If you’re like most people, you live a busy modern lifestyle, caught up in the rhythm of non-stop going and doing. When was the last time you “unplugged” completely, whether it was for a day, a weekend, or a long vacation? Our minds and bodies need the chance to recharge and rejuvenate; our spirits crave renewal and nurturing. When we are in a state of perpetual motion, we begin to burn out. We reach for artificial ways to keep going—consuming far too much caffeine, sugar, junk foods, and stimulants.
When we push ourselves to get more done, we typically don’t make the healthiest choices for our bodies. We stay up later, feel exhausted the next day, reach for more artificial stimulation, skip our workout or self-care, and end up feeling even worse. This vicious cycle can lead to severe exhaustion, adrenal fatigue, and ultimately a breakdown in our health. You can stop the cycle now, achieving balance between your professional and personal life and your health and wellness.
First, begin by carving out chunks of time for yourself. Make time to do something that rejuvenates and nourishes you. Maybe you’re craving a treatment like massage or acupuncture. You might want to do yoga, meditate, create a painting, or take a walk in nature. Whatever it is that speaks to your soul, schedule a little time and commit to doing it for yourself. When that time comes, let go of all distractions. Unplug (or even better, turn off) and stow away your phone and computer. Allow yourself to fully soak up the experience. Focus your attention on what you’re doing right then. Breathe it in deeply.
Begin to honor your body’s natural rhythms. Pay close attention to when you become tired at night, and allow yourself to unwind and prepare for sleep then. Ideally, you should detach yourself from all your electrical gadgets, like cell phones, computers, and TV, at least a half an hour to an hour before you go to bed. This allows your eyes and your brain to settle down from the stimulation, and creates much deeper sleep for most people.
Some people get a great benefit from a little rest or rejuvenation in the afternoon. This could be a short nap, a quick five-minute break from work with deep breathing or stretching, or a healthy green drink for a natural boost in energy.
If you’re a parent and find it difficult to carve out time for yourself, start with brief periods, whenever you can find them, to recharge your batteries. Try asking a friend or family member to watch the kids for a while so you can schedule some time for your own rejuvenation. It’s a win-win for everyone! When you are refreshed, the energy you can offer your children is much more present. As a mother, something I like to do is schedule time with my son doing things together that replenish both of us. We love to share walks in nature, yoga and stretching, painting and crafts, gardening, dancing to music, and just taking time to gaze at the clouds and smell the flowers.
Occasionally, taking longer breaks from everyday life can be incredibly valuable. Sometimes just getting away for a weekend can lift our spirits and give us a new perspective. A change of scenery can be refreshing, and taking time away from our regular responsibilities allows our inner world to come alive in a new way.
It’s amazing how a few days in nature can recharge a person’s batteries. We recently made a long weekend getaway to Big Sur, driving along the magnificent coastline of central California to our destination among the towering redwoods. Each day we spent there allowed for layers of everyday stress to melt away. We unplugged from technology and just soaked in the natural beauty around us. When we returned, I was much more able to focus with renewed mental clarity.
Allow yourself the gift of scheduling time to relax and recharge, even if it’s just creating small moments to do something that restores your natural energy levels. Slow down and take conscious breaks from media and technology. You’ll probably notice a greater balance in your daily rhythms. You may also discover a greater ability to give to the world around you without becoming depleted. Practice honoring yourself in this way; soon, you will feel a boost in your energy, and you’ll find yourself living with greater joy and vitality.