Taking my own advice is not one of my strong suits. But I hope that by dishing it out, I’ll better be able to pick it up and run with it. Or in this case, take a nap with it.

I’m talking about rest and recuperation. Our bodies thrive on the work-rest cycle. So do our minds.  But that doesn’t stop most of us from abusing the heck out of ourselves.

Celebrate Accomplishment

I just finished a big, brain-challenging project. Hooray for me!  I crossed the finish line — on my birthday, no less. And instead of breathing, smelling the roses, and sipping some iced tea on the deck, I started a list of things I need to accomplish over the next week. Well, OK, I did take myself to see a movie the next day, but I made myself promise to work over the weekend to make up for that. *sigh*

Working hard is not a bad thing. I’m not advocating total chaos and loss of control. But there is something wrong with this picture. There is no downtime worked into the deal. There needs to be.

If you just keep going and going for too long, parts of you start to give out. If you don’t shut down for a time in a planned and voluntary way, you might shut down at some point in a very unplanned and involuntary way.  I’ve seen this happen to people (some very close to me), and I hope that one of these days it’ll sink in enough to teach me to really do as I preach.  I’m getting there. Baby steps.

Power Down to Power Up

At the end of a long day, we go to sleep.  At the end of a long project, we should get a spa day. It scares the heck out of me, and I’m not sure I can do it, but I’m going to try to have an at-home spa day.  Well, maybe a half-day. I think that’s as far as my fevered “gotta get stuff done” self can stretch at this point.

Planning it out will help. So, here goes:

  1. I’ll light some candles and play soft, soothing music.
  2. I’ll apply a facial mask while the tub fills with aromatic, bubbly suds.
  3. Luxuriating in the bath, I will allow myself to daydream about something other than “the next project.”
  4. When I climb out of the tub, I’ll wrap my hair in a towel and my self in a warm terry robe, and I’ll lie down on the bed to rest. If I fall asleep, great.  No stress. Maybe I’ll even put some cucumber slices on my eyes.  Nah — waste of food.  Baby steps.

Will I really do this?  Can I?  We’ll see.  I’ll let you know.  In the meantime, do as I say!  Take a break. Plan it out and execute your plan. You can feel a sense of accomplishment about that too!