How often have you found yourself in a situation where you have to perform, but feel wiped out even before you begin? Sometimes it can’t be helped, we’re just called on to do what feels like to much. And when you’re pushing so hard self care is often the first thing to go, which can leave you feeling drained pretty quickly. What can you do to refresh yourself before you’re completely worn out?
Here are a few ways you can re-energize and give yourself a fighting chance at accomplishing all the things you want to do today.
You Are Here!
You know when you step into a one of those giant, multi-level malls and there’s so many people moving around you barely even know where to start? We all know the first thing to do in that situation is to head for one of those huge signs with everything mapped out and that brightly colored little arrow that lets you know ‘You Are Here!”. How comforting it is in that moment to have a sense of where you are in the midst of all that confusion. It just makes the task ahead of you seem that more do-able.
Well, the same thing can be very helpful if your day starts to crowd out and get unmanageable. How can you first one of those brightly colored arrows into your day?
Orient to your space: Look around you, name five objects that you see as you swing your gaze around.
Orient to your body: Feel your feet on the floor, notice your breathing, briefly scan your body and see where you may be feeling any tension/constriction right now.
Orient to time: Check the time, not to invoke a sense of urgency or anything, just note where you are in your day. Are you at the beginning? the middle? are you nearly done for the day?
Orienting to space, time and to your body help give you a sense of roundedness that allows you to respond in a more deliberate way to your situation.
What Have You Got To Lose?
My art studio used to be a whole room, then a half a room, and now it’s a 1/4 gallon Ziplock freezer bag containing watercolors, a permanent marker, pencil, eraser and pencil sharpener. This shift has been so good to me. I can sit down anywhere and make art on the spot. The limited number of materials forces me to be more focused, I have more clarity as a result of giving myself fewer artistic choices and it also allows me to be more creative.
Sometimes taking a cleaner more minimal approach can open up new options, and more energy, for you.
Spend Time With People Who Support You
“Everyone blooms with respectful, spacious attention and contracts with disapproval, disinterest, and disrespect.”
When we feel stressed out, or filled with worry, we contract our bodies to protect ourselves. Sometimes we become so tense we don’t even notice it any more.
Spending time with people who are willing to be with us and accept us for who we are, and where we are, allows us to unwind a little. We feel accepted and there is a lessening of our need to contract against the world. We feel safe to let go a little. Holding tension in the body requires a lot of energy and the smallest amount of letting go can release that energy for you. Enough to make a big difference.
Eat fresh fruit, breathe fresh air, drink fresh water, wash your face, jump up and down for one minute.
Get active and allow the blood to run through your body and freshen things up.
Allow yourself some time for whatever you need. Rest, some quiet time for reflection, a conversation with a friend. Just exercising your right to have time for yourself is a big step. You’re allowed.
We are often pressured into constant, meaningless movement, for the sake of the movement itself. As long as your busy you are worthwhile.
Too much of that’s not good for you. We do need to take action, of course, but we also need to take time to slow down. You are a reflective being. You need time to reflect and access your own wisdom. That wisdom is often put aside for the sake of getting things done. But too much of that and you start to lose touch.
Have you ever noticed that people who exploit others are always encouraging (or pressuring) the people around them to rush. I suspect it’s so they have less chance to access their own power.
Make it a daily habit to carve out at least a little time to access your own power.
Take A Wide View
You know that feeling when you decide to just head out to the beach and recharge? The feeling of sitting there at the water’s edge taking in the sound of the waves, the fresh air.
Our whole being responds to being near the water. At the water’s edge there is often a panoramic view–the shoreline extends out from where you are in each direction and you look out at a wide, unrestricted expanse of water. There’s less visual clutter and your brain starts to attune to that wide open nature of the moment.
It seems easier to let go of constrictive thoughts and possibilities seem to open up. If not a beach, a mountain top, an open field, or even lying on your back and looking up at the wide openness of the sky can all work just as well.
You Deserve It
It matters that you are looked after and at operating at your full capacity. It’s a gift you can give to yourself, and you are worth it. A reminder: this is not just about getting your projects done, it’s about looking after yourself even when life gets hectic.