OK. It’s spring. The flowers are blooming…the birds are singing. It’s time to drag out the mowers, dust off the lawn chairs and try to fit into last year’s bathing suit. Sounds wonderful, except the bathing suit part, unless you’re exhausted and in need of rest; then Spring is reduced to yellow pollen on everything, noise that makes you want to scream and yard work…at least you didn’t have to mow the grass during winter.
So, if you’re exhausted and overwhelmed and the whole Spring things makes you feel grouchy instead of springy, then do something about it. That’s right. Don’t just let life keep piling in on you. You are too valuable and what you are doing is too important to allow yourself to burn out. And the reality is, you are the only person that can prevent that. Don’t feel guilty. Don’t compare yourself to the “energizer bunny” in your church or one of your relatives. Pay attention to what your body and emotions are telling you. I understand the struggle to get it all done, but even Jesus needed refreshing.
Even though I am the queen of rushing through life at full speed, can Mama Pat offer a few suggestions.
- Get some rest! A full, good night of sleep can work wonders on your attitude and ability to accomplish more! If possible, schedule some downtime. Take a day off. At the very least, take a nap. In the book The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, they expose the paradigm “Energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance.” It really is possible to work harder and accomplish less.
- Exercise! I’m sorry I had to use that disgusting word, but it really is beneficial. We’ve been remodeling at our house so I recommended to my husband that we stop our 4 mile daily walk and spend that “energy” on the house. It wasn’t a good idea. Renewing that commitment to walk again has been difficult. Wayne and I both missed that time to enjoy the outdoors and each other, even though we do more than take a stroll, averaging four miles/hour.
- Relax! Take renewal breaks. What relaxes you? Work in the flower bed, take a stroll down a wooden path or on the beach. Take a bike ride or read a good book. For some people a bubble bath with candles is the ultimate relaxation.
- Laugh! That’s right, it’s powerful. According to the Bible, and both doctors and mental health agencies, laughter is beneficial to both physical and mental health. Laughter helps you relax both mentally and physically! I subscribe to You Make Me Laugh https://www.cybersalt.org/entertainment/clean-jokes/ and Jeff Larson’s https://thebackpew.com I read the Funny Papers and watch America’s Funniest Videos. I have a husband and son that make me laugh constantly. Sometimes I sit in the mall and watch…OK so I sit there and sometimes I laugh. I have to agree with Spike Jones, “People are funnier than anybody!”
- Deal with emotional drains! What drains you? Can you delegate it to someone else? It may be someone else’s joy instead of drain.
- Forgive quickly. Apologize even quicker.
- Don’t focus on the bad in a person, situation or organization; instead look for the good. Ask for God’s grace to deal with the bad.
- Don’t procrastinate.
- Talk nice to yourself. Change negative self-talk to positive self-talk.