Lisbon- What is your working day like? 100% work versus 100% leisure?

“If you come from Germany, you’re rich and you work a lot. So much so that you need the weekends to rest.” I heard that in a conversation here in Lisbon and I was surprised. It seems a bit exaggerated, but let’s take a closer look. 

Are you one of those people who can do nothing but rest on Fridays? Have you ever had the experience that you got sick on holiday? That your body is overwhelmed by the fast change from 100% work to leisure time.

Work often brings recognition. Recognition for yourself. Sometimes even a little of what you can’t really give yourself. You know that you are good at your job. And this is confirmed on the outside. Work sometimes fills a void in old age, so that you don’t want to stop working, even if it is possible due to age. And sometimes you like working so much, are so enthusiastic and have so much fun that you forget everything around you. And then the week is over. You know that you like working, but somehow it was too much. You have to rest for a while.  

How can I make that happen less often? I think perception is the key. Listening to what you actually need and pursuing it more. Definitely integrate more breaks, listen to your body, invest some “time with yourself” every day. 

“Time with myself”? Yes! This is the time when you’re not there for anybody else but yourself. Where you do what you need to do. Whatever it is… sitting in a cafe, being in nature, moving (e.g. Yoga ;)), cooking, dancing, singing, listening to music, meditating or just doing nothing at all.

And another area of perception is crucial, the part how I perceive myself. You can devalue the phases of conscious relaxation as a time when you don’t function as you would like to, when you withdraw and perceive it as something negative. Or as a time in which you consciously pull yourself out, connect with your body and your mind. Feeling what you need and accepting yourself in your being. It consciously accepts that you need x-time and let yourself be as you are. And this is exactly what it needs to experience it redeemed and relaxed and not frustrated or annoyed because nothing works. If you manage to make this change in your head, it will also spread through your body. If you can enjoy doing nothing, not having to be productive, not having to be lazy in the negative sense. To avoid creating anything in that moment and at the same time create so much space in oneself for recreation or for something new! 

In my coaching sessions I love to see when this change takes place. It is so nice to see when you become much more gracious with yourself, bring more lightness into your life and can live more relaxed. Also the acceptance that both phases belong to life. The phase in which a to-do list can be checked off or you can achieve a lot on the outside and the phase in which you feel more on the inside. In which it is enough to be simple. When you can accept this phase with pleasure, full of love, full of acceptance. And above all in such a way that you don’t work towards the weekend and when you get there you’re too broken.

There is a beautiful text called “If I could live my life over again…” by a woman who, in old age, looks back on her life and describes, almost enumerates, what she would experience differently if she could live her life over again. Maybe you would like to google the text. I was deeply touched by her lines when I first read them. They show us the gift and the finiteness of life. Sometimes I read the text in my yoga classes to shake up, get out of the hamster wheel and stop and live in the moment. To live life in this way, without having to feel remorse at the end of life. And for me this text is also about taking responsibility for the gift of one’s own life! 

Even if perhaps sometimes one tends to want to give up the responsibility. It is as if all the other people in the outside world had the responsibility, the employer, the parents, the partner, the heartache, the financial situation, the boss, the children and so on and so on. 

It’s all about your own responsibility. It is also about acting in such a way that you don’t have to ask yourself at some point whether you have actually lived your life correctly, fulfilled and happily and have given everything you wanted to give. Or whether you would have wanted to try and experience so much full of regret if all the external circumstances had not prevented you from doing so? Whether you have experienced enough time with your friends, relatives, children, your family? And before that happens, start now, grab a pen and a piece of paper and list on one side what makes you unhappy in your life and what you would like to experience more if you had the choice. When you are done, take a look at it. This is your life, there it is! Maybe in black and white. And then take responsibility for yourself and make yourself happy! 

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