The past few weeks have been really intense. Work and volunteer work have kept me very busy and in contact with lots of people every day. I enjoy all of it, but I reach a point where I’ve been outputting so much energy that I start to feel exhausted. You know how you have signs when you need to take a break? For me, it’s when I start listening to increasingly aggressive music in my car and when I start getting frustrated over little things. That’s the beginning, and then it goes downhill from there.
So, noticing this in myself, I decided to take better care of myself. Sometimes it’s tricky to do that when you have family or work commitments that you pretty much have to keep, even though you are tired. But, it happens to all of us. I find that doing little things can help me get mini-replenishment and get through the busy times. Here are some things that helped over the past week:
1. Wearing my super soft pink fleece sweater while at home
2. Taking mini-naps (even if all I can spare is fifteen minutes before a meeting, it still helps)
3. Taking a break from unnecessary things (this week that was Twitter and also a work project that I could put on hold)
4. Singing along to music that either makes me laugh or helps me get out my frustrations
5. Sharing my stresses with my awesome sister, who took me out to a movie on my one night off and made me laugh (so helpful!)
6. Setting boundaries and not answering my phone or emails after a certain hour
7. Taking a moment here or there to take some deep breaths and go over a favorite prayer in my mind
Some of us figure out ways to manage stress over time, as we get to know ourselves and our habits better. But some people really struggle to find things that work for them, especially if they’ve never had anyone to help them take care of themselves. We’re often harsher with ourselves than we realize.
So, what helps you get replenished? And … when’s the next time you can do some of that?