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Slow Down

For a lot of us, stress and hustle is a part of our everyday lives, so much so that it is seen as normal to always have a never-ending to do list. Work doesn't stop when we get home, and we could even lose track of time with all of our busy-ness.

I returned to work last week and a lot has changed since March (it is now June). It's fair to say that I had to learn new things, like how to organize information in our system electronically, and I had to deal with a lot of backlog. Instead of feeling like a receptionist, I felt more like a stressed out accountant, and sometimes worked through lunch.

Going from this period of rest and relaxation to stress and hustle is not an easy transition. I had to work, something I had not done in months, and I was well adjusted to my relaxed way of living in confinement. I realized my jaw was clenched for the majority of the day, my heart was racing, and I just felt a sense of unease and pressure to finish whatever task I was working on.

As a lot of you know, I also have eczema, so the stress did not help my skin condition. But this also made me realize that my stress is a part of me. Without realizing it, I have noticed sometimes that my shoulders are stiff and my jaw is clenched. I grind my teeth in my sleep. I seem to always be worried about something, even if there is nothing to worry about.

I realized my behavior was not serving me and that I needed to make a change.

Sometimes change comes from external factors, but it mostly comes from within our own selves. Our body has a way of telling us that something is wrong, and that we need to slow down a bit. A lot of us are used to not listening to those cues, which leads to some adverse effects down the road, including stress and even disease.

If we don't take care of our mental health now, who knows what will happen down the road? We need to take control of our own lives, and in order to do that, we need to shift our mindset.

I have previously mentioned how productivity is what the world is based on these days, with companies always trying to be more efficient, even if it means eliminating jobs. This job insecurity and unforgiving environment produces stress in individuals who are high-placed and even the ones at the bottom of the company's hierarchy. All in all, everyone is suffering here, just at different levels.

I know that it is just unrealistic to ask the world to change, but we at least have control over how WE think and live our lives. If we choose to slow down instead of constantly trying to run from task to task, we will feel much better in the long run.

This extra time that you make for yourself can make you realize the beauty around you. You might enjoy the weather more, you might feel more happy that you gave up something that you thought was making you happy, you will feel less obligation. You will feel happy.

A life of stress is something we have become accustomed to, but that does not mean that it is the only way of living. Even if it is just for a few minutes a day, go outside (or at least away from your desk) and take in some fresh air. Do something you enjoy, not something others feel you should enjoy. Try to forget your worries, they will be there when you get back and they will be dealt with in their own time.

Remember life is a marathon, not a sprint.


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