Throughout the workday one is obligated to perform assignments and answer to another in order to earn wages. One’s own personal feelings and thoughts may be set aside at least partially throughout the workday and that is why a personal time out is one of the ways to change hats at the end of the day. Even a 15 minute time out, or sanity break, if you would like to call it that, can do wonders for one’s perspective.
This is your time, so do not rehash the events through the day, especially if they were trying events. Those need to be set aside and replaced by “me” time. Take a moment to reflect on nature, family, a vacation you enjoyed, a personal accomplishment or something that was particularly satisfying or rewarding. One’s life needs a balance and if you dwell on your tasks or work or your family’s needs you can almost be assured that your energy will drain from you and you will not be up to the tasks at home.
One should not continually sacrifice of their time and energy without replenishing themselves. In trying to give their family their most they may be leaving themselves depleted so that there is a smaller and smaller resource of energy available to draw upon in order to be the caretaker they once were. The “well needs not run dry”, there are sources of replenishment. Here are a few:
- Prayer and meditation. Many find praying and meditating to be a constant source of spiritual strength. It helps to focus outside of one’s self and to stop and realize we are not the ones in charge here. There is a higher power.
- A nature walk. Studies have shown that walking is a wonderful and safe way to work out and a scenic route can also provide some lovely looks at nature. Green has a natural calming effect on the senses.
- Work out in the gym or play a game of your choice with friends. Many people gain enjoyment from joining golfing, bowling or other such clubs or leagues. The camaraderie will improve one’s outlook and self-esteem while the sport participation is a good cardiovascular workout.
- Garden. Flowers, herbs, and vegetables can be grown in a very small area or grown large scale. A garden can be as small as a window sill if need be. Many studies show that plants are beneficial not just for consumption but in preserving air quality and our earth. Gardens enhance our living areas and make life much more enjoyable. There is also something very rewarding in seeing a seed reach it’s maturity and provide us with beauty and sustenance.
- Take time out with a pet. Studies indicate that having a pet at home improves hospitalized patient’s recovery odds by 500% upon their release from the hospital. A pet provides unconditional love and devotion which cannot be measured.
- Soak your feet. There are many foot soak preparations, homemade and store bought which can relieve the tension felt in one’s feet and help to improve the overall mood. The pesky creeping Charlie that is springing up in yards everywhere has astringent and skin softening properties. Place some in a tied piece of fabric and drop it into a dishpan. Soak feet in warm water.
- Chat with a friend. Friends make a daily load much lighter and if they are going through their own ordeals (who isn’t) listening to theirs and helping them to solve them all the sudden brings our own into prospective.
- Make a thank you list. Somehow the frustrating things have a way of surfacing to the forefront of our mind. It is our choice to continue dwelling on those or to replace the unhappy thoughts with pleasant ones. Make a list of thanks you are grateful for and read through them.
- Eat a snack. There are foods, and there are power foods. While one may crave something sweet or fast there will be repercussions for grabbing the wrong one. Most fast food is weighed down with sugars, salts and fats. A healthy body will not stay healthy for long if fueled on the wrong diet. Grabbing a piece of fruit, some nuts or seeds is so much healthier and will not provide the sugar dump shortly after.
- Watch a funny movie. Laughter really is the best medicine. Laughter can lighten a load like no other remedy.
- Do volunteer work. Doing things for others is a very rewarding outlet.
If one is not good to themselves they will become unable to provide for others. The body needs to be taken care of to remain strong and healthy so if you are not good to yourself for your own sake do it for your loved ones.
(photo credit Rick)