This past Monday I sent out a newsletter to my inner circle talking about allowing ourselves to recharge in order to bring focus back into our lives. Lots of my mamas thanked me for saying something that they really needed to hear, so I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the topic. All of my best stuff goes out to my inner circle on Mondays. If you’re not on the list, you can sign up here.
As women and moms we’re so proud of our ability to be busy and multitask. We love talking about how busy we are: I totally do this! Someone asks: how’s your week going? My response: super-busy, but good thanks! We wear our busyness and our exhaustion as badges of honour as if there’s shame in taking the time to slow down and recharge. The result: we become unfocused, low energy and impatient. The bottom line is though, that we need to focus a bit of our energy on ourselves if we’re going to be able to focus on everything else and everyone else who needs our attention. If you’re struggling with this, I recommend reading The Power of Full Engagement (by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz). It’s a game changer.
After reading this book, I’ve been thinking a lot about quality time vs. quantity time and the ability to be fully engaged whatever task I’m doing: whether it’s being with the kids, getting work done or even just being able to fully relax during ‘down time’. I know that when I don’t give myself any breaks a task that *should take 20 minutes can take an hour. In continuing to push ourselves through the day without recharge time, we’re doing a disservice to ourselves and to the people who depend on us.
I wanted to share a couple of recharge rituals that I’ve decided to incorporate into my week in order to really enjoy some down time and as a result be better able to focus during my up times.
Sleeping more. I’ve always resisted having an ‘early’ bedtime because the time after my kids go to bed is MY time. I know you relate, moms. Those precious hours between 9 and midnight are the only ones that I get to do whatever I want to do. I was finding though, that MY time was turning in to blurr of ‘relaxation’ (red wine + TV) and catching up on computer work. So really, I wasn’t enjoying the downtime and I was wasting tonnes of time trying to get work done while half-assedly watching TV(which is also not cool). It’s definitely a bit of an adjustment to get the lights out by 10:30, but the energy payoffs the next day are totally worth it so far.
Scheduling blocks of time. I’m focusing more on using any blocks of time that I get for specific items on my to-do list (including exercise). When I wasn’t scheduling the time, it became hard to prioritize the things that were important to me. My work time was super unfocused, bouncing from task to task (whatever I felt like working on in that moment) and it always seemed to deteriorate into a downward scroll on the Facebook news feed. Scheduling a certain amount of time for work, followed by a certain amount of time for a break and some movement lets me focus better, knowing that I get to spend some time on myself once I’m done focusing on what I actually need to do. It’s been a really productive strategy so far!
I’d love to here if you’re adding some new recharge rituals into day. Send me an email anytime. xo J
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