Have you ever driven all week in your car, rushing through all the To Dos on your schedule, only to have your car stop on Friday, right in the middle of the road?
Out of gas.
Sometimes our bodies and minds are like that. We go and do, because our family needs us, friends need us, employers demand us, and the muse is running on high. Before we know it, our tank is on empty and we want to do nothing more than collapse.
Because the car can’t keep going if we don’t fuel it up.
Commonly called “refilling the well”, the idea is to replenish your energy and Can Do spirit by giving back to yourself in a way that energizes your mind and body.
Unfortunately, I don’t read my energy meter very well, so I often find myself on E. I’m trying to be more mindful of this. As a mother… as a writer… as a wife… I need to reward my body and mind for all the hard work it does for me. And be gentle with myself.
So how do we refill the well? Some ideas:
1. Artist’s Date — Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way recommends Artists Dates. This is the chance to go somewhere new and different – a museum, antique store, model home – anything that you’ve wanted to do but put off because its silly, unnecessary, or no one else wants to go. It is supposed to be done alone, and I can see why. If I take someone else with me, then I worry about whether they are having a good time, ready to leave, etc. Instead, immerse yourself in YOUR enjoyment of the experience.
2. Reward Day – My sister and I came up with this concept. Before I get so overwhelmed that I crash, I schedule a day to do only what I want to do. I read all day if I want. Eat (or order out) what I want to eat. Claim the big screen TV for myself. What defines your Ideal Day? Do it! No excuses! (and I don’t want to hear how you don’t have time. I REALLY don’t have time. If I can do this once a month, so can you!)
3. Go to the movies – There’s nothing like vegging out with a great movie and popcorn. Check the local theaters and make seeing something YOU want to see a priority. Low on cash? See if you have a Dollar Theater in your area. I can go see a movie I missed in the regular theater at our local discount theater for about $5, including snacks.
4. Girls Night Out – Actually, it doesn’t have to be at night. Try lunch, coffee, shopping. You could even meet at Walmart – you have to get groceries sometime. I have a friend that I have “tea” with occasionally. Any girl time is refreshing and rewarding.
5. Share a movie or game night with your family or some friends once every couple of weeks. This helps you reconnect with those around you and remember what living is all about – laughter, companionship, and fun! Not just work, work, work.
6. I know we don’t all have large chunks of time to rejuvenate our spirits, so here are a few Minute Saviors – ideas that can take as little as 1 minute, or as much as 60.
- Put on headphones and listen to a few songs with your eyes closed.
- Utilize a personalized meditation app on your smart phone or iPod. I use a Simply Being meditation app that allows me to personalize the time and background music. It works great for me, and even my teenage daughter will use it sometimes.
- Lock the door and watch “your” show, even if you have to turn out the lights and pretend you aren’t home when your family knocks.
- Take a 30 minute reading break to help transition between “work” time and “home” time (if you can limit yourself – I can’t).
- Let yourself nap, even if its only laying in a dark room with your eyes closed for a mere 20 minutes.
But none of these things will ever become more than ideas if you don’t make them a priority and actually DO them. Don’t just think about refilling your well, make it a regular part of your life.
**Next week we’ll talk about the ultimate way to refill your well: Retreat!