As the summer months come to an end and a new season begins, I find myself feeling stretched a little thin. At these moments I have to remind myself about the importance of slowing down and recharging. I like to think of my energy like water in a bucket. If my bucket is full, then I can accomplish what’s on my to-do list and enjoy my day. As I check things off that to-do list, however, my bucket depletes until I’m left with almost nothing. It’s when my bucket is almost empty that I need to slow down and take some time to recharge.
I’ve known this about myself since my college days. Between my classes, extracurricular activities, campus jobs, and Sigma Kappa meetings and events my bucket was always drying up! That hasn’t changed as I’ve gotten older – I still have work responsibilities, hobbies, and relationships that impact how full my bucket is. Identifying this about myself has helped me learn to anticipate when I might experience those feelings of needing to recharge. To help, there are four tips I use to recharge and fill my bucket that I’d like to share with you!
Spend at least 15 minutes outside everyday.
As someone who works from home in a one-car household, it’s not unusual for me to have a day pass by where I don’t leave our apartment. But after a couple of days of that I can get a little stir crazy! Spending at least 15 minutes outside everyday helps me to recharge and give my mind a break from all of the things still waiting for me inside. It could be as simple as walking up and down my block or sitting out on my apartment porch; as long as I’m breathing some fresh air I’m giving my mind a chance to refocus and my body a chance to recharge.
Have a social media free weekend.
I don’t know about you, but with easy access to social media through multiple devices and platforms, it can sometimes feel like I’m too connected. It’s not hard for me to begin comparing my rather normal life to the curated lives I see in the posts of the people and brands that I follow. Sometimes, after all that comparison, I can feel like it’s just too much access. That’s when I take a social media free weekend. During these weekends I refrain from checking and posting anything on any social media platform. I know some of you can feel your fingertips itching right now thinking about not having access to those updates from your friends and family – it’s ok! Everyone will still be there when you check back in after the weekend. Taking a break from the curated posts in my social media feeds is a great way for me to enjoy my life without feeling the pressure to do or buy something that I see someone else having through social media.
Read a book or do a project just for fun.
There are certain times of the year when work projects can easily take up the majority of my day. Because I work from home I can be tempted to extend my work day just to get ahead or check something off of my list. When I have that impulse to work longer than my normal hours I pick out a new book to read or find a new knitting project to work on. Having something to do that excites my creative side makes me more likely to shutdown my computer at the end of the work day. By taking time to slow down and enjoy something totally unrelated to everything else I’ve been thinking about throughout the earlier part of the day, I am able to recharge.
Review my daily routine.
Because my husband works on a college campus, his work schedule changes depending on the classes he is taking and teaching. As a result, we often think about our routine in semesters. At the beginning of each semester, we review our daily routine and try to identify the times for recharging before we will actually need them. For example, this fall semester we are planning to start each day by eating breakfast together and giving our minds and bodies an adequate amount of time to wake up before we jump into our work day. We also have blocked out creative time every weekend for those fun projects that often get pushed to the bottom of the list when work increases. We also plan date nights each month to continually refocus on our relationship. By setting this routine at the beginning of the semester and checking in on it each month we are able to anticipate when recharging will become necessary.
I have always had the tendency to push a little harder and work a little longer to achieve my goals. This means that, when I don’t give my mind and body regular breaks, I tend to live with a rather empty bucket. What I’ve learned is that, if I don’t slow myself down, eventually all of my motivation, excitement, and energy is lost, making me almost useless. By using these four tips to recharge I am able to feel more in control of my life and, as a result, live with a fuller bucket!
I hope you find value in these four tips, and I’d love to hear other ways in which you recharge. What reminds you to slow down and take a break?