recovery discovery

I have grown to resent the number hours I need to sleep to feel rested. I find myself saying things like “if I could just wake up a little earlier” or “if I could just have a couple extra hours in the day” all the time. Although, I’m quite sure if I had “extra” time, I wouldn’t spend it resting. I would undoubtedly find ways to fill that time with all sort of stuff and find myself in the exact same situation.

Not long ago Crystal posted about slowing down and taking time to enjoy the little things in life. I read it and even commented that I agreed, but have I taken time to slow down since then? No, I have not.

Every day seems like a race against the clock to do more in our waking hours than we did the day before. If we succeed, the bar is raised! (And so is our anxiety from trying to continually increase our productivity.) If we fail, we feel sad and guilty.

So what gives? When our cell phones and tablets indicate a “low battery” we know and respect the limited amount of time left. We stop what we are doing and scramble to find an outlet, we rush to recharge these devices so we can stay connected. People will traipse miles in an airport or conference center to find a place to plug in their devices. We even tote little portable battery packs so that we can stay charged up.

If we can understand the limited lifespan of our rechargeable devices, should we not take it a little easier on ourselves? It’s as if we expect our “batteries” to last forever. If we do actually admit we feel depleted, we make excuses as to why we have to suffer through it and we keep on trucking.

We don’t recharge. We grind away at life, willing ourselves to continue despite our exhaustion. Why? Because we feel guilty.

Self-care is greatly undervalued in this country. Most can agree that we don’t have time to be sick/injured/tired/not in the mood, yet most of us don’t take the steps needed to prevent the maladies from affecting us.

While taking a vacation may not prevent you from getting the flu, research shows that it can relieve stress. Chronic stress can affect a wide variety of biophysical processes AND can weaken your immune system. Regular exercise and a whole food diet may not put more money in your bank account, but it may help you sleep better. Arriving at work well-rested helps us stay positive and productive. 

Taking “personal time” can be seen as a narrowly afforded luxury or worse, as an excuse for slacking off. (The entire concept of playing “hooky” was born from the idea that our personal time is not valuable enough to be taken seriously.) We feel irresponsible taking a “personal day,” like doing something just for fun is not value added. We have talked already about the importance of playtime, but still why don’t we allow ourselves a break?

If we temper our expectations for our devices when the batteries run low, why can’t we also temper our expectations for ourselves?

There is a tremendous amount of research in the fitness world that suggests that recovery is as critical to your routine as the workouts themselves. Elite athletes all over the world tout the benefits of the “off-season”. Think about it, even professional basketball players do not hit the court every single day. They spend long hours training in their chosen modality, but they also take time away. Giving the body time to rest and rebuild between workouts is the keystone to realizing progress.

Recharging does not have to include sleeping, or binge-watching shows on Netflix-although that is pretty darn nice too. Rest and recovery means engaging in low-stress (physical and emotional) activities that stimulate creativity, bring joy, or help us connect with others. Cleaning my apartment has become a favorite off-day activity for me. (I can’t believe I just said that. Mom will be SO proud!😂) I can take it at my own pace, listen to music, and by the end I feel way more relaxed.

Whether your recharge involves being playful, productive, or simply present in the moment, relish in it! Plan for and look forward to it. Make rejuvenation a habit. The ability to recover from stress (whether it’s physical stress from a workout, or emotional stress from an intense day at the office) helps us raise the intensity, to endure higher levels of stress in the future. BUT it is not until we slow down and give ourselves time to recharge that we can actually raise the bar.

The only way to make progress in life is by allowing our minds, our bodies, our spirits, to rejuvenate. Just like our cell phones, sometimes we absolutely NEED to power down and give ourselves a break. If we keep going without enough rest, we become useless…just like an iPhone with a dead battery.

Go hard, my friends! Chase your dreams, and live large. But, if you’re ever feeling tired or stressed, it’s okay! Sometimes rest is best.

