This summer has taken a lot of out of us! While we feel like we missed out on a lot of traditional summer fun, somehow we are coming out it more worn down and ragged than ever. I really hate to remind you that with the arrival of fall is the arrival of the holidays too. A season that beats everything out of you the older you get. Before we hit that point of no return, let’s get our bodies and minds right- Re energized- so that when that fall wall does hit, we have all the tools we need to kick it down and keep moving.
The first step to getting re energized is rebooting. The best way to do that is to take a day off. Not a day you already have off. Take a day off where you would normally be doing your daily routine- whatever that may be. On this day off, evaluate yourself. Take mental stock of what aches and pains you have, the stressors, where you are using the most of your resources. What is taking up the most of your time and energy, but also is that a good use of your time and energy? Take a minute to think a about if your biggest stressors are worth stressing over or if there is a solution to them.
After all that thought, stop. Rest your mind from worry. Don’t use the day off to spiral. Only to problem solve! And the most problem solving is done when you’re resting. Rest is different for everyone. If you have kids, the odds are, you aren’t actually going to spend the day napping. Hell, if you’re just an on-the-go person the idea of a nap might stress you out even more. Do whatever resting is to you. Maybe it’s watching a movie series with your family and not cooking dinner that night. Rest to you might mean working on a hobby you don’t get to pick up very often. Don’t try to fit what rest is traditionally into your day off- because that can be stressful when you already know in your heart what you want to do.
One of the best feelings in the world is a sense of accomplishment. It makes you feel on top of the world. Like you could do anything after that. Another thing you
can do to get you back in motion is complete a project. You could even do this on your day off. Complete any project. Big or small, new or one that you started forever ago and set down at some point just to forget about it. Surely you can think a project that needs to be done. If not one that needs to be done, then a project that you’d just simply like to be finished. Anything from reorganizing the closet to finishing a book is fair game. The project itself really doesn’t matter- it’s what you do with that feeling after, now that’s the ticket. Use it to propel you forward.
Use that “on top of the world” feeling to start something new. Starting something new is exciting. It gives you an adrenaline rush. You’re suddenly back in learning mode and absorbing the energy around you. The beginning of most things is the best part. Most people call it the honeymoon phase. Sure, it’s normally a temporary feeling but the sake of ending your summer on a high note- we’ll take it!
This summer has been a non starter for a lot of activities so finding something new to dip your toes into could be exactly what you’re searching for as you transition into a new season. New is shiny. New is fresh. New is going to help you feel refreshed. My job isn’t to tell you what that new thing is though. You can figure it out on your own. I will say the most fun is the stuff that is a little outside your comfort zone, so you might try to steer away from the obvious. There is also something to be said for doing things you’re good at though. Again, take a peek in your heart and listen to it. It always knows what to do. Get in touch with your intuition here. That’s going to help with this next thing we are going to try.
Shake things up! Fun for some, terrifying for others but either way you need to give this a shot. When you change your routine up, you force your brain to start approaching your everyday tasks in a new way. It can lead to better efficiency from finding out what does/doesn’t work, innovation, eliminating a step you discover is no longer beneficial to your day, or just the opposite- adding one.
Your brain is definitely one of those use it or lose it things. You have to treat it like a muscle. If you’re not regularly thinking acutely or “on your toes” then what you’re doing gets lost in that autopilot zone. You are not on your best when you’re on autopilot. That’s not only when sloppiness happens but boredom and fatigue as well. It’s okay to be tired but not when it’s something you are perfectly capable of handling.
So how do we shake things up? It honestly doesn’t have to be something dramatic. It can be, waking up at a different time- forcing yourself to change your pace one way or the other. My favorite way to shake things up in a small way is changing the order in which I check those everyday things off of my to do list. Yes, even just changing the order of how you’re doing the exact same things can make a HUGE difference. You might realize doing it a new way is more fluid or that when you knock something out first it’s actually easier for you. Sometimes changing the order just makes you think more about what you’re doing and it forces a better product out of it.
A little can go a long way with this one. Remember we are just trying to shake things up, not dump everything out of the toy box. Find a way you can shake up your routine and see how it makes you approach your day differently. Flex that brain.
Feeling re energized also comes from feeling worthy. Hear me out… Get yourself some flowers. Flowers not only light up the room, but having plants around is scientifically proven to boost mood, creativity, and productivity. Treat yourself to your favorite flower. Build your own bouquet to get a little creative. You don’t need someone to buy the flowers for you for it to feel special. I promise.
Place them in the room you spend the most time in or the room you see when you go to start your day. For me, that’s my kitchen. It lights my brain up to see those beautiful colors in the dull grey of morning. Feeling bright, feeling worthy gives yourself a little lift. That little lift might be just what you needed to put an extra push in your day.
Want to know what else makes you feel good? When you get to do something you love with someone you love. Sharing a moment with someone you care about activates all those pleasure centers in your brain. When you feel good, you want to do more. Can’t argue with that. Sometimes all you need to be renewed is have a little fun. A lot of stuff isn’t full open yet or you might still be uncomfortable going out if it is open. I understand that more than anyone as a social butterfly who is now suddenly high-risk due to pregnancy. This year is all about thinking outside the box and if you haven’t had a chance to do that yet, now is the time.
Before I got knocked up, one thing my husband and I did was a “wines of the world” wine tasting. We got a wine from 6 or so countries – multiple times – one weekend it was reds, another whites, and finally blends! I made little foods to represent each country, we played music from each during that particular glass. It was a great time and beautiful memory made.
Drinking isn’t for everyone, especially me now! Between all the drive-ins and delivery services, you can find something fun to share with a friend or loved one. Our newest adventure has been prepping things for the baby but soon we are going to take a weekend to order one of these date boxes- or maybe the Hunt A Murderer box. We can’t decide, might just have to do both. Don’t dwell on bars and restaurants being half-closed because if you think your happiness is centered around that, you have a lot to learn about what real happiness is.
So far we have been talking about getting your mind right before the fall hits. Mind over matter, right? Well, that’s only partially true. Your body is your go-machine. you might be happy as can be but if your body doesn’t let you do what you want, it’s discouraging to even try. Time to get your body right. It’s okay if you’re a little… softer than you were when the year began. Fitness is a journey that takes your whole life. There is no real ending point and sometimes you take breaks. It happens.
On top of it helping you move and get that renewed energy flowing, getting your body in shape does help with your mental acuity. Movement, more specifically vigorous movement, releases endorphins. Those are the smiley chemicals you want floating around your noggin. So it does all come full circle. You can only achieve as much as your body and mind- TOGETHER- will let you.
When it comes to getting your body in shape, remember it’s not just working out. It’s about 40% working out and 60% what you fuel your body with. I know, not what you want to hear. It’s often easier to do a work out than it is to think about what you’re eating everyday. The better you fuel your body, the easier those athletic movements get. Your body wants to be fueled properly too. You’ll get used to it, I promise. That good feeling will eventually take over and form good habits you don’t have to think about as often. Mind and matter have to work together. Do what feels good- and no, the Taco Bell doesn’t actually feel good. Ask your stomach… and your toilet. They will tell you the same. Don’t ask your tastebuds. They’re liars!
If you made it to the end of this, congratulations! You just reached the starting point. Hopefully this not only got you excited to re energized but also gave you some of your own ideas. Getting renewed isn’t a one size fits all guide. You’ll find what works for you. The first step is just trying!