Don’t Neglect the Things that Bring You Joy

Now can be a stressful time, with new projects starting up with the new year.  It can be easy to become swept up in that rush and forget to take time for yourself.  I think this is especially important when I think about the AmeriCorps members serving with Volunteer Maryland.  Devoting yourself to any one thing, especially when it’s the service of others, can really wear a person out.  So I want to say: make sure that you have time to relax, however you like.

It’s important to remember that there is life outside your job and your volunteering obligations.  Keep in mind your own needs and goals, then make them a priority that ranks with your professional work.  Passions and hobbies allow creativity to grow, and are a rejuvenating force.

If you like to read, make time for a good book.  It’s the same whether you relax with a good run or a day of cooking.  Don’t neglect the things that bring you joy – a happy person will provide more effective service than someone who feels exhausted or resents not having time for themselves.

Right now I am reading Treasure Island, which has no direct application in my work, but it is engaging and enjoyable.  After work, rushing around through chores and seeing friends, it’s even more important that I take some time to relax.  It might be twenty minutes, it might be an hour – but I make sure it happens.

Look at your own life – do you sometimes feel like you’re passing other people like ships in the night?  It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the workaday world and forget about the importance of interpersonal contact and communication.  Nurturing yourself.  If you work in a field where the focus is on taking care of others, it can be tough to remember that you too are worth that same time and care that you give to others.  While you can’t reduce the time you spend on some things like your job, it’s important to find time for the things you love, so you stay happy, healthy, and ready to give your all.

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