When It Is Important To Switch Off

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A typical day of mine goes this way. I wake up and spend half an hour to forty five minutes reading the newspaper with a cup of hot green tea. Then I work out for a while. Once done, I step into the kitchen and prepare and pack two lunch boxes, one for the husband and the other for me. Next, I prepare breakfast and set it out for us. Once the husband leaves, I wash up the vessels, clean up the kitchen and the house, then get ready for work and leave. Since I stay 2 miles away from my workplace, I do not have to travel much. Eight hours at work and then I'm back home. I freshen-up, check if the laundry needs to be done, set up the washing machine or fold the dried clothes and separate the ones that need to be sent for ironing and then spend an hour reading, if I have that extra time. Then I get set to prepare dinner. Once the husband is back, we eat together and one of us washes up and cleans up the place. Weekends are no less. On weekends, we scrub every corner of the house from floor to ceiling. I also check if the cupboards need to be sorted, prepare a list of groceries to be bought and also prepare the meal plan for the coming week. Needless to say, I'm busy 24X7.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been terribly overworked. Work has been hectic and it was taking a toll on me to do everything at work and at home. No matter how much the man of the house helps you, the primary onus of meals, washing and cleaning always falls on the woman. I am fairly good at multitasking, but at times it all gets too much. My mind is never still. As I type this, I'm thinking about what all needs to be done throughout the day at work and at home. Be it my next project work, or a meal prep for dinner. I also think about what workout to do tomorrow and if my husband ate on time and if he enjoyed what he ate. I also think about any pending payments or bills or if the fridge has been set to the right temperature. So, at any given point, I have at least a hundred things running in my head and at times it gets more chaotic than I can handle.

Recently, I read Rachna's post and I realized how important it is for us women to switch off. Like her, I too switch off to a certain extent only when I travel, but not entirely. I normally would be worried about my parents back home or what's happening at work. Since my husband is a vegetarian, finding good veg food when we travel abroad is also an added worry. My mind remains pretty occupied then too. This time, I realized that I need to switch off completely for a while else I'll face another burn-out. Since I'll be away for the next couple of weeks on a vacation, this gives me the perfect opportunity to try to implement this. I also need to let go of the need to do everything. I hate dependency, hence I do not have a maid or a cook at home. Since all this is taken care of while I travel, I hope to learn to let go and slow down this time.

In spite of my daily busy schedule, I do manage to take some time out and get some me-time that has become vital for me over the past few years. It is either early in the morning if I'm up earlier than my husband, or once I get back home from work when I manage to leave work earlier than usual. I spend this time reading, sewing, baking, drawing or looking up new recipes. I am never the one to call people and gossip or sit and watch TV during my free time. I have this constant itch to do something productive every second. Over the past few months I have learnt to slow down to a certain extent, but I know I can do better. I've never sat down at my balcony with a cup of tea and enjoyed the sunset. I've never sat down on my favorite spot on the couch and done nothing. I've never laid down on the bed and watched the ceiling silently. I don't know if I can ever do it, but I sure am going to give it a try.

We women have this innate urge to get consumed by our duties and responsibilities. While all women do it willingly or unwillingly, they do deserve a time off every now and then. My vacation for two weeks is going to be perfect base for me to slow down and learn to let go. Once I'm back to the grind, I'm going to try to implement the following.

~ Not think about household chores while I'm at work.
~ Switch off the data/wifi and keep the phone aside during my me-time and also at regular intervals everyday.
~ Take time out to pamper myself. Maybe go out for a pedicure or a facial. The last and only time I got these done was when I was getting married five years ago.
~ It is okay to not cook all three meals at home everyday. Enjoy a meal out once in a while during weekdays too.
~ Not get worked up about the work out. Skip other chores but never this. Also, take it slow.
~ Ask for help more often. Be it at work or at home from the husband.
~ Go out and have some girl time with my girl friends.
~ Take time out to do nothing.

