No matter how many times you have vowed to change your harried ways, you still find yourself running behind, running out of time, running out of patience and running on EMPTY. Your biggest problem–exhaustion. You are just plain old tired. But you keep going, because there seems to be no way out.
Guess what? There is a way out if you decided to take it! Not only a way out but a way that will help you get more done while keeping your sanity. Simply put, your life is screaming at you to get some REST! You’re probably screaming back HOW DO I DO THAT? THERE’S ONLY ONE ME! There’s only one me to make sure that the kids get to school, the shopping is done, the business is profitable, the romance is steady.
Everyday women are juggling multiple to do list, trying hard not to let any of them drop. The problem is, they have not included time out to rest on any of the list. Exhaustion, fatigue, unpleasant interactions, illness and more can be the results of not listening to a life that is screaming for rest.
As a producer of retreats for busy women, I have found that many of our guests are frustrated by the fast pace of day-to-day-life, and at the same time they feel helpless to change it. I offer a few suggestions to help them transition to a more restful lifestyle, not only while they are on retreat, but more importantly, when they return home. Here’s a quick list that you can cut out and put on your bulletin board at work or on the refrigerator door at home:
o Schedule time off. When you have a business or family appointment, you put it on the calendar. This insures that you will follow through in keeping that appointment. Each week schedule a little time off. It may be to take a twenty minute walk at lunch, or to get an afternoon facial. Whatever your choice is, write it down, and then block out the time. Treat this just as you would any appointment, and be sure to show up.
o Pay attention to your energy level. When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, over-extended or over worked. Be proactive. If it’s possible to change a meeting, do so. If there’s something you can accomplish at home instead of going into to the office, give yourself permission to stay home. If it’s a job that someone else can do, delegate. Do this with the understanding that when you get a little rest you will have increased clarity, and become more productive.
o Ask for help. Don’t let your pride get in the way here. Ask for help with the kids, with the projects, with the tasks. One woman told me that the only way this works for her, is that she promises to return the favor when her co-worker or friend is in need. This puts her mind at ease and allows her to feel respectful and responsible to those in her life. We all need help from time to time, asking is allowing someone else to share their resources which most are happy to do.
o Practice. Don’t seek perfection when it comes to creating a life that includes work and rest. It takes practice to make any type of lifestyle change. If you schedule time off, but can’t pull yourself away. Write it down again for the next day or the next week. The important thing is to stay clear of guilt and shame. Those feelings will only get you frozen in place and push you over the edge of exhaustion even faster.
Taking time out to rest can be a secret weapon, leading to more success in business and in life. Just by increasing the amount of rest that you get, you can become more creative and able to bring fresh ideas to the table at work. When you feel rested, you will show more patience to your customers, co-workers and family. In addition to this, you replenish the inner “well” building a reserve for when you have to make the push to meet a deadline or complete a project. When you are exhausted, there is no inner well to draw from. Your secret weapon to a more successful life. . . take time out to rest.
©The Art of Rest 2004