Sometimes it can be frustrating to scroll through your friend’s Facebook page and discover that she added yet another album of photos from what seems like the third family vacation she’s taken this year.
And here you are, living vicariously through her pictures, wondering if you’ll ever get a break from the deadlines, the bills, the crazy schedules of pretty much every summer youth sports league…Life can be overwhelmingly busy. And we all need to find time to recharge.
But recharging doesn’t have to mean major trips or big family vacations. Sometimes those just aren’t in the budget.
My days are spent at home with Olivia, and, as many moms know, the stay-at-home mom life is damn exhausting. My face in the picture above captures the phrase “mom life” pretty accurately.
Finding moments to relax can be incredibly difficult if your baby is screaming at you from her crib during naptime…or mischievously finding a way to grab those computer chords you thought you had tucked away so well underneath the couch…or deciding that she wants to climb instead of crawl, at which point everything in sight becomes a kind of obstacle course she must conquer.
Zoning out is not really an option. Not even on weekends (which no longer exist, let me tell ya). So finding time throughout each day to recharge is incredibly important if I’m going to have enough energy to actually make it through each day.
Sometimes the best way to recharge your batteries when you feel like you don’t have the time to take off for a week’s vacation is to incorporate smaller, more consistent ways to refresh into our everyday routines.
Check out these 5 simple ways to recharge when you feel like you don’t have the time.
Feed Your Senses
Tap into different senses throughout the day to help you recharge. If a particular kind of music relaxes you, pop in your headphones and listen during your breaks or even as you work throughout your day (if you’re able). Maybe you’re calmed by a particular scent. Light a candle, or, if an open flame is a bad idea, consider using an essential oil diffuser. Change the look of your workspace or home; add a few photos of a view that relaxes you. Try stimulating your senses in ways that encourage a calming environment.
Be Media Free
Often times the best way to “recharge” is to actually “unplug.” It’s easy to scroll through our social media accounts during the few breaks we might have during the day, consuming page after page of status updates, vacation photos, life events, news, etc. But that mindless scrolling, which might seem like a break, can leave us feeling emotionally exhausted. If you’ve got five minutes in between meetings, try ignoring your phone. Stretch and move if you’ve been sitting for a long time. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. I’m sure the cyber world will still be there waiting for you after you’ve taken a few minutes to recharge apart from something with a glowing screen.
Working your way (even slowly!) through a book during lunch breaks or afternoon nap times can be an easy way to take a pause from life’s current stresses. Immerse yourself in an action-packed story for ten or fifteen minutes. Or pickup an encouraging book that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready for the tasks ahead. A short devotional might be just what you need to return to your life outside the book with a new hope and outlook on what’s to come.
Fuel Your Body
When we feel like we don’t have time to recharge, we start making eating habits that reflect our fast-paced lifestyle. Throughout our graduate school careers, Darrin and I considered ourselves frozen pizza connoisseurs. Popping a frozen pizza in the oven was an easy dinner after a long day in preparation for a long night ahead. But overtime, those frozen pizzas made us feel lethargic and really killed our productivity. Try fueling your body with healthier foods throughout your day. Full salads, protein bars, fruits, vegetables. Recharge by refueling your body with better food choices and you might even see an increase in your energy level and productivity.
Take Your Work (or your breaks) Outside
Taking your work (or your work breaks) outside can not only help boost your creativity but can also remove you—physically—from the environment that is causing you stress or overwhelm. Fold that huge pile of laundry outside. Or even lead your afternoon meeting outside rather than in the closest conference room. Fresh air and nature have this funny habit of making us feel “fresh” from the inside out. Nature is alive, after all, so why not spend time with some of the life outside if you’re having trouble feeling “alive” due to stress and anxiety? Take a deep breath of fresh air and hang out with the trees for a bit.
We sometimes like to complain about there not being “enough hours in the day,” but maybe the problem isn’t the number of hours but the number of items we add to our to-do lists. Be kind to yourself, even for five or ten minutes, and take the time to recharge throughout your day.
Life is a lot more enjoyable when you don’t feel like you’re going insane. 😉