I need to go to school. I need to study. I need to do my homework. I need to eat 100% of my meal plan. I need to take __ steps a day. I need to get a job. I need to be a good daughter.
No, I don’t actually need to do any of that. I need to eat, breathe, sleep, so on, but I do not need to do those activities. I am obligated to do them because of my societal roles. But sometimes, the most productive thing to do is to not do anything that society/my brain tells me I “need to do”.
Productivity is relative. Productivity changes. Anything & everything can be productive.
It’s good to stay on top of obligations to reduce stress, but you do not need to spend excess stress and time on them all the time. If you have a lot going on in life, let those around you know. Most people are surprisingly understanding and will help you take some of the load off of your plate. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make improvements, it just means that you should strive to be more intuitive about your activities.
It’s okay to take time to do “nothing”. Spending quiet time listening to your favorite podcast or taking a nap is just as productive some days as it is to do an hour of chemistry homework or to go for a 4 mile hike. Some times, we go through periods of time where our bodies need rest and self love for a long time. Other times, we are energized and ready to do the stereotypically “productive” activities. No matter where you are right now, try not to judge or compare what your body is craving at THIS moment.
Sometimes we need to take our feet off the gas pedal and just be.
How do you balance productivity and relaxation? What are your favorite ways to de-stress?