Ask anyone how they are these days and the usual response is "Good, but so busy!". I'll admit this is often my default response. While there's nothing wrong with working hard, we have to stop the glorification of busy, and remember that busy doesn't always mean productive. It's okay to take time out - in fact; it's crucial if we want to be at our best.
Quit the guilt game
"Guilt is a totally useless emotion. It never makes anyone feel better, nor does it change a situation."
- Louise Hay
I have days where I'm tired and grumpy, and all I want to do is sit on the couch with a cup of tea and a book. When I do, I immediately start thinking about my enormous to-do list, and the guilt creeps up on me. How ironic that my attempts at relaxation often lead to more stress! I'm writing this as a reminder to myself, and all of us, that we are deserving of rest.
We owe it to ourselves to take time out to refresh and reset, even if it's just five or ten minutes.
We deserve time to be still and calm.
We can't care for those around us or build meaningful careers and lives if we're tired and strung-out.
We owe it to our health to take some time-out if we are exhausted.
Run a bubble bath. If you can't have a bath, hit the shower and visualise the water washing away your stress.
Stretch. Do some quick stretches with some deep, slow breathing.
Listen to some uplifting music or a guided meditation.
Have a cup of herbal tea or coffee. Sit somewhere quiet (without your phone) and savour it.
Make something nourishing to eat. Rather than rewarding myself with food, I choose to reward myself with nutrients. Pick a snack with nutritional value like a smoothie, fresh fruit, nut butter, or raw chocolate.
Paint your nails, shave your legs, do a face mask, or wash your hair. The physical act of showering and grooming always makes me feel refreshed, renewed, and ready to conquer my to-do list.
Get moving. So many of us view exercise simply as calorie burning/weight loss/weight maintenance. Physical activity is phenomenal for stress relief, anxiety, low mood, bone density, and so much more! Our bodies WANT to move. Even a brisk walk is hugely beneficial. I know when I need to exercise the most - when I'm tired, and resisting it. No one ever regrets a workout.
Disconnect from technology. Sunday is the perfect day for this - turn your phone off and reconnect with life.
I pledge to drop the guilt and start taking this sacred time for myself.
Will you do the same?