I'm going to make a conscious effort to switch off every once in a while. Beginning, this weekend. My A to Z theme reveal post has been scheduled, but no other posts are in the pipeline. I'm not going to let this stress me while I'm traveling. This time as we travel to celebrate our fifth year anniversary, I'm going with an empty mind and no distractions. Hopefully, I'll stay the same way there and come back with nothing but good memories.

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For now, there is only one thing left to do. Off!

See you in April.

8 comments:

  1. Many hugs babe and I know you've earned this vacation and me-time :)

    I totally get the danger of burnout and you're right. You need to switch off. So glad to hear you'd be doing just that! All the best and have loads of fun. Looking forward to pictures when you return :)

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  2. My younger self can relate to this post completely. I used to do the same. But a few greys have made me realize the importance to switch off and take it easy a bit. Lazing in the bed and reading from morn to night or talk to my sisters and friends or go out with them, binge watch netflix series or just sleep, are some things that I do from time to time. Go ahead and switch off from the daily stress/chores, you will love it and believe me, you can get addicted to it too :D Have a great vacation, Soumya!

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  3. Really liked reading this. Managing time is tough for me especially because I have a 5 year-old. I don't watch TV but I like watching a good movie when I am alone. Social Media is the biggest distraction (for me), however it's kind of difficult to live without it. But, I don't use my phone when I am out or traveling.

    You do a lot of things. It's inspiring. My sleeping time is odd (because of some reasons). Also I need some alone time (difficult in my case) or else I get cranky.

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  4. I began doing this 'doing nothing' thing since some time now. And, how I love it! I just sit in the balcony, or on the sofa, and stare into the nothingness...ad it feels fantastic! At times, I do feel guilty when I think about other women who have no such time to sit and stare, but then I remind myself that there was a time when I did not have that luxury, myself!
    Switching off the wifi is a blessing as I discovered few months ago. I just switch off and boy, the silence is calming! No notification pings every now and then is a blessing. I have also begun taking things easy. I don't get all worked up if I don't post stuff on Instagram, or finish a post in the posting day on my blog. I mean, it's not the end of the world!
    It's really necessary that we learn to switch off and take it easy every once in a while. it's so very necessary for our sanity!

    Best wishes for your wedding anniversary, Soumya! Hope you have a grand vacation!

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  5. The main challenge for most people is to even realize what's happening, and that if they don't slow down, the news is not good.

    Mindful living. Live in the present. Enjoy your holiday. Don't stress over the AtoZ. Stress takes up a lot more energy than we realize, not to mention causes other health issues. Go with the flow, smile, enjoy what you do. Whether or not things turn out perfectly, enjoy the process.

    Love and hugs!

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  6. I am so glad you actually made a list of how you would switch off. It is such a disease that we are never able to feel as if we are actually done. Sometimes when I meditate, all these grand work things keep swirling in my head and I have to make an effort to switch my attention back to my breathing. I am also making small efforts to switch off daily. And yes, let's help each other and other women especially to switch off. Have fun on your trip.

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  7. I cannot tell you how much I needed to read this, Soumya. Between the workload at my job, trying to revamp the direction of Shanaya Tales, while dealing with a breakdown on the backend, starting a food blog, learning Pinterest - all the while trying to balance the household chores, being a decent mom and wife - and I am this close to a complete meltdown!

    I desperately need a break, else I think the systems are going to shut down by themselves anyway. Oh and yes, I need to make workouts a priority - cardio that is - I am doing good on strength training - and skip something else, but not that.

    I am glad you are taking a vacation, sounds like it has come at the perfect time. Mine is scheduled for the end of April - which right now seems like too far away, so I might need a digital detox/mini holiday before then, even if it's just for one weekend.

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  8. I came across a post sometime last year about women and mental workload. Basically, as women, like you highlighted, we think about everything. We plan meals, plan grocery lists, plan the day for kids and partners in our head while still working, cleaning, cooking etc. It's ridiculous the amount of work we do. Partly it's because as girls, we are socialised that way and boys are not. I hope you get a chance to switch off. Enjoy your break and see you on the flip side!

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