Sometimes I just need a few . . . minutes, hours, slow breaths, days, fill-in-the-blank-here. And yet it's often difficult to take the time to slow down, gather my thoughts and just breathe. Being present isn't easy. Focusing on the here and now isn't natural for me. I dwell on things from the past, changes I could have made or things I could have done to create a different outcome. I find myself concerned with the future, and how in the present I can effect that future in my to-do list. But really, sometimes I need to just rest.
With that time dwelling, or the time concerned about the future, my stress levels raise. I'll be honest, it's been rough Monday morning with the kids. They had a difficult time following instructions this morning as I was trying to get them ready for day camp. I was stressed, they were slow at best and blatantly disobeying at worst, and I was at my limit for patience and kindness by only 7am! All I could think about at that moment was trying to get to work on time, and how my three were keeping me from doing that. Drew jumped in and saved the day right as we were pulling away by taking the kids so I could get to work, and then the day moved on as usual. It was not my finest hour, I can assure you.
Here's where I'm going with this. My kids had stayed up too late last night and had a crazy busy weekend full of playdates, swimming, park trips, church, lunches with friends, late and skipped naps, etc. I also had a crazy weekend, cutting out swimming and adding in clients and a brunch. We all found Monday morning to come far too early, and the to-do list this week was daunting. I woke up overwhelmed, which isn't a great way to start your Monday.
Yesterday I talked about procrastination. Did you know that you can be a procrastinator and one who desperately needs rest all at the same time? Real rest, the kind of rest that rejuvenates instead of just filling a free moment, is difficult to just happen upon. Sometimes, crazily enough, you need to schedule that in. After that crazy morning today, where I wasn't the nicest mommy in the world, Drew mentioned that the "burnout was radiating off of me" like a heat lamp.
That, friends, isn't a good sign. I can't burn out. There's too many things to do and too many people to take care of! When is there time to slow down and make the list a little less daunting? It doesn't happen by accident. So when the word "burnout" was said tonight, I knew I needed to find a time to take some rest and soul searching before I got sick and my body was forced to drop everything. So I found my day this week! While I have a couple of things on my list, I can adjust and know that I have something to look forward to. Some quiet time to slow down and focus on my breathing, decrease the noise (social media, people needing me, etc.), and get away from the list of things to do.
Like most of us, I can't just stop life just by taking some time away. But I can plan for a couple of things from that list and then make sure that I'm taking care of my body and mind as well. Sometimes we have a whole day, sometimes a few hours or more often even just a few minutes. Here's a few ideas of things you can do to help give yourself a much needed rest.
Breathe - Deep, even breaths, inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Breathe in for a slow count of 4, then out for the same slow count of 4. Focus on your breathing and try to relax as much as possible. As this starts to slow you down, do your best to be in the present. Nothing in your past or in the future gets to take your time away from this moment.
Exercise - let's do something more calm to take care of ourselves, shall we? Don't know what that is because you always go for high intensity intervals? How about a flexibility session, a nice ride or hike, Pilates or yoga?
Get outside - Enjoy the sunshine. Get out in the fresh air, walk or ride around, enjoy the beauty of the world around you and listen to the sounds of nature. Appreciate the uniqueness of your environment and remember that you, too, are unique. Relax and rejuvenate, so you can do your thing even better than before.
Take a day - to take care of yourself and destress. A spa day, a trip to the beach, to the mountains, read a book, etc. But do something because you want to or because your body needs it, not just because it's a means to an end (ie. a checkmark on your to do list).
Take a rest.
If something in this post hit home let me know. I'd love to read your comments! Please like and share to pay it forward as well. If you are procrastinating with your health and fitness, I'd love to chat. At our personal training studio, we specialize in supporting our clients and the community in their journey of health and wellness by creating a customized plan, walking alongside them in their journey and supporting them along the way. Our consultations are focused around you and your needs, and there's no pressure to buy "yet another program that won't work". Schedule a time to talk here.