Why We Need Downtime

June 29, 2018

One of the best podcasts I’ve ever listened to was with Oprah and Brené Brown—look it up it’s on Super Soul with Oprah. I literally hung on to every word and was left with so many nuggets about emotions, relationships and living a fulfilled life. Brené Brown is a research professor and author who studies courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy—listen to her TED Talk, it’s one of the top 5 most viewed in the world!

One of the things I hung on to (because I clearly neglect it) is how we all need “play-time.” Not the fifty shades of graysort of play-time but as Brené puts it, “time without purpose.” She describes it as engaging in an activity for enjoyment versus anything serious and practical. Why is this so important? Because it shapes our brain, fosters creativity, innovation and is essential for our overall health. We get a sense of freedom from time and it diminishes the consciousness of self.

After listening to the podcast, I realized that my “downtime” was clearly not being fulfilled. I was never giving myself that needed break from work, to-do lists and (more dominantly) a racing mind. To be totally honest I was teetering on being seriously burnt out on so many levels juggling life. When I do sit down or relax, my mind immediately goes to all the things I “should” or “could” be doing.

So I started placing more importance on those moments that invite play-time. The key for me is always detaching from my phone.

Spending time with my sister, which notoriously results in the best laughter ever…

Every other Friday Todd and i have a sitter lined up to go out, have dinner, laugh and just reconnect—key word laugh. Also I leave my phone at home because that immediately pulls my brain back into work mode…

Lazy picnics at our favorite rose garden in Santa Barbara. We run around with Elin, stare at the clouds and snack…

Swinging in a hammock, which I don’t have yet but I intend on installing in our new home. I mean, there’s really nothing better than 10 minutes in a hammock!

I’d love to hear what you guys think about this..

and how you incorporate rest and play into your lives? I still struggle with it but find these little moments make a huge difference in my overall mood, creativity and productivity. 

Wearing: Dôen dress (similar), Diani Living hat. Photography by Jacqueline Pilar

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