For the last couple of months, I have over-committed, over functioned, and underachieved. My failure to achieve, however had nothing to do with my ability to achieve. I was and am able to do everything I committed to, provided I rest properly or have sufficient time to get it done. I have however, been agreeing to do more than I could realistically do in the allotted time to my usual level of excellence. This to me, constitutes failure because had I only committed to what was reasonable I could have performed more efficiently. So, today I sit down to remind myself of the need and value of TEA. TEA – Time Enjoyed Alone.
So, as I sit here today, in one of my favorite quiet spots I read, I write, I listen to music that stimulates my mind, speakers that build me and encourage me, and most important I recuperate from all I have expended in this last quarter. As I sit here, I realize that this time is way overdue. When I am tired I do not think or work as efficiently as I could if I were well rested. When I am tired I am in survival mode, I miss important warnings, I stretch too far. When I am tired, as a parent I endanger the lives of my children. When I am tired I put myself in danger unwittingly, so it is important to rest and rejuvenate.
Today’s take away: Rest without apologizing, you need it.
Here is a list of simple ways to rest…
- Sit in the car for 10 minutes before walking in the house…”de-stress” a bit, let go of the angst from work and prepare to deal with home. I use to have a date palm in my front yard and every day when I got home I would stop by that tree and “drop off” the baggage and “stress” of work. Having a physical post to transfer these troubles to, helped.
- Leave home 10+ minutes early to have some alone time before starting your work day
- Take up journaling…just write down your days experiences or how something made you feel – there is no “right” way to do this, just let it flow out of you – even if all you do in the beginning is write your name over and over again.
- Buy a good smelling candle, some bubble bath or maybe a bath bomb, light the candle, run some bath water, turn the lights off, and climb in the tub. You can turn on relaxing music if you like – set the room to fit what you like.
- Go for a walk or jog – alone. Ladies if it is late at night – do not do it, choose a different activity.
- Take a drive.
- Got a bike? (bicycle or motorcycle) Go for a ride.
- Grab a book and have a seat in a quiet space.
- Like crosswords, word searches, Sudoku, solitaire? Grab a book (or deck of cards) and commit 20 minutes a day to enjoying it, alone.
- Join an organized fitness class and commit to it at least 1 day a week.
- Sit in the mall and people watch, without judging.
- Spend time at the coffee shop…bookstore.
- Go to a park and swing.
In the beginning it may be hard to rest and relax, especially if a lot rests on your shoulders. Take solace in the truth that when you are well rested you can better care for those around you as well as yourself. You will make better decisions and you will be the best version of you for your loved ones as well. I am back to my practice of taking a whole day and I do not apologize for it, I need it. You know what you need given the shoes you walk in daily, let your rest match it.
Do not forget your TEA! Rest up!