50 pounds of bricks

Imagine if someone gave you a bag filled with 50 pounds of bricks and told you to carry it around all day. How would you feel after five minutes of carrying the bag? Ten minutes? Two hours? Twelve hours? At first you would probably be fine, perhaps walking a little slower than usual, but you'd be able to handle the load. However as the day carried on, your back would start to hurt, blisters would begin forming on your shoulders, and your legs would start to shake. By the end of the day you would most likely not be able to stand, completely paralyzed by the weight of the bag that you carry. Imagine if you had to carry this bag for an entire week? A month? How about for a year?

Breaking under the load

Most people wouldn't consider carrying around a bag full of bricks for any amount of time. Yet how many people carry around their problems, thinking about them hour after hour, day after day, year after year? The more a person carries around their worries, the more likely their bodies and minds will break under the load. So if this is something that you do regularly, how do you fix it? How do you take care of yourself so you aren't carrying your problems around with you 24 hours a day?

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it."

-Lou Holtz

The Solution

The solution is simple, and it's the same advice you would give someone struggling to carry a bag of bricks: Put the bag down.

How do you do that? Every day, you simply take one hour to relax or do something special for yourself. Set a timer if you must! Maybe this is the hour before you go to bed, or as soon as you get home from school or work. The important thing is that you set aside time every day for yourself. It's ok to stop doing chores, to put down homework, to not worry about this friendship or that relationship. Not only is it ok, it's necessary to remaining balanced. For your own sake, make sure you remember to put the bag down every single day of your life!

There are so many things that you can do in an hour, but if you need more ideas, here is a list of 99 ways that you can care for yourself.

So today, PUT THE BAG DOWN for a while and allow yourself time to relax and just have fun!