“And in the end, it’s not the years in your
life that count. It’s the life in your years”
– Abraham Lincoln
One of the hardest life lessons to grasp is to take adequate time to renew ourselves, to slow down and let go in order to get back to a place of strength. It’s hard to live your best if you are running on fumes. We need time to rest, relax, think, reflect, and let go. If we don’t take the time to release, our stress will begin to manifest itself in negative ways physically and emotionally.
The Key to healthy living?
The key to healthy living is not in waiting to be forced to rest, but in planning it with purpose. And it’s not easy. We live in times when we practice stress, rather than renewal, on a daily basis. We have to be aware of how harmful unmanaged stress is and why renewing ourselves can be crucial in creating reserves to last us through.
If I asked you to stand on one leg for a few minutes, I bet you could do it. But what if I asked you to stand on one leg for a few hours? Eventually, you would fall over from exhaustion. At first, the stress of standing on one leg would be manageable, but the longer you stand there, the more unbearable the strain would become, causing you to fall.
We can only do so much of what we do
without running into the burnout zone.
The stress can build to a place where we are
no longer any good for ourselves, relationships or work.
Are there signs you need to recharge?
It’s important to recognize the signs of needing renewal. Here are just a few: constant fatigue, moodiness, snapping, rage, frustration, depression, tense neck muscles, forgetfulness, headaches, and a spike in weight gain or loss. While these can all be symptoms for a lot of other underlying issues, in basic terms they spell out an overly stressed person whose mind and body needs some rest.
Many of these factors can put us at a higher risk of heart disease. Plus, if we are running on fumes, our minds become magnets for negative thinking. We might carry around unnecessary thoughts that get blown out of proportion. We might be more prone to saying and doing something regretful. A lack of energy can feed your tiger, as we discussed in the last chapter.
The lesson of needing to recharge ourselves is something we can see all around us. Think of your cell phone. I have to recharge mine every night when I get ready for bed. What about when your kids get cranky? Our first thought is, this kid needs a nap. Taking a necessary rest is a lesson we must grasp and apply to our lifestyle, no matter what we do.
What are the benefits to recharging yourself?
We are more productive. We take care of ourselves more effectively. The experiences we create for others are of a higher quality. Our relationships improve. Our passion and enthusiasm are rekindled. We no longer carry around unmanaged stress that causes us to drag, but we are energized and ready to get the best out of ourselves and life.
Here are a few ideas to help recharge yourself.
Go for a walk.
As you walk, let go of your day. Be in the moment.
Take a nap.
Thomas Edison used to have a cot in his office, so he could take 10 minute naps to get recharged. Rest for 10 to 20 minutes to get a quick recharge.
Get out of town.
Plan a getaway… often. Not just once a year, but maybe once every few months. It doesn’t have to be long. Just a few days will do wonders. I personally enjoy getting away and going fishing. It always revitalizes me when I can sit on the beach and just watch the sunset and crashing waves.
Getting out of town can help separate you from your world. And that’s key to recharging yourself. There will always be things to get done – projects, deadlines, and the unexpected – but in order to face them with strength, you have to be at your best. Sometimes finding your best requires losing your worries in a fresh environment for a short time.
Sometimes I do nothing and I get a lot out of it. I may just watch TV, sit on my porch, take a two-hour nap, or putter around. There are times when if you called me and asked, “What are you doing?” I would tell you, “Nothing, and loving it.” Really, it’s just me resting, and not thinking about work, bills, projects, etc…
Go for a spa treatment.
Pamper yourself with a massage. Doing this can rid your muscles of toxins that have built up due to stress.
More things you can do to recharge yourself:
- Call and talk with a good friend.
- Go watch a good movie.
- Take a few deep breaths.
- Eat something healthy.
- Read a good book.
- Take a shower or bath.
- Listen to some good tunes.
- Do some art.
Make recharging your emotional and
physical batteries a priority.
To be at your best, you have to be active about it. We are going to encounter stress on a daily basis, and too much of it left unmanaged can hurt us. If you try to get up the mountain on fumes, you are not going to make it. You won’t be happy, and life will seem like a drag. So make the choice to slow down, let go and get renewed. When you do, you will always come face to face with your best self.
Sam Glenn, Author, Speaker, Motivation by Art ©
+! Has won multiple awards -Speaker of the Year by both Meeting and Events magazine and Meeting Professionals International.
+! Won two Telly Awards for Most Outstanding Motivational Video.