Health & Wellness Zen Tip Tuesday

#ZTT – It is okay to take downtime

March 5, 2019

When did ‘busyness’ become a validation for living a successful life? I’m certainly guilty of feeling at times that if I’m not doing something, I’m being lazy or not living my best life. This is a self belief that I am slowly changing.

I’ve realised, albeit it later in life, that we don’t need to fill our life with ‘busyness’.

  • We need to fill our life with what we see as our priorities and non-negotiables for living a healthy and happy lifestyle.
  • We need to listen to our bodies as well as our mind when they tell us to slow down and relax.

It is okay to take downtime. It is healthy to take time to relax, recover and restore.

A blogging friend of mine, Pat Doyle from Retirement Transition left a comment on my post ‘Finding Balance to create a healthier lifestyle Over 50’

Lately I am working on finding the balance between doing (going out & about, movement, mini-adventures) and being (quiet time, reading, solitude). Yesterday it rained all day and I found joy in cuddling on the couch reading a novel. No 10,000 steps, no interactions, no “productivity”… I didn’t even leave the house at all. And that was OK. It is OK to take down time!

Her comment resonated with me and reminded me that we do need time to Relax, Restore and Recover.

It is so important to try to cut out the noise of our daily lives and concentrate on our inner self. Meditating or having quiet time each morning will help to start the day with inner peace and a sense of calm.

Click here to read Why Solitude is not the same as being lonely/

Regularly doing something just for you is not selfish. The benefits are enormous not just for you but for your family and friends. 

Time out will invigorate your mind, body and soul and you will soon feel happier and with a ‘spring in your step’.

Try this exercise

Schedule some time this week to take a day for yourself and indulge. Write it in your calendar and plan the day. You will feel so much better for it.

Joining Min at Write of the Middle for Zen Tip Tuesday.

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way

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  • Reply Shirley Corder March 5, 2019 at 04:46

    Good point, Sue. I was ill when I was away from home in November, and returned to a hectic schedule, only calming down mid-January. It’s taken me all of 6-7 weeks to get any energy back, and I’ve kept pushing myself to get back my mojo! My 10,000 steps a day went down to 2,000! But gradually, as I started to listen to my body and allow myself to laze when I felt like it, I’ve started to regain my energy. Why oh why do we have this thing about business??? Thanks for a good post.

  • Reply Min @ Write of the Middle March 5, 2019 at 09:00

    I couldn’t agree more Sue. Downtime is so important! I can get myself so busy by my need to be productive but I also know when I need down time. I need some now. I can feel it. A day of lying on the couch reading a book sounds fabulous. If it were raining too – perfect! lol In fact, I think I might book a few days away at the beach soon. I’m craving the beach at the moment – need to get my toes on some sand and in some some salty water. Also need to just loll about reading books and enjoying some lovely late afternoon walks along the beach. Thanks for linking up with #ZTT ! xo

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 7, 2019 at 09:42

      Oh we are so alike Min – a book, the couch and rain now that is a perfect combination. I hope you can get to the beach soon, I’m feeling a bit that way myself. Have a great weekend and book the holiday! xx

  • Reply Carol Taylor March 5, 2019 at 11:26

    A good post and I agree to take some downtime is good..A hard call especially when you first retire I think but I am very good at that now although my downtime does include going for a walk it frees my mind and many of my good ideas are born while I am walking or sitting in a nice spot I have found just watching the world go by 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 7, 2019 at 09:44

      Hi Carol, lovely to meet you and it has taken me a while to settle into my take on retirement that is for sure. I love to run for fitness but I also enjoy walking and agree some of my ideas happen when I’m walking and just taking in my surroundings. Have a beautiful week and thanks for stopping by x

  • Reply Janet Mary Cobb March 5, 2019 at 13:00

    Totally agree Sue! After being a literal workaholic trying to gain approval from others and prove my worth for too many years, I indulge in relaxation regularly. Whether it is watching tv, reading, or chatting with a friend – it is so important. With this project I’m up against, this is such an important reminder. Thanks!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 7, 2019 at 09:45

      Hi Janet, we are very much alike – workaholics, trying to gain approval from others and ourselves. I do like to be busy but then that makes me value my ‘downtime’. My favourite time is usually going for a long run, coming home and having a refreshing shower then relaxing and reading for a while. Pure bliss! xx

  • Reply Denyse Whelan March 5, 2019 at 18:42

    There’s been some changes around here for me too this week. I had been keeping ‘busy’ as a distraction from my cancer discomfort and restrictions. I was making bookmarks, blogging more often and for others, being in an active education community, making art, and more. What has struck me this month as my cancer is not the predominant thing to treat etc is that I could actually ‘let go’ of my busy-ness and be more flexible and relaxed. This came home to me today when some other health concerns I had started to dominate me and I was getting overly worried. I really was stressed and overwhelmed by the thought of more health matters to manage. After a reassuring visit to my GP with my husband we agreed that I had been through so much that unless the other things impacted my life negatively then to just keep them as a watch and see. I admit that knowledge felt good and I am also letting some other things I took on go. I have more time and space and I am delighting in it!

