This past week, Thanksgiving week, I took time off from the office. Several days I was home by myself all day. The peace and quiet was quite enjoyable. I made lists and crossed things off. I read. I did yoga and walked the dogs. I took time away from social media and did very little work during the week. I felt mentally recharged… And then I returned to work yesterday and came home exhausted!
So how do we combat that feeling at the end of the work day? Sleep is not the only way to recharge yourself, although it is a big one. In addition to rest, there is relaxation and recreation. These are what Dr. Carri refers to as “Vitamin R” (reference: JJ Virgin podcast), and I was in need of some last week to combat my mental and physical fatigue. I was feeling a little bit of work-related burn-out. Too many projects, too little time!
Sometimes I have to give myself permission to take some “me” time. As someone who suffers from fibromyalgia and is one to always make sure her family is cared for first, fatigue is a way of life for me. “I’m exhausted” is a pretty common answer from me to the pleasantry “How are you?” Sometimes I wear the fibrowarrior term like a badge of courage and don’t practice self-care. So having a few days where I was only having to care for me, myself, and I…utter bliss, I say.
Time-outs Aren’t Just for Kids
Dr. John Izzo talks about the need for adults to take some self-imposed time-outs for ourselves to rest, recharge, and have fun. A little R&R. See, that “Vitamin R” term is starting to make sense! We know that stepping away from a problem we are having difficulty solving can help us gain a new perspective and innovate. So in the same vein, stepping away from our daily grind of work, emails, interruptions can help to energize us. Giving ourselves permission to take a time-out of a day or a week away from the office may not always be possible, but allowing yourself some unscheduled time during the day can do wonders for your mental energy.
“Great is the human who has not lost his inner childlike heart.” ~ John Reed
The book You Don’t Have to Go Home From Work Exhausted: A Program to Bring Joy, Energy, and Balance to Your Life talks about learning to refuel your tank to avoid that burnout we can all be subject to. Here are the 12 key lifestyle factors their research found to be factors in affecting energy levels:
- Proper diet for energy and high performance
- Have alone time
- Take time to read and learn
- Fill your spiritual growth
- Experience love
- Have fun, joy, and play!
- Spend quality time with family and friends
- Find new interests or renew interest in an old hobby
- Take vacations
- Have a sense of purpose
“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” ~ Dolly Parton
We all could use a little more Joy and Energy in our lives! Think about how much time you take for each of those 12 things. Is it enough? Take some time for yourself this week to get away from whatever situation at home or work is troubling you or sapping you of your precious energy, and enjoy a few minutes outside or reading a book or calling your mom. We owe it to ourselves to find those things that bring us energy and joy.
What are you going to do this week to create a little Rest, Relaxation, or Recreation in your life?