Back and forth goes the little white dot, bouncing off paddles to score points. Imagine the paddles being work and play. To keep the balance in our lives, we ricochet between work and play. In this metaphor, we score points not by making another player miss the dot, but by keeping the ball moving. Mentally and physically, we need variation to stay creative. If we’re hyper-focused for too long, we become uninspired and less efficient, and limit our ability to be multifaceted. According to a study by The Draugiem Group , a ratio of 52 minutes of work to 17 minutes of play or goofing off can significantly improve productivity.
In a previous blog*, Saaniyah S. wrote about meraki, which is the concept of leaving a piece of yourself in what you do. She says she likens meraki to an activity that “frees you from your day-to-day worries.” Saaniyah lists diverse activities — “time spent with my siblings doing silly things…making my dad’s homemade cinnamon oatmeal from scratch, journaling…watching a robin build a nest…,” all things she does deliberately for enjoyment and to keep the ball moving.
As school starts, you can consciously add meraki to what you do as well. Bury yourself in a school assignment for a while, and then take a break to do something unrelated and carefree. On Wednesday, November 6 from 4-5:30 pm , you can try putting a little bit of yourself into abstract art with NAMI . Engage in a creative activity, learn helpful tips about mindfulness, and hang out with other high school students while enjoying free food from The Cafe. Consider it a step in your healthy pursuit of meraki!
*If you are in high school and would like to share your thoughts in a blog, email Josh at joshea followed by gepl.org.