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Applying the Spring Brakes

This time of year, I find my energy running low. Perhaps I’ve just taken midterm exams, submitted a huge project, or put a dent in a massive deliverable. Luckily for me, Spring Break shows up in the nick of time and gives me a chance to catch my breath. I go to Suzy’s and heave a sigh of joyous relief, taking a bite of my chocolate cup and laughing it up my nose when my family members crack me up. In a week or so, my family and I will go back to school and work and resume our productivity sprint, and my renewed energy (compliments of delicious dessert-filled respite), will carry me into a bright and productive routine… until it runs out again.

This year, I am blessed enough to know myself better than ever, and that knowledge has informed me that I need to make my life more manageable. If I continue this feast-or-famine style of work-life-balance, not only will I lose out on potential joy for long periods, I will eventually degrade my personal battery until my projects and creations suffer as well. Bite by bite, I need to bring my schedule into alignment. But how can I do this?

Firstly, I need to organize my priorities so that I make sure the most important things, things which nourish me, energize me, and fill me, are protected in my schedule. By slotting my time for just those categories and activities, I stop other life things from getting in the way! Let’s give an example: Maybe it’s crucially important for me to spend time with my spouse every day, and we choose to spend that time often at Suzy’s Swirl. To make sure no work projects get in the way of that, I need to block calendar events for BOTH the Suzy’s date AND then to get my work done. Once those are in, I don’t even have to worry about what I’m going to do each day or when I’ll have time to attend to a particular priority! My schedule works for me, and it protects the things I tell it to.

However, I may discover that I have too much going on to really slot everything effectively. No matter what I do, I’ll find myself over-busy, melted like an overfilled cup with too much yogurt for me to finish! When this happens, I need to be able to pump the brakes and take care of myself. It may feel sad in the moment, but I may need to cancel things to take weight from my shoulders! That weekly game night can be put on hold until I’m honestly up for it. When I simply have too many things, the lowest priority things, (which may be super fun,) need to take a hiatus. My overall wellness facilitates the rest.

When Spring Break comes around this year, I won’t just take a one-off break. This time, I’m going to take the simple steps to make my life more manageable. I’m going to take care of myself and apply the Spring Brakes.

“The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.”

Harriet Ann Jacobs


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