Namaste,

E

Self-Care 101

self care 101: taking care of yourself or at making yourself a priorityAre you good at taking care of yourself or at making yourself a priority? If you’re anything like most women that I know, the answer is probably no. We all talk a big game about how we’re going to exercise more, eat better, drink more water, and take more bubble baths (or other relaxing activities). But at the end of the day it doesn’t happen, and it’s all just a lot of talk.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not always the best about self-care, but it’s something I’m continually striving to be better about. I’m also someone who encourages those around me to be better about caring for themselves too. This is why wellness is going to be a new recurring theme on HebrewDawn. Today we’re going to talk about the why and the how of making self care a priority.

Why do we need to make this a priority?

  • Your body NEEDS exercise for your continued health and well-being
  • Your body NEEDS to rest so that you can be refreshed and renewed
  • Your mind NEEDS you to continue learning for increased memory
  • Your mind NEEDS to rest so that it continue to learn

Are you noticing a trend about our minds and bodies? I don’t think any of us want to see our bodies become weak, out of shape, or unhealthy. Just as we want our bodies to be healthy, we also don’t want to see them overtaxed and unable to continue. In the same vein, we’d like to think that our minds will remain sharp as a tack, rather than forgetful. In all of this finding balance is key, and requires commitment on our own part. How we each go about taking care of ourselves might be different, but it still needs to happen.

How are we going to make this a priority?

  • START making yourself a priority .
  • Make exercise and learning a part of your routine.
  • Find something that interests you and learn more about it.
  • Practice the art of saying no.

No one else is going to make you stop, rest, and care for yourself if you are not willing to do it. The people who love you and care about you might encourage you to slow down, but they most certainly cannot make you. What if you started saying no to the things that are keeping you from doing what you need to do for your own self-care? Far too often we’re afraid to say no to someone out of fear for how the other person will feel, but we fail to think about how this will make us feel. What if you did say no from time to time?

I’ve had a friend recently say that she generally focuses on the destination not the journey. Like myself, and many other women I know, she’s constantly on the go and not the best at slowing down. Now due to a recent injury, she has HAD to stop running at full-speed, slow down and enjoy the journey not the destination. How different would life be if we allowed ourselves to focus on the journey AND the destination? This could look like your schedule being less chaotic and full of things that bring you the most joy. In the realm of self-care, this would look like taking care of yourself being the norm, and not something special you have to do

 

Where can you make exercise, rest, and learning part of your routine?


Coming Soon: specific ways we can care for our bodies, brains, and more!

Announcement

Happy Monday! I shared on Friday that there are some things in the works for HebrewDawn, and I couldn’t wait to tell you! Some may have noticed that there has been a routine developing as to the type of material and topics posted (Mondays – motherhood, Wednesdays – faith, and Fridays – fun). There will still be a routine to what is posted and when, but there will be a little bit of a shift. Are you ready to hear what it is?
Drum roll please….

 

 

Mondays will remain motherhood and motivation focused, but that is not all. There is a new series coming your way and YOU are invited to be a part of it!

New series coming to HebrewDawn: Real Moms. Read stories by moms with kids of all ages.

Throughout this series we’ll hear stories from other moms, answering some of our questions, sharing their stories, and helping us know that we’re not alone on this motherhood journey. We will hear from moms with children of all ages, AND veteran moms who have survived living with kids and then had them leave the nest. So how do you get to be a part of this? If you have questions for these moms  or if you would be interested in being featured, leave a comment or send me a message.

Wednesdays will be taking on a new focus from what they’ve been. Now the focus will be on wellness, and it will be from a 360 perspective. We will take a look at wellness through the lens of fitness, diet, heart, and mind. To enrich our conversations on this topic, be on the lookout for a new voice coming to HebrewDawn as a regular contributor!

Fridays will continue be a mix of faith and fun. This should be a positive way to finish out our week, refresh our souls, and get us ready for the coming week.

Thank you for being a faithful reader,  and I hope you’ll be a part of the excitement however you may contribute to the conversation (questions, comments, or sharing a story too). As always I’ll hope you’ll spread the word to others of all that’s going on and all that’s coming so we can each be encourage and inspired as we journey together.

Happy Monday!