We’ve all been there; at the end of a long day of work or momming, kids asking for help with homework, housework that needs to be done, a spouse who needs attention. And we have nothing to give. We’re empty and we need to recharge. We don’t always have time to spend a day at the spa or curl up with a book for hours on end, so what are some quick ways we can recharge our batteries? After all, we can’t take care of others if we don’t take care of ourselves, right? I remember the first time my doctor told me I needed to reduce the stress in my life. I was struggling with migraines and fighting cold sores and she looked me dead in the eye and said, “You have too much stress in your life.” I laughed and told her that unless she figured out a way to get my insurance company to cover a live in nanny, cook and housekeeper, there was no way. I had to figure out a few tricks on my own for reducing stress.
Regroup – Recharge
- Take a break. It’s completely acceptable to call a time out for yourself from time to time. Find a quiet space, whether it’s in your pantry or in the bathroom with the door locked, close your eyes and take some deep breaths. Spend a little time meditating or reflecting on the blessings of the day. Maybe jot them down in a journal or write them on little scraps of paper and collect them in a jar. When days are especially stressful, it can be helpful to pull out the journal or jar and read a few of the blessings to remind you of the good things.
- Schedule time just for yourself. It’s easy in our busy lives to neglect to make time for ourselves, so write it down. Put it on the calendar. Treat it like it’s sacred. Whether it’s spending an afternoon in a bookstore with a coffee or working taking dance lessons, find something you love and make time for it on a regular basis.
- Find a hobby. Pick up knitting or cross stitch, take some painting classes, or maybe learn how to garden. Finding something creative that you can do by yourself, or even involve your family, is good for the soul. There’s something very satisfying about getting your hands on a hobby and letting go of stress while creating something new. Channeling your stress into something you create is extraordinarily therapeutic.
- Exercise regularly. Whether it’s yoga, cross fit, running or just walking the dog every day, get out and get moving. When we keep active, we reduce the stress in our lives. It’s just as calming to zen out in a yoga class as it is to go to a kickboxing class.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. We’ve all heard this one before, but really, stop for a minute and change your perspective. Don’t take on so much responsibility. For real. If you don’t make four dozen cupcakes for the Band Concert, it’s not the end of the world. I promise you, someone else can do it, you don’t have to. And if you do find yourself in a situation where you’re required to provide a dozen cookies or maybe a side dish for a team dinner, buy it! There’s no shame in showing up with a dozen store bought cookies. They’re still delicious, I guarantee it.