System Reboot!

We keep pushing ourselves till we collapse from sheer exhaustion. But this doesn’t have to be the case says Samindara H Sawant, as she shares tips on how to take quick breaks so that you don’t burnout

Fotolia-116771-300x225One day my phone suddenly took forever to execute any command I gave. Worried, I asked my friend Radhika what to do. “Switch the phone off, remove the battery and put it back again. It will be fine” was the simple solution she offered me. I did just that, and indeed, it was good as new again!

Something similar happens with my laptop. Often it just ‘hangs’ and  no key I press seems to make it work. But all I have to do is ‘hard boot’ the computer and it starts working as though nothing had ever been the matter!

Do humans need to reboot?

This set me thinking… just like our electronic devices need a complete system reboot once in a while to function optimally, isn’t it the same with us as well? There are times when there is an overload in our lives—of information, emotions and endless chores. And everything seems to keep on piling. Isn’t it inevitable then, that even this inimitable brain of ours is going to just ‘hang’ occasionally?

Indeed, our systems do get overloaded and do ‘hang’. But being such amazing creatures, we work even on a ‘hung’ system. Our mind may be fatigued with the sheer processing it has to do, but we still manage to carry on with our tasks. Our hearts may be overwhelmed with the daily barrage of feelings and emotions, but cover them to face each new day. The abuse we heap on our poor exhausted bodies is beyond description. So driven are we with our tasks, duties, responsibilities and priorities that we carry on with a full load for as much as we can, until our body comes crashing down with a major illness!

The incident with my phone got me thinking… I asked myself, do we need to wait till we reach that stage of exhaustion before we take a break? Does it not make infinitely more sense to simply ‘reboot’ our systems occasionally so that we are ready to face the world ‘as good as new’?

So how does one reboot one’s system?

How do we disengage ourselves from the multiple connections that we make with the world outside? Sure, one can go off for a long holiday or retreat, but that isn’t always possible. So, how do we reboot and recharge?

I was struggling with the ‘how’ for a very long time and could not come up with any ideas. One day, sitting at the airport terminal with my flight delayed by two hours, I had my ‘eureka’ moment. I realised this moment was what I had, and it was up to me how I made the most of it. So instead of opening my laptop and working on that presentation, I decided to just close my eyes and let my thoughts meander. And as I felt my mind unwind, it occurred to me that it wasn’t all that difficult to reboot my system.

Here are some ways in which I have eventually learnt to do it.

Meditate. This is one of the best ways in which you can withdraw from the world and retreat into yourself. There are some people who will tell you that you need to meditate an hour daily, while others will say that meditation is a discipline which must be followed rigidly. Sure, if you can find the space to prioritise an hour’s meditation daily, nothing like it! But most of us, who are slaves to our schedules, cannot! No matter. Whatever time you can devote for meditation, wherever you are, it’s good enough. Just close your eyes, clear your mind, and BREATHE. Even if you can squeeze in 10 minutes of it in your day, it will be a quick reboot for your system. So do it!

Treat yourself to a Spa Day! A good facial, a leisurely pedicure or an aromatherapy treatment not only rejuvenates your body, but also puts you in a relaxed state of mind. It acts like a speed-breaker and slows down the breakneck speed with which you are going ahead with life. If you don’t believe me, just experience the light-heartedness that you feel after a massage or a facial. It is truly uplifting.

Connect to Nature. Mother Earth provides us with all the energy we need to go through life. Just connecting to her is a wonderful way of recharging yourself. Whether it is taking a few minutes to smell the roses on your balcony, or a moonlit walk along the beach, or simply watching the horizon as you travel down the highway to your office is enough. The important thing is to let go of all other thoughts whirling in your mind and connect completely with Nature for those few moments.

Take a day off. Do nothing but laze around. I know, I know, this is hard for most of us. We would rather save that leave for something that might come up later. I have this problem myself, and can tell you from experience. As my husband says, I can never relax or let go. Even on a weekend, I just cannot relax. I will check if something has to be done and if there’s nothing, I start cleaning up! There’s always something to be done
So one day he told me, “Just take a day off! It’s okay if you waste a day!” With much reluctance, I did that. I was amazed at how good I felt at the end of the day. So if possible, prioritise yourself for a change and take a day off. Preferably your holiday on a weekday, when the kids will be at school and your spouse is at work. Just loaf about, browse through magazines, listen to music or watch TV. Do all the things that you normally don’t ‘waste’ your time doing. The amount of good it will do to your mind and your energy levels will be well worth wasting that holiday.

Have a gadget free weekend getaway! When you get that long weekend, take off to a place where you have no mobile connectivity and where your portable internet doesn’t work. Most of us are tied to our gadgets, and invaluable as they are in running our lives optimally, they do have a huge flipside, and that is that they don’t allow us to relax. So for a weekend, leave your electronic extensions behind you, and just relax. Trust me, the world will not come to an end if you decide to take a break!

These are just a few ways I have figured out how I can snatch a few minutes to rejuvenate and recharge myself. Some of these may work for you, some may not. You know best how you can reboot your system and get it ‘good as new’. A rested mind and body will allow you to face life with joy, energy, and enthusiasm. Happy rebooting!


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