When there is a compelling vision driving us forward, momentum is high and resistance seems insignificant, things like sleep, rest and self care can go by the wayside. With the to do's getting done and growth happening, not to mention excitement for progress and frustration at not being further along yet, the body and mind can become inundated. This, on one hand, can be very rewarding. The drive becomes fuel to keep going. This connection with "why I'm doing what I'm doing" is necessary for any accomplishment. This blessing can become a curse when imbalance seeps in. When break time isn't built in, burn out happens and motivation is squashed. I see this potential for veering off track and losing sight of what matters, burn up or burn out, being balanced out by strategically scheduling in breaks. Some of the most productive, peaceful and successful people I know do. I've followed suit and am seeing the benefits in every area of life.
I've heard plenty of people say "I'll just power through, rest when I'm dead." I am not one of these people. If I don't take breaks, I go hard and either get agitated or overloaded, I'm unable to see things clearly and default negative thinking takes the wheel. When fatigue, fear, frustration and force combine, it becomes all the more difficult to get back to a consistent, forward moving pace. Have you ever woken up from a nap only to feel more alert, aware and enthusiastic than before? What about getting up from the desk and going outside for ten minutes, coming back to the absence of writer's block and a fresh perspective on the task in front of you? Plenty of clients have asked me how to schedule this when the days are full. My first response has been, take a nap. Literally. Maybe a snooze midday sing doable for you, no worries. How about closing the eyes for thirty seconds and breathing? Here are some of my go to's, the basics that when chosen (not just talked about) work wonders in keeping me moving forward without short circuiting: Consistent sleep (this is where discipline comes in, naps help too), going outside without technology's distractions (start with moving around the house first if you're hooked to your phone), setting a timer for every hour to get up and walk around the house when I am at the computer for large parts of the day, pausing to breathe (I even set a reminder on my phone for this to get in the habit). Being strategic isn't about working harder or complicating things, it involves working smarter and leveraging time. Setting myself up for the long haul means being strategic about how I spend my time, with whom and where. Taking responsibility for my self, health and wealth requires becoming conscious and decisive about the daily choices I make.
With a drive for life, whether propelled by survival mode or a clear dream, the temptation to sprint to the finish line is quite tempting. Can't this just be over already? Am I there yet? Hurry, hurry, hurry. Thinking in terms of a marathon versus a sprint makes the idea of taking breaks more reasonable, safe, even wise. If I'm in it for the long haul, preparing myself for the journey means going strong and hard. It also means giving my body, mind and spirit space to rejuvenate and rest. Since I'm by no means a marathon runner, I'll use another metaphor. Consider going on a road trip. If the car stays in constant motion without stops for gas, checking the oil, filling the tires with air, or scrubbing bugs off the windshield, at some point the car will stop and not start up again. We are the same. The systems that make up our machine require care. Yes, we can drive at 105 and zip to where we want to go down the block. Maintaining 105mph for a cross country trip on the other hand is not sustainable. Finding a pace, creating a pace, for ourselves with checks and balances is key to living into the experience you desire. I say YES to having drive, passion, a go-getter, there's no stopping me mindset. Please do! I will also say YES to honoring the periods of rest that are required to be a person of holistic health.
How are you strategic about your self care time? Do you know what it means to really and truly rest? What is one thing you will do today to become more familiar with the balance of breathing into a break?
Be in touch and let me know how you're striking a balance and what is being found along the way. Need some hints on how to proceed or an accountability partner on your journey? Contact me here.
As usual, I believe in you.
Keep plugging away & don't forget to pause.
Darcy Helene Meehan
As an advocate of Reinvention + Recovery, I work with clients to achieve balance, alignment and purpose in all areas