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Any time I get sick, inevitably my dad will call and ask how I am feeling and then follow up with “you must have been doing too much and not getting your rest”. It is one of his dad’isms, one of his favorite sayings and pieces of wisdom: Lots of rest, and low stress=no sickness (not that he necessarily always follow his own advice). But he is right, last week after weeks of pushing myself to hard, not getting enough rest and not engaging in self care I got sick. SICK: stuffy nose, cough, headache, barely move you are so tired sick. So I rested. I rested because clearly my body was telling me I needed to. The body is an amazing thing–if you don’t take a break and rest it will make it very clear to you when you need to.
The irony of it was earlier that week I was just talking to a friend about the need to take a break every now and then. Not just a physical restful break but an emotional, mental break. That when we are going through transition (job change/search, loss, relationship issues, general life struggles) sometimes we can’t be ‘processing all our emotions’ or reacting and acting in the most mentally healthy of ways. Sometimes we need to allow ourselves time off from life.
I remember a few years ago I heard Ilyana Vanzant speak and she was talking about the power of re-charging, taking a break, taking care of ourselves. So when she started sharing her favorite re-charging practices, I thought I was going to hear some wonderfully soothing practices of meditation, yoga or prayer. And then she said hands down her favorite relaxation activities was to put on her pajamas and sprawl across the bed watching Law and Order repeats.
I was amazed! I was relieved! Here is a self-help guru, a woman who teaches on spiritual practices telling us that she LOVES watching Law and Order repeats and finds great comfort in it! It was then I realized, there is no right way. We all are doing the best we can with what we have and we all need to give ourselves a break!!! Remember that change is hard, transitions are exhausting and there is no ‘right’ way to move forward. Sometimes when we push too hard we can end up exhausted and frustrated. It is counter-intuitive but in order to make quality decisions and to know what’s best for ourselves and others, we need to give ourselves a chance to rest, regroup and relax. Whether that means sitting watching TV while playing Plants vs. Zombies (my personal favorite), having coffee with a friend, taking a nap, doing yoga or going for a run. Whatever allows you to relax and disconnect for awhile is helpful.
What is your favorite way to regroup and relax?