you are supposed to be doing.