Friday, August 19, 2016

Down Time in Life

Written by Don Shetterly
I recently saw a post on twitter about this subject and could not help but write about it myself.  Downtime in life is something we all avoid.  We think it is as nasty as swimming in a mud pit or something.

Yet, downtime is so important.  It is quite necessary to the healthy function of the mind and the body.  It is necessary for the nervous system to not get overloaded and refresh itself.

Downtime helps us enjoy the finer moments of life and the world in which we live.  It keeps us from going off the deep end and diving into a pool with no water.

The Twitter tweet I'm referring to is this one.

One thing we don't realize is that especially in this day and age we keep ourselves going almost 100% of the time.  We, therefore, expect our children to keep up with this pace and so we teach them through our example that downtime is not important.  If we cannot do it for ourselves, how can we expect our children to learn proper healthy behaviors from our example?

One activity or meeting after another...

I've seen it a million times when doing massage where people are so busy, they have no time to stop.  It is one activity and meeting to another.  One activity or club or sport to another with their children.  It is almost like we are doing everything we can to avoid downtime in our life.

This is not normal and healthy behavior for humans.  Our bodies are not designed to run constantly.  Our minds are not designed to go from one continuous task to another.  Our nervous system is not healthy when we don't give it time to come back into balance.

Just before I was paralyzed from a Conversion Disorder, I was working 18 hours a day in my job, almost 7 days a week.  I was trying to be the best and be everything for my boss, the company, and those that I worked with every day.  I didn't know what it meant to take care of myself.  I didn't know what downtime was.  I was just like everyone else that I kept going and pushing but never stopping.

Conversion Disorder stopped my life...

Conversion Disorder brought me to a complete stop in life.  There was nothing else I could do but stop and start to figure out how to function in life once again.  It was a slow process, but it started by listening to the birds and feeling the sunshine and enjoying the little things in life.  It started by learning how to relax and stop and let go.

The process wasn't an overnight success.  It took me years, but I knew that if I went back to the Conversion Disorder experience, the second time would not be as fortunate for me.  It was a strong motivator to change my life.

Downtime and relaxation are critical to our well-being.  It is critical to the health of our mind, our body, and our nervous system.  If you read the news or watch the current political climate, you can see strong evidence, that our mind, body, and nervous systems are anything but healthy.

When we neglect down time...

When we neglect downtime, it is then that stress builds up in our lives and connects with past experiences where illness can begin to show up.  We've seen the alarming statistics about how much we continue to spend on healthcare, but yet we aren't any more healthy than we were 20 years ago.

We can all do so much to help improve the health of our own mind, body and nervous system.  It is a choice we make to either take care of ourselves or not.

If we don't make this an important part of our life, who will?  If you wait for someone to tell you to do this, you will probably never hear it.  If you wait until your health has gone past the point of no return, you will wish you had paid more attention and given yourself the downtime you need.

If we truly want to pass something beneficial on to our children, we will learn how to enjoy downtime and teach our children through example.  In the process, we will be giving ourselves one of the greatest gifts we can by taking care of the one and only body we get in this lifetime.

Do you get enough downtime in your day (not in a week or month or year, but in a day)?  If not, what will you start to do today to change that?

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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