We live in a society that perpetuates the myth that we should be performing at our absolute best 100 percent of the time. This is just not the way we are wired. We are part of nature and all we have to do is look at natural cycles for a lesson in the organic pattern of exertion and rest. Certain plants produce buds in the spring, blossom into flowers and leaves in the summer, and lose their bloom in autumn, then hiberntate in the winter.
Although we are not a hibernating species, we do have natural sleep/wake cycles, Unfortunately, we have been conditioned to ingnore them. Ignoring these natural cycles leads to fatigue, chronic stress, even disease. This is self-abusive, and on a practical level, unproductive. We need to tend to the miraculous machine that is our physical body, in order to keep producing at optimum levels.
Today’s letting go project is simple: honor your energy cycles throughout this day. Here’s how:
1. Monday is an especially good day to notice your energy level. Did you rest enough this weekend? Are you dragging from a busy holiday full of family and food? If so, go easy today. You can work on your to-do list AND take short breaks throughout the day to recharge. Try stepping outside and taking three deep breaths. Even three to five deep focused breaths can restore calm, clear energy.
2. Look at your schedule for the week. Do you feel overwhelmed by everything you need to accomplish? See wich commitments you can let go of. If this feels diffiicult, enlist the help of a trusted friend or loved one to help you cut back.
3. Take a look at the next month. Most likely you have holiday parties planned, PTA meetings, office gatherings. Do you have downtime scheduled? Take a few minutes to plug in daily and weekly energizing activities. We are all energized by different activities. Maybe you need a brisk walk, gentle yoga, or body work. Listen to the cues your body is giving you.
Just like nature, we need cycles of recovery after exertion. Let go of the myth that you are the energizer bunny.
We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness every day!
For more on the exertion/rest cycle take a look at the following books. (we only recommend books we like!).