recharge, rest, self-care

Rest for the Tired

rest-the-the-tired-c-dangelo-blog

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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Copyright © 2022 C. D’Angelo, Author All rights reserved.

Behind the scenes, Italian American Author, Women's Fiction Author

Routine and Self-Care Are Your Friends

Routine

Routine. Who responds with excitement and who has a negative reaction to this word? I’m sure there are both reactions out there, along with a variety of in between reactions. I personally love routine and thrive with it. I like to leave freedom in my activities within my routine, but generally, even for my artistic expressions (which may sound counterintuitive, but I’ll explain), I have a routine of some sort. I think it’s grounding. This year, more than ever, I know we can all use a sense of feeling stable with predictability, so let me help you to get there, with intentional self-care thrown in for good measure.

I’ve known about my proclivity for routine for a long time of course, but recently it hit me with how valuable it is for my writing career. I’ve been working on my second novel, which is set in contemporary New Orleans and about an Italian American woman’s journey with trust and allowance of help from her community. I started in July and now have a first draft. It only took three months! The Difference (coming in 2021) took five years. Yes, you read that right. Now let me tell you, it was due to a variety of factors, with the biggest being that writing was a fun hobby back then. I did it as my mood shifted toward that creative outlet. After signing with a publisher and getting into the author world more, writing has grown to be another career for me (I’m also a psychotherapist). I prioritize writing and working on my craft consistently. This blog is part of that consistency, by the way so thanks for being a reader/follower. 😊

During the unknowns in this wild year, I think my Sunday writing routine helped me to have a loved task to look forward to and one which I could depend on weekly. As you know, when you have a passion you will make sacrifices for it. Giving up other interests, needed tasks of the week, or even quality time with my husband on Sundays was what I chose to do so I could get that book out of me and into the world (well, at least in my world right now). It gave me a sense of control in my life when the events around me were yet to be determined. I knew when the quarantine happened that I wanted to make the most of my “down” time and this new book is a huge goal I can check off as accomplished.

With routine there is another necessary factor, I think. It’s almost the flip side in my mind. The way to keep a routine consistently is to keep yourself energized and ready to go. How does one do that? Well, I do it with self-care. That’s kind of a buzz word now, so it may have different meaning to different people. But self-care, to me, means doing activities that bring joy, relaxation, and comfort to you so that your mind and body can recharge for the next step/activity/day. Oh, I hope you know that included in self-care are basic human needs like healthy nutrition and enough sleep. I need to make sure to say that since they are extremely important but are often overlooked.

There are obviously different ways in which people can gain a sense of relief through self-care. I personally do not love to be physically active (but do it because I should for my health and blah, blah, blah), but can sit on my butt for hours reading, crocheting, drawing, and anything else artistic. I love vegging out with TV, movies, and social media too. But you may have different needs. View my list below for some ideas for your self-care.

Physically driven people (If you love moving/outwardly expressing to feel relief)

  • Walking or running
  • Bike riding
  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • Singing
  • Playing instruments
  • Yoga
  • Talk to a friend

Mentally driven people (If you love staying in a resting position and reflecting internally to recharge)

  • Arts and crafts
  • Reading
  • Listening to audio books
  • Taking a bath
  • Movies and TV
  • Puzzles
  • Journaling

I can literally go on and on. But those are just a few ideas to get your wheels turning. What do you think? Any seem enticing?

So, let’s make sure you choose a time in your day to do a little something. Maybe just one tiny thing, even if it’s drinking a cup of tea or smelling a fragrant candle. Imagine when you can integrate this into your life. Right now. Go on, do it. Ok, continue reading. 😊

Set a routine for the self-care! Maybe it’s before you get out of bed, before you go to bed, at lunch time, or for 5-10 minutes in the morning or afternoon. Let’s make it happen. I know you can do it!

I hope that this blog post sparked some ideas for you to flourish even more in your life. I’m happy when others feel inspired and motivated by reading my blogs, newsletters, and social media posts. Of course, my books are the biggest tools for conveying these themes, so I can’t wait for you to read them as well.

Always feel free to share ideas this gave you, ask me for input, tell me how you worked routine and self-care into your life, or even how you plan to do so on the near future. I love hearing about your intent and success. Happy routine and self-caring!

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Feel free to follow and share my blog. Also, join my VIP Newsletter for announcements, giveaways, and more! 

Copyright © 2020 C. D’Angelo, Author. All rights reserved.