Rest when you’re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.
~ Ralph Marston
How often do you follow this advice?
If you’re like many women, you just keep plodding along. Or maybe you tell yourself, “I’ll just finish this one thing, and then I’ll take a break.”
But you never do…
You tell yourself, “Just one more minute, hour, day, month, year”… yada, yada, yada.
Suddenly time has slipped away, and you’re running on empty. Creativity is gone. You’re in a funk and exhaustion is your constant friend. Sadly, life has lost its joy.
Sound way too familiar?
I get it. I too fall into this trap, often. For the past 6 weeks. I’ve worked incredibly hard, pushing beyond my limits, ignoring signals from my body, neglecting relationships with others, and myself, and falling into unhealthy eating habits.
And I know better.
This is what I help women recognize in themselves, and learn how to counteract by maintaining balance within their lives.
Sheesh, talk about a role model gone bad.
I’m sharing this with you because this drive so easily sneaks back into your life and mine without so much as a “May I join you?” And the only time we realize its presence is when we have reached the end of our ropes. When the tension is so great that we want to scream, “Stop!” from the rooftop. When we crumple into a ball of tears, feel completely overwhelmed, or turn our anger toward everyone around us.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Because we want to make a difference, we care, we have passion, and we have drive.
These aren’t necessarily bad characteristics, except when we let them get out of hand. When we don’t balance them with self-restorative activities. When we don’t take time to slow down, savor and reflect.
So, how can you and I maintain better balance in our busy lives?
Think of yourself as a gorgeous container, filled with beautiful, brightly colored energy—an internal aurora borealis. Every contact you make with another person, each time you say, “Let me help”, when you push forward constantly, every time you ignore your body’s request for rest—all of these, and more, suck glorious energy from you. Now, I’m not saying these are bad activities. There would be no progress in the world if we merely sat on our butts. And that’s not who we are anyway! But you need to be aware that this is the law of personal physics that you must keep in mind.
What is important to remember is that we cannot continually withdraw energy without replenishing the supply.
This is what I forgot. This is what so many of us blithely ignore.
And what a price we pay.
I took a semi-sabbatical last week and have realized that my batteries are still not fully topped off. So, this coming week I will continue my sabbatical and give myself permission to rest, relax and restore. Everything else will just have to wait. And that includes my business.
So, how do you take care of yourself? Share your thoughts in the comment section. I could use some pointers!
Your Call to Action
Check in with your internal energy level. What do you notice? If your supply is low, come up with 7 different ways you can replenish your batteries—and do them this week. If your energy is high, how will you maintain your supply? Either way, promise you will do a daily check in to monitor what your body is craving to restore itself. And then give yourself permission to do it!