Work, dog, family, friends, sleep, home, promotions, Etsy shop. . . I sure do juggle a lot of things during my waking hours. I wonder how so many deal with their every day life. We are all working on the brink of insanity, emotional and physical breakdown.
Face it, we all are probably pushing ourselves a little too hard, sometimes forgetting our mental health and stability. We live in a fast pace society that our parents before us did not have to deal with. Cars, planes, subways cars, highways all move us faster than ever. We work through our break times to keep in line with our deadlines. We are given distractions from our computers, television, and movies to offer us alternatives to relaxation that our parents did not rely on. But are these outlets truly relaxing? Movie and TV plotlines are more intricate and faster moving, the internet rushes a flurry of information into our brains. Everything is fast moving and our minds and bodies are constantly being overstimulated, even when we are trying to “relax”. There is no thinking that society or our responsibilities are going to slow down to let us catch our breaths.
I know after a day of work, I find it nearly impossible to either stay awake OR to wind down after being over stimulated all day. Essentially, I have to be at the point of COMPLETE exhaustion to actually fall asleep.
So how does one learn and more importantly afford the time to truly relax and refresh ones battery?
Here are some healthy alternatives to daily wind downs and living:
Bask in the sun: Take the time to take a walk. 10-30 minutes a day during the early morning or early evening is the best time to wake up/settle down. Don’t do it during the warmest or brightest time of day. Overheating or sunburns are not relaxing! Just check out some benefits of sunshine.
Start an exercise routine: That walk a day can be your slow start to a consistent exercise routine. For me, I have a lovely little doggy that can join me and benefit from the walk a day, but take your child for a stroll, walk with a book to your local park and sit down and read, or just explore your neighborhood. Than if you can afford it, join a gym or buy a simple piece of equipment. Start slow, with 5-10 minutes and each week, tack on another 5-10 minutes to the walk. For me, I think the walk is a nice enough step for me. The point is to be active. Once your body gets accustomed to the movement and the calorie burning it will begin to respond better to your resting period.
Turn a negative into a positive: Every time you say to yourself or out loud “I’m exhausted”, punch yourself really hard in the face. Ok, that was sarcasm, but honestly, cut the shit! Negativity can really put a damper in your motivation and when you feel yourself repeating that common phrase over and over, say to yourself, “I have a small amount of energy that I can use towards a walk” and push yourself out that door!
Avoid the (over) use of stimulants: I stay away from coffee because I have two really bad addictions: Cigarettes and Coke (a-cola). I guzzle Coke like its water and for the most part REALLY cut down my smoking to a cigarette a day or every two days. But stimulants like chocolate, coffee, tea, soda, and cigarettes should be avoided at least 3 hours prior to bed rest. And remember, carbs turn to sugar and most foods do have some sugar content so its best to avoid eating at least 4 hours before rest period.
Take a cat nap: I am NOTORIOUS for having naps that last 3 hours! NO! they should be at least 20-45 minutes a day. Take them if you feel that you cannot get through the day or are feeling sluggish. They are to ease and tension and uneasiness you feel. Remember to turn off all phones, TV, and distractions.
Set up a bed time routine: This is a hard one for me since I will work late, get home at 11 then have to but for work at 8am. So getting a set routine is clear near impossible. But pick an easy routine. For me it would be: walk Charlie, take shower, brush teeth, take care of hair, hop in sack. Try to avoid Internet, books, or TV since this will over stimulate you and cause you to think more than you should.
Organize your bedroom for optimal sleep: clean sheets, dark room, clean room, closed doors, kids to sleep. Make sure you are comfortable and free of all distractions that will bother you/keep you awake when it is time to sleep!
Adopt a healthier diet: This one helps a whole bunch. Eat more greens, less sugars and processed foods. This will just generally keep you naturally energized longer and overall feeling better.
Learn to step away from Technology: Get away from the internet, TV, Cell phone, and other distractions and just RELAX.
Get into your hobby/art/passion : This is an easy one for my Etsians! Just enjoy doing what you love to do! I love to write, design, and come up with ideas. It motivates me in a positive way. Don’t think of it as a source of income or a job, really just work on what you love to do.
I guess it is all easier said than done, but once you get yourself down to a routine and you just set time to yourself to remember to just SLOW down and take it easy, you will be in much better shape for your job, pastime, family, whatever it is you feel is important. Remember, you aren’t good to anyone if you are a stressed out, burned out mess. So take time to really focus on what you need most in the world, rest and peace of mine.
Say no when the boss asks you to stay later when you are feeling tired/overworked. You will be a better employee tomorrow if you energize and relax today.
Lay off the business/Etsy one day and really relax. You will be more productive tomorrow.
Say no when your family demands more of you than you can give.
Say yes to walks and you time.
Instead of seeing your family as an obligation, sit and talk to them. Confide in them how you are feeling. Than do an activity together.
Here is an interesting article on burnout. Read it and see if you have the signs. I know I have many, MANY of them and it is time to seriously SLOW the FUCK down. I had to use angry words to really push myself.
I will be actively trying to follow all those steps and really focus on relaxing and will let you guys know how its going.
Step back and analyze.Tell me, what small thing can you do to make a positive change in life?
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