“Everything looks better in the morning”. This is what my dad used to say if I ever confided in him about a tough day. He would comfort me with these words and tell me that things were never as bad as they seemed to be, that there are people in this world who are suffering much more, and that the next day would bring new thoughts, new feelings, and fresh eyes. I remember these lessons well and it is especially helpful now, as an adult, to take these words of wisdom to heart and live them out. As I have said, sometimes I definitely feel burnt out and run down and as if I am on a never-ending, never-changing track. Life is the same each and every day and there is less and less separation between work and play. It is times like these that I find myself envious of my computer…
You see, the computer, when stuck or “frozen” has what is called a refresh button. And we simply push this button to reload the computer to get to a fresh screen. I so very much wish sometimes that I had this button too. How nice would it be to help ourselves move forward by simply pressing a button and enjoying a fresh “page”? We could press it and then feel change has come. Well, since we are not computers and life is not this simple, I have been thinking of some ideas that could serve as “refresh buttons” in our lives.
First, I think we can feel “refreshed” by change. Even a small change can make a difference. It is all too easy for us to do the same thing day in and day out and, then, of course, to feel bored and stuck in a rut. By making small changes, we may become “refreshed”. It could be walking a new route to work, buying groceries at a new store, taking a new class, making a new friend, or switching when you do certain activities at certain times in the day such as running at night instead of the morning or doing chores on a weekday instead of a weekend. These small adjustments may change what and who you see and help you get off the “wheel of sameness”.
Second, I recommend a true day off when you feel tired and worn out. A day off where you schedule NOTHING. This would be a day of no commitments or appointments or to do’s and a day of freedom and fun. We are so scheduled, most of our lives; we have responsibilities to our jobs, to our family, and to our friends. But, we also have a responsibility to ourselves. This day off would allow you to rest and take it easy so much that you may even become creative and inspired and thus even better equipped to help others, should you choose. It’s difficult to take an entire day, I know. But, when possible, I swear by this strategy.
Lastly, in order to “refresh”, I suggest practicing self-care. Along with being busy and feeling stale, we often neglect ourselves and our needs. If you can, take some time to take extra care of your needs: emotional, social, physical, and spiritual. This may not take much. Again, small changes can make a difference. But, it does take some planning and intention. Try to make time for self-care and do what you need to do in order to feel a sense of balance and restoration. It could be journal writing, time to be still, phoning a friend, walking, praying, or just thinking. Whatever you choose to do is a step towards this practice and the opportunity to refresh yourself.
I strongly believe that these three strategies will help to feel refreshed. It is not the click of a button, but making some small changes, taking a day off to rest, and taking care of yourself, are taking action towards a more fulfilling life.