    Denyse x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 7, 2019 at 09:47

      Hi Denyse, glad to hear that you are okay as you certainly don’t need any more health concerns. I saw that you were very busy last year and also incorporated some Mandela teaching as well as your Ambassadorship for Head & Neck Cancer and of course the bookmarks. Sometimes we have to realise that something has to give and we have to let go. Once we do that we feel a weight is lifted for sure. Have a great week! xx

  • Reply Nancy Dobbins March 6, 2019 at 01:02

    Hi Sue,
    Taking care of my brother has created sort of an enforced “downtime”…there is lots of time between my responsibilities. It’s provided time to knit, write, read, and catch up on movie/series watching. Despite off and on worry about my “patient” I am actually appreciating my time here in Michigan.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 7, 2019 at 09:49

      Hi Nancy, I do hope your brother is okay and despite his illness at least you are spending time together. Sometimes we need something like this to just make us stop and step out of the world for a while. Thinking of you and your brother and hope he improves. xx

  • Reply Donna March 6, 2019 at 08:05

    Hi, Sue – I remember a University Professors saying that when we least believe we can afford to take downtime is when we actually need it the most. Smart fellow!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 7, 2019 at 09:54

      I always thought downtime was being lazy but I’ve come to realise it is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle. Your professor was very smart!

  • Reply Debbie March 6, 2019 at 09:10

    Down time is so important for us mentally and physically Sue. It’s hard to get our head around it at times but we need to do it. Thanks again for the reminder!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 7, 2019 at 09:56

      Yes, Deb, it has taken me some time to realise that down time is an important part of our healthy lifestyle. I truly value my relaxation time now and don’t feel guilty at all. x

  • Reply Miriam March 6, 2019 at 14:08

    Couldn’t agree more Sue. Time out for ourselves and choosing to do something we love is not selfish. It’s essential. And ultimately it benefits everyone. xx ?

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 7, 2019 at 10:06

      I used to think Down time was being lazy, Miriam but now realise it is a valuable part of living a healthy lifestyle. 🙂

      • Reply Miriam March 7, 2019 at 11:55

        It sure is. Have a great day Sue. ?

  • Reply Di Habner March 7, 2019 at 07:09

    Every month our local CWA has a craft day! I attend very regularly as it is my mental health day – conversations with other women who I don’t see any other time. We all take our craft which can be big or small – there is no expectation! A wonderful ‘Me day’!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 7, 2019 at 10:18

      Oh that sounds great, Di. I’m sure you look forward to your monthly catch up as well as appreciating each others’ work. How lovely! Thanks for stopping by to comment and have a beautiful day. xx

  • Reply Pat March 11, 2019 at 07:10

    Hi Sue, I’m behind on blog reading …so just now getting to say THANK YOU for the shout out!

    We’ve returned from our 2-month Snowbird Adventure and it’s been a whirlwind of activity to settle back into our home here “up north”. Besides dealing with below freezing temperatures and snow, I had appointments and engagements pushed back from January and February. Why I thought all of them needed to be done the first week back, I have no idea! No downtime this week at all, until today where I spent time writing and now reading. Actually not really downtime as the writing was quite productive – a few blog posts drafted! Hopefully this next week will allow some breathing time. Practice what I preach, hmm?

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 11, 2019 at 17:06

      That’s fine Pat and I’m glad that you like the shout out. You have certainly come back to the whirlwind haven’t you? I hope you can still feel the benefit of your two month Snowbird Adventure. As far as practicing what we preach sometimes for me it is ‘do as I say, not as I do’ 🙂

  • Reply Amy March 17, 2019 at 06:27

    Beautiful! I am fortunate to have a lot of downtime in my life. Spending time reading the Bible and praying is the most rejuvenating for me.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 18, 2019 at 08:38

      Hi Amy thank you and you have an enriching way to spend your down time. Have a great week. x

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