In a country that is focused on production and the “bottom line,” many of us find the action of pounding the pavement in work or studies exhausting. We may even feel burnt out after a time. Whether you find yourself feeling drained and overwhelmed by exams for school, completing that final project before holiday deadlines or getting in last minute sales, there is a pre-holiday energy in our society that can make us feel rushed to get things done. While deadlines may truly be pending and the time crunch may feel very real, it is in these spaces that it is even more important to reclaim your space for inner creativity, play and peace.
When you find yourself saying, “I have absolutely no time for that right now,” to the self-care activities that you know will nourish your spirit, take a moment to check-in. Are you feeling overwhelmed and worn out? Perhaps you can take that as a sign that it is time to put down the pen, the computer or the cell phone and step out on an hour-long nature walk. Take 30 minutes of your day to pull out your favorite adult coloring book or guitar and just play. Let your mind wander and reset. You can even schedule a dinner date with your close friends to just unwind. Planning out this time in your week to let go, relax, play and have fun is a key ingredient in finding the extra boost of energy you need to keep going with whatever you are working on.
Still struggling to put down the electronics? Let’s look at a marathon runner for an example. Imagine you are running a marathon. In the beginning you have plenty of incentive, gusto and motivation to sprint, run and gallop towards the end of the race. However, as time goes by, your muscles begin to ache, your mouth becomes parched and thirsty and you start to slow down and wonder if your body will actually be able to make it. What inspires you to keep going? The part of the race where you see your friends cheering you on from the sidelines and the short pit stop you take to rehydrate and maybe grab a small snack. Once you are refreshed and pepped up by the support of your loved ones, you gain a second wind that propels you to the last lap and finally towards the finish line, feeling elated and joyful at completing what you set out to do.
The point of this whimsical analogy is to help you see that creating spaces of downtime throughout your day or week during periods of intense focus and production can help you to sustain your creative juice and energy. It will help propel you to complete whatever goal or project you are working on.
With that being said, how will you incorporate play, rest and relaxation in to your upcoming weekend and the weeks ahead? What inspires you to let go of thinking and tune into just being and flowing with the world around you? I invite you to take a few moments and identify whatever that might be for you and schedule it in on a regular basis throughout your week. It could be as little as 30 minutes of “playtime” a day but those 30 minutes will be crucial in helping you feel nourished, inspired and ready to take on the world that you have decided to create for yourself.