I sometimes consider myself to be a human machine; always busy, always working, and always on the go. I always find myself to be so engrossed in one thing or the other, and even in the core of exhaustion, I often force myself to keep going. I never stop.
A major reason why my website had been idle for months was that I dedicated basically every given second I had towards my school work. It was all I ever thought about since the last time I wrote, and as a result, a lot of other things in my life became nonexistent.
It is so easy to get caught up in the pursuit of personal and academic excellence that we often forget about how much harm we’re doing to ourselves. That is why I have come to realize the essence of hitting the pause button. Not the stop button, not the pretend button – but the pause button.
Hitting pause means to stop doing something for a short time before doing it again. In simpler terms, it means to relax, to breathe, and to take a break.
We live in an age whereby the “do it all” mentality is sovereign. In a society that values human worth through our individual results and achievements, most of us don’t know what it’s like to rest, and as a result, we have forgotten the art of just being.
People are starting to feel guilty for doing nothing, and it infuriates me because it shouldn’t be that way. In fact, it is sometimes okay to do nothing. It is okay to put the stressful work aside and close your eyes for a moment. It is okay to admit that you’re stressed and do something about it before it’s too late. You should never feel ashamed for taking care of yourself. You should never pretend like you’re “fine” even when you know you are physically and mentally drained. It is completely normal to be weak and tired – so never feel guilty for hitting pause and giving yourself the break you deserve.
Do more things for your heart and soul. Engage in the activities you once enjoyed before becoming overtaken by work. Meditate. Plan a trip. Play an instrument. Intentionally keep up with old friends. Do anything that can take your focus off work, because your personal wants and needs are just as important as your school work and job expectations. If you are the kind of person that lives to satisfy other people – it is imperative that you learn to hit pause when necessary. Learn to say no without feeling selfish. Learn to spend time by yourself whenever you feel the need. Reject plans if you don’t feel like it. Put your phone down and enjoy the moment you’re in. The world is not going to collapse – I promise.
Life is all about balance. You don’t want to look back at your youthful years and mope at the fact that you did nothing other than study and overwork yourself. Good grades and personal accomplishments are essential indeed – but you don’t have to labor yourself into misery before you realize that taking a break is just as important.
Once you began to hit pause, your mind, body, and soul will continuously feel renewed. You will never hit rock-bottom because you have been taking care of yourself from the very beginning. Adopt a mindful lifestyle that will make you feel happier, more balanced, energized, and alive.
I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustains me.