Somewhere by the beach
I was feeling extremely overwhelmed and stressed. It has been a very intensive 2 months of non-stop acceleration. I feel like I am spinning 10 plates on a stick while standing on a ball and making a cup of tea with a foot. That feeling of overwhelm, loneliness and stress gave me the illusion that I am not moving forward and everything feels 100x worse than it should. I knew I needed a break. I can only eat so much ice cream and buy things to reduce stress. I need to take time out to have a real break. A mental break. And E said I should go to the beach.
After a few hours of research, I decided that Cancun, Aruba or Punta Cana are top choices. And James said “why don’t you just go to Bermuda and stay with my parents?” Thus began the best weekend of the entire 2.5 months.
It was extremely fun. Despite the 2h delay in takeoff, I met his parents at the airport and somehow, they really took my mind off work for the weekend. The turquoise water, the clear post-hurricane blue skies, the green land with no skyscrapers. Had lots of laughters, chats, reading on the hammock.
Sharpening the saw, they say.
Mild Stress: Declutter
Saw this video and it summarises a lot of how I do things. Nothing is new, this guy just summarises it well. 8 steps to dealing with stress. I follow that, and that is how I can accelerate for 2 months consistently while travelling and 2 months consistently when I was in Singapore. They work very well.
- Declutter. physically or digitally
- List 5 things around you that you can smell, see, hear, taste, feel
- Brain dump on a list going in your head
- Organise/group that list
- Do the tasks
Massive Stress: 2 Days Break
But what happens when you are massively stressed? When you have done all you can do deal with the smaller stresses of life?
You need a break. Period. A real break.
Not a “I’m going to take 1 hour to walk in the sun and listen to a podcast” type of break. Also not a “get ice cream down the street to I am away from work for a bit” type of quiet time. A real solid actual break.
Honestly, I don’t really know how to take a break. We went to Bali for the weekend, and I felt more stressed than ever because I feel like I’m not doing work. But in Bermuda, I left my laptop and iPad in NY and just took my summer dresses and bikini in a little backpack and jumped on the plane.
Being back in nature, hanging out with amazing people and talking about non-work subjects is so fun! It helped me to take my mind off work and come back with a fresh set of eyes. It helped me to recognise how far I’ve come and celebrate those successes. It helped me to refocus on the big picture, since I might have lost that while being buried in work for these 2 months.
I’m even more in love with what I do than ever. I still love sitting on the hammock, with a cup of tea in hand and watching the sunset. I also love doing what I do in the city. It’s just balance at the end of the day, isn’t it.
Here’s to hammock weekends and laptop weekdays. Here’s to balance.
PS: at one point, I was telling his parents while in the hammock “I do not have a care in this world”. They were very happy seeing me relaxing and not feeling stressed. 😊