Wow, the holidays are busy!
I swear every day a note comes home from school with something new that one of my children has to take in—whether it’s a present for another child or mittens for the homeless. Throw in some church activities and activities with my professional organization and general shopping . . . and this is NUTS.
At my ABWA meeting last week, the topic was “Managing Your Stress During the Holidays.” There were some great tips discussed, including defusing citrus essential oils, getting a massage, and exercise, but the one that stuck out to me was to step back and take a breather.
We all tend to be really hard on ourselves, constantly thinking that we have to accomplish everything within a certain time frame. Give yourself a break! I can’t tell you how recharged I feel after I intentionally spend my Sunday afternoons doing NOTHING—nothing but watching movies or reading a book, that is.
I really try to spend one afternoon on the weekend intentionally recharging my batteries. (And admittedly, I have thrown in the towel on some weeknights when there are no activities for the kids).
My house isn’t “show ready.”
There is laundry that needs to be folded and put away.
In my opinion, my sanity is worth so much more than these trivial things.
If you follow my blog, then you know that I have started running as an exercise activity. One critical part of participating in a couch to 5K training regimen is taking “rest days.” That’s because your muscles develop tiny tears in them, and you really have to take the time to recover or you risk injury.
The same is true in life. If you are so maxed out and overwhelmed and have forgotten to rest and recover, then you could get injured. No, you probably won’t “pull a hammie,” but you might be texting and driving in a frantic effort to address things and get into a car wreck. Or you might “drop the ball” with an important client because you didn’t stop and adjust your plan.
We can’t run on empty all of the time.
So why the “Smoke Break” theme? Yes, it is a catchy little tune by country pop singer Carrie Underwood. Personally, I can’t see her standing outside and risking damage to her amazing voice by taking an actual smoke break, but I think the point of the song is just, you know . . . chill out. Take a break. Step away for a few minutes.
When I left the ABWA meeting, there were three or four people literally taking a “smoke break” outside. Even though it’s not as culturally accepted anymore, good for them. They stepped away for a few minutes to collect themselves and recharge.
The next time YOU are feeling overwhelmed, I would strongly encourage you to take a (literal or figurative) smoke break.