I decided to re-read an old book recently and had only got a few chapters in before realising I had to put it down and do some “work”. Not the paid or even objective-oriented type but instead the be kind type. I needed to go out and spend some time with friends, to laugh, share stories, reminisce, drink good wine, bask in the sunshine and float in a pool with a giant inflatable unicorn. I didn’t know exactly how I would achieve the feeling of “enrichment” but I’d know when I had.
As a young adult I never quite understood just how important it was to keep topping-up the Emotional Bank Account (EBA) reserves. Activities with no clear aim (I’m not referring to superficial fixes like “retail therapy” or a bungy jump – though they too have their place), such as those evenings filled with uplifting company were all along refueling the EBA – and in recent years I’ve been made starkly aware of their contribution to the book of life. There are a wealth of studies and psychologists who’ve highlighted how critical good relationships are to our wellbeing but often we require reminding to put it into action. We are after all social creatures and as much as we don’t always feel like it, those connections serve us well and we must endeavour to nurture them.
Even when life appears too busy, once a week make time for a quick coffee, breakfast or longer dinner date somewhere comfortable such as a café, your home or just a park. Have that friend (or friends) who need it just as much as you do. Converse, laugh, cry, whatever it may be, but please make sure it happens – we have an obligation to ourselves to create positive new memories that make us smile when our minds wander. That small investment of time in yourself will enable you to walk away energised, rejuvenated and balanced.
With fresh vision, I’m now ready to pick up the book where I left off.