More often than not, we finally take a break long after the need for it began to arise! However, what would it look like if we would give ourselves permission to take a break BEFORE we needed it! Well, perhaps it would be helpful to list some of the telling signs that show us that we are “spent”:
1. Even upon rising in the morning we feel a sense of dread rather than hope and anticipation. We dread the tasks of the day;we just feel tired.
2. We find ourselves having a shorter fuse than we normally have. We will react strongly to situations that we would have navigated better when we had greater life balance.
3. We start to sabotage the “good systems” we have had in place~ excercise, rest, quiet time with the Lord, and “screen free” time. We make excuses saying that we just don’t feel like taking the time.
4. Often our food choices start to waver. We start eating foods we know make us feel bad. We tell ourselves “We’ll start eating better on Monday”.
5. We can begin to feel apathetic. We can waste our time surfing the web, watching mindless television, ignoring phone calls, and even turning down invitations from friends.
These are just a few of the signs that we are in need of a break!
Now sometimes we need a break at a time when we cannot take a vacation; cannot disengage from our responsibilities. So, how can we find ways to re-group and catch our breath? Here’s a few:
1. Get offline. If we are overwhelmed the last thing we need is to burden ourselves with media information, mindless games, and even an over-dose of Facebook. We need to give ourself a chance to breathe!
2. Take a “staycation”. Use local attractions to your benefit; live music, picnic in a park, go to a Museum, take a hike, rent a Kayak, take a cooking class, simply take the opportunity to make a refreshing memory. It’s amazing how activities like these lift our spirits and give us a fresh attitude.
3. Read or watch something light-hearted~ something that causes rich laughter.
4. Take a spiritual retreat. Set aside a full day – somewhere private or peaceful where there would be time to rest, read inspirational thoughts, pray, journal, eat chocolate, a dream again.
5. Grant permission to say “No.” We are often exhausted by maintaining activities that have served their time. Allowing yourself to re-think the activities that fill your weeks and to say “No” to create greater bandwidth is a gift you give yourself!
For all of us; learning when enough is enough will be key. Learning to recognize when our energy is expiring will help us to take that needed break BEFORE we need that break!! 🙂