September 29, 2018

2018 is about to end: Did you take a break?

Here at Preen, we’re fully aware that adult life doesn’t always go as smoothly (and look as beautiful) as curated Instagram feeds. We all face challenges amidst all the good things. Meet Mikka Wee, a former food editor-turned-working gal in Singapore, who’s about to share all the ups and downs that come with adulting and living. Welcome to Bless This Mess

Let’s face it, the year is ending in three months. In a blink of an eye, 2018 will be over and we will be welcoming 2019 sooner than we think.

I like cramming as many things as I can in a day, even if this means back-to-back meetings and appointments. Of course, this leads to exhaustion, which is my twisted definition of a productive day. If one of my meetings were cancelled, I would fill the gap with more things to do. The sad truth about this toxic routine is that I was so unaware of it until my energy healer called me out. She sensed that I was already close to a burnout without realizing it. Aptly, she compared me to the creature I am most afraid of: a frog. If you drop a frog into a pot filled with boiling water, it would instantly jump out; however, if you put the frog in a pot with lukewarm water and slowly turn on the heat, it’ll end up cooked.

I am the frog in lukewarm water. And if I’m not careful, I’ll end up cooked without even realizing it.

2018 has been a great year so far—it is, perhaps, one of the most memorable years I’ve ever lived. I got married, moved apartments, started a new job, and I’ve traveled quite a bit. It’s been really eventful—and not to mention, jam-packed with little wiggle room. And as October is nearing, I am realizing more and more that rest is just as important as scheduling an appointment or a meeting. Rest also requires effort to release, to let go, and to relax.

Sadly, biting off more than I can chew has been an addiction of mine for so many years already. There is a burning passion for me to keep creating because this is what makes me feel most fulfilled. But there are limits to the human body, and I am learning that resting is not something to be taken lightly. Jumping on the chance to empty your brain and letting your body reach a state of relaxation is imperative to maintaining a good and healthy life; otherwise, we’d burn out.

I sometimes joke with my friends that we’ve forgotten what it felt like to be bored. We laugh, realizing that it is such a sad and pathetic statement—forgetting what it’s like to do nothing. I was having dinner with one of my best friends last week, and we talked about the busyness of life and the absurdity of blurring the lines between work and truly living. I am quite guilty of this. Losing sight of what makes life worth living is one of the greatest disservices you could do to yourself.

Sometimes, I find myself wondering why I am so concerned about always producing something. Is it my way of trying to still be relevant in this polluted age of social media? Is it my way of proving something to myself? I really do not know, but what I do know now is that rest is just as critical as writing a new blog post, creating a social media content plan, and executing a marketing campaign.

You may be wondering by now, “How can I do this, then? I am sooooooo busy.” “I am soooooooo busy” seems to be everyone’s favorite default all-around excuse—the scapegoat to avoid discomfort. Learning to adjust your schedule and actually carving out some time for rest (and by rest, I mean doing absolutely nothing so that you can calm your brain and body down) can make a lot of us feel uncomfortable. I’ll be the first to raise my hand and say that there are a million things running through my head when I try to relax. While doing yoga, it takes an immense amount of effort for me to focus on my practice and intention, and meditation gets me sleepy. But the more I allow my thoughts to get to me, the more I am slowly burning out.

One thing I’ve learned to do, and because I am tied to my iCal (or you may be using Google Calendar) is to schedule my rest. That means intentionally blocking out half an hour to an hour on my calendar to just relax and maybe read a book or watch a show. This allows your brain to refresh itself so you can perform better on your daily tasks.

I like lists, and so, during New Year, I normally dish out 10 to 20 goals. But this coming 2019, I have only one, and that is to focus more on rest. 2018 so far is amazing and is filled with adventures and milestones, which is what most people would wish or hope for. But for 2019, I’m ready to take the road less taken and focus my new set of 365 days practicing the art of rest and biting what I can only chew—and actually swallow with ease. It’ll be uncomfortable for sure as I break from my routine and build new habits, but I’m pretty sure it will be worth it. Here’s to taking rest seriously.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.


Art by Marian Hukom

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Bless This Mess, culture, New Year, rest, stress, work

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