I’m tired. Are you with me? I hope not, but odds are you may also feel this way a lot of the time. Aren’t we living in a society that makes us run, run, run to the point of exhaustion? Well, I think we are, but we don’t need to abide by that norm. I hereby protest the hustle life for the good life. Ah, la bella vita. Yet, tasks still need to get done. Herein lies the dilemma.
Now, the reason I feel predominantly tired is because I have two full time jobs, my day job and my author job. I love both of them, though hope to only have one someday. Guess which one! But anyway, the amount of time management and energy that’s necessary to keep both successful eventually wears on me. I’m a large proponent of taking time for rest, relaxation, and self-care, but sometimes I don’t have nearly the amount of time I could ideally use. Hey, I steal moments, but it would be glorious to have the true time needed for full mind and body refreshment.
So here I am with weighing the must-dos of the week with the can-wait responsibilities…a constant struggle. I don’t have a magical solution for the perfect balance, but will always keep trying. I know what doesn’t work at this point—pushing myself to a point of needing multiple days of rest. But sometimes deadlines don’t allow for any time away. Sigh.
Here’s what I’m learning works for me (and I hope you can use some ideas):
- Taking time away from socializing. This means not looking at my phone, if able, therefore not responding to texts until the next day. It also can include either not posting something on my author social media that day or posting but not spending too much time online. Being an introvert means I need my battery recharged by myself. The noise of others, though only through technology, drains me too much sometimes, so I retreat. Saying “No” to obligations not fitting in my schedule also sits into this category. I dislike turning down any opportunity, but have to do just that sometimes.
- Sitting in dim lighting at night. As I’ve gotten older, I can’t believe I like some darkness. Only a few years ago I preferred to light my house like Vegas at all times. But now, I find the lack of bright light more relaxing. It increases the likelihood that I’ll stay offline and just relax, signaling my mind that it’s time to settle down for the day.
- Weaving in afternoons or days of no author related work, housework, or any other non-relaxing activities. These chunks of time are needed, not only wanted—a must in the self-care realm.
- Going to bed earlier than usual. Sometimes I want to stay up to have more hours of “free time” at night, but I’ve found it isn’t worthwhile for me if I need rest more than that pleasure of one more TV show or chapter in a book.
- Shifting my activities from creative to routine. The stability of predictable and easy to perform tasks sometimes sets me at ease. I love when I can clean, organize, or feel productive in my house. This allows for my mind to rest from overthinking, analyzing, and trying to figure out a mental puzzle. Then, I’ll be refreshed when needing to come back to the creative element involved in my book world.
Most of the above strategies can be used for any amount of time you want. Some days you need more time devoted to rest than others, so amp it up. You may not need any of these ideas on other days. Do what feels good.
Also, you may notice there are different areas of rest; social, physical/sensory, creative, and mental are my typical ones. Yours may include additional categories or, if you’re like me, they switch at different points in life according to needs. One TEDx Ideas article featured additional areas from Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith’s rest categories, spiritual and emotional, making seven total. Those last two are just as important so let’s not forget them. Who knew rest had categories?
My recent goal is to be more mindful of my needed areas to recharge. Writing this blog not only helps me to help you, but brings awareness to my own life. I know better, so I’ll do better, and will try to avoid pushing myself too hard. Lets aim for stopping and smelling the roses so we don’t face plant into them. Sounds like a good plan to me.
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