It’s Friday, a slight glance at the clock reveals it’s 4:55pm, a rush of excitement fills you; the weekend is here! You’re free, energized with an unexpected burst of energy in a tank that’s been depleted since Wednesday.
For many years, this has been the Friday evening routine; yet, as you’ve gotten older with more responsibilities you aren’t as excited about the weekend any longer. Now, at 4:55pm it is not excitement you think of, it’s a list of things that must be done tomorrow. In a sense, the weekend is just another work day; and by Monday you are on fumes. Continuing this pattern only leads to poor coping, exhaustion, frustration and dehydration; all and all…nothing good.
Alone time is a basic survival need
We are all masters of doing what we need to survive. We make to-do lists whether mental or physical taking care of our families and responsibilities. But, how many times do we add wellness, relaxation or unplugging to that list?
“It takes courage to say yes to rest and play….” Brene Brown
The mindfulness to make the effort to unplug, relax, and refresh is a major responsibility. It’s a much a benefit to your family and other responsibilities as it is to you. Nothing can be done properly if you are not operating at 100% or at least some where close to it!
I experienced this lesson at a young age, while in college. Carrying a full course load, double major in psychology and japanese, working 3 jobs to pay bills and tuition, traveling back and forth home to oversee treatment and care of a terminally ill family member; It is an understatement to say I BURNED OUT. It took quiet awhile to regain my “charge”. Ever since I do not neglect the need for rest mentally or physically when my body tells me.
In my adult life with a heavy work load and personal responsibilities taking this time away on a whim isn’t realistic. However when I see a break in my schedule I absolutely take advantage of it. And if it hasn’t been a break for a significant amount of time, I make one. Alone time is a basic survival need…it’s practically mandatory. With that knowledge in mind, “Unplugging” is the one word text I send to my family just before I turn off my phone so they are aware they wont receive any response from me. Immediately I begin to enjoy complete silence from any and everyone…. from everything. My family are made aware I’m back “online” from a flood of text responses on family chat, calls or messages as early as 4am the next morning. This is a pattern that has become norm and essential in my life. Though it isn’t easy to resist stopping at my computer “just to check my email, or update my calendar” I take the time needed for me; knowing I will be even better at attaining my goals by Monday.
Refreshed by Monday
It’s not always easy, Brene Brown says it best, “it takes courage to say yes to rest and play…” but making time to refresh is priority, Being refreshed at the start of your week will be one of the most beneficial things you can do. It’s simple, here’s how:
- Set phone on airplane mode : For emergencies ONLY give one or two family members an alternate way to contact you
- Power down your computer: No social media : when you begin scrolling it can absorb hours of your day, taking away quality time and energy needed to recharge.
- Order in / pre-cook your meals: Don’t spend this rare time to yourself cooking and cleaning. Get your favorite meal! Warm something pre-made.
- Read a book: The best seller you bought, now collecting dust on your desk…read it!
- Watch all your favorite movies / show: Binge watch your favorite show or movie.
- Part of scheduling this time it to ensure you are well rested: It is perfectly fine to doze off between movies, episodes or chapters. You should actually make it a goal.
- Being refreshed, having that inner glow is the main goal of this effort. This could be achieved with a day at the spa, hanging out with your favorite person(s), doing your favorite thing(s).