If you’re like most women, you cram more than your share of projects and deadlines into every day. With a list a mile long, you live life focused on completion, meeting (ridiculously high) standards, covering all the bases, and making sure you never neglect anyone or anything along the way.
You’re focused, hard-working, and forever the person in charge. You step up to the plate. Every. Single. Time.
You have to, amiright? That stuff won’t get done by itself.
Listen, I understand. I was that woman, too. Forever the list-maker, the achiever, the over-doer, I was always the volunteer and person in charge. I loved it. On the surface, it actually felt really, really good. In fact I wouldn’t have experienced much of my early success without those early behaviors. Chances are, your focus on production and over-achievement probably serves you well, too.
But The Problem
While chronic busy-ness serves a useful purpose, it doesn’t come without a heavy price. We’re talking sleep, weight, relationships, happiness, and all of it.
You know what I’m talking about.
I meet women every day who do way too much.
Perhaps you know you’re too busy and admit your suffering out loud. Or, maybe you don’t know it, but your busy-ness shows up in the form of sickness or pain. I meet high-achieving women going through all kinds of things in my my practice every week.
A Simple Solution
There is a solution, and it’s a lot simpler than you might think.
It’s down time— however you define that for yourself.
Down time refers to time for yourself, doing things that bring pleasure. This isn’t a luxury, by the way. It’s necessary for a healthy, stress-free life.
If you were to ask me 10 or 20 years ago when was the last time I sat around doing nothing, I’d have laughed at you out loud. Back then, I couldn’t even recall a time when I allowed myself time to just sit and be. I believed it was a huge weakness to goof off, so I never allowed myself the indulgence, for it would destroy my production for the whole day.
Boy, was I wrong.
Looking back at the wisdom of people who counseled, “Go for a walk, read a book, or take a nap”, I see now that I had a lot to learn about health and happiness. My lack of this kind of awareness didn’t allow me to see past the flurry of activity and endless stream of things on my schedule.
If I’d allowed myself regular time off, I wouldn’t have developed my illness, nor the painful symptoms that plagued me for many years.
Say YES to rest and play
Fast forward many years, much research, and many experiences and I see the things that stole big chunks of my life away. I am now called to counsel women and spread the important message about the value of self-care.
Often, I’m met with resistance — those familiar excuses I used for many years, too. Despite them, we work together on prioritizing, eliminating distractions, and discarding time-sucking activities. We rework schedules and find blocks of necessary time for the rest and peace they so richly deserve. Plus, I teach how to accept self-care without guilt, otherwise it isn’t self-care at all.
The 7-Day Challenge
Ready to try something better in your life?
Will you commit to making time for rest & play daily for a week?
I’d like to see you take an hour daily, for one week. But, if you can’t, 30 minutes will do.
You can keep a journal about how you feel if that’s your jazz. Or, just reflect on the experience before you go to bed at night to notice if you feel any different.
If, after a week, you don’t feel the challenge has been worth it, I understand…it just might not be your time to receive this message. But, if you’ve enjoyed it, keep going. You’ll grow in knowing the importance of down time for your mind, body and spirit.
To your evolution,
As a coach, writer, recovered over-doer and busyness addict, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle while the mind tries to sabotage your success. In my journey to vibrant health, I created a personalized health system of nutrition and supplementation, lifestyle changes, and I retrained my mind and the energy of my body. I view my success as the formula to my happy, healthy life. I now empower other women to create their own personalized formulas, including the tools and strategies just right for them! Amazing life shifts come from our relationships. I look forward to helping you, too!.
Wow! I’d swear you have my house tapped! So let me ask this, how long is the downtime each day and what are we allowed to do in it? At this point when I have time to myself its spent grading work, organizing, purging our home, or educating myself on TJed to try and swap our homeschool routine to something off the conveyor belt model. One or twice every week or two I allow myself some game time with hubby online. All of this though does not happen until about 9pm at night, until roughly midnight (bedtime).
Stephanie, Do whatever you want for however long you want 🙂 But, for many women, busy moms like you, it may only be 20 minutes, and you’ll need to schedule this in (or set a reminder) or it just may not happen. I would also offer that maybe (an idea?) you might forego some of the other [useful] things you’re doing every once in a while to just sit and rest. I know it’s productive (organizing, purging), but unless THAT’S your down time, is still “work”, you know? Thank you for sharing! Let us know how you’re doing too XO
Christina @There's Just One Mommy says
I am so there.
Homeschooling and doing chores and trying to get it all done…I hardly ever take time for just myself. I did take a bath last night. Those 30 minutes were a real treat! I need to take this challenge.
Standing with you, Christina! Good luck XO
I think this a very important topic – thanks! The challenge for me is and has always been to define what is ‘work’ and what is ‘play’ as the lines get blurred when I actually enjoy ‘work’….as a homeschool mom with a business, what is work and what is not? So it is still a challenge for me to distinguish and really understand myself well enough to know when I need real rest. But I am up for the 7day challenge.
Thanks for bringing that important distinction forward, and welcome aboard the challenge! Can’t wait to hear how you do!
How is your challenge coming along? Sending positive energy for your success!