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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Writing Prompt 26: Rest and Relaxation

Prompt: How important is rest and relaxation to you?

It's kind of funny how this prompt popped up, since I haven't even thought about how important rest and relaxation really is. In fact, I decided to take a break from studying to blog, and got this prompt ha ha. Anyway time to answer it.

During crunch time of my last semester, I actually felt guilty every time I took a break, which wasn't very often or long. People had to convince me that I was doing something beneficial by relaxing, and I couldn't get any more productive work done if I continued pushing myself. I had to reach my goal, and I had to reach it as quickly as possible. I wouldn't even accept that it wasn't possible for me to continue working without rest.
Well, I got a big dose of the value of rest on one of the most difficult and challenging days of my school year. I had four giant assignments due, the first act of a script, the entire script, a handout and presentation and a ten page essay. Unfortunately the night before, I freaked out, broke down and didn't get a lot of sleep. I had never been so overwhelmed and disappointed in myself for things not going according to plan. Finally, after I had cried it all out and took a few deep breaths, my mom told me to just take the day one thing at a time. Once she told me that, I realized that you don't have to meet your goal right away. These things take time to complete and it will not always go according to plan. Once I recognized that it wasn't just my assignments, but myself that I was trying to complete in a hurry, I had to take a step back.
It's true that you can be too hard on yourself, but I was going way too far. I was mentally beating myself up not just about assignments, but my social life, my future and my growth. I was so stressed out to begin with, and I was convinced that I hadn't grown up enough to handle many things life threw at me all at once. But the true reason I couldn't handle all of these problems was because I had not given myself a break. A break from school, a break from social life, a break from criticism and a break from my own sadness and frustration.
So, I think this week, I really learned first hand the value of rest and relaxation. I expected way too much of myself and only made my disappointment worse when I didn't meet my goal. I did mange to get everything done that day, but I never would have been able to do that if I hadn't taken it one step at a time.
Rest and relaxation is extremely important, especially when you have a lot to get done. You have to recharge to make the effort you need to meet your goal. When you rest or relax, you don't stress about anything, you can put it in a drawer or even say "I'm going to step away from this for awhile." That way, when you come back to your life, project or situation, you can look at it from a distance and improve it. Relaxing doesn't only mean taking a break. It is an opportunity to exist without constant worry or pressure. Sometimes it's okay to forget that major assignment, that family problem, that social conflict and that major goal you haven't reached. Enjoying yourself and allowing yourself to just be for awhile is just as important as reaching your goal and improving who you are.

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