Spring Break

(Spring) BREAK

March and April bring a whole new perspective to the word ‘break’. As the days wear on and things are now becoming mundane and ordinary we feel underwhelmed (or overwhelmed), uninspired, and are in need for the chance to refresh our minds and bodies. To calm the raging monster within that’s telling you it’s time to take a break from life and just relax and rejuvenate your soul.

Why You Need A Break and Why They Matter

 

working hard

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There are times when your mind and body are no longer in sync with each other, when you may be just going from day to day, doing the same things. You’re not as excited for the things you used to get pumped about and in order to get that exhilarating feeling back, you need to relax and let go of the things that are attacking you at the moment. You need to let them slide away to leave you with a clear mind.

You and your body need rest and relaxation to refresh not only yourself but your mind as well. Running on like the energizer bunny is only going to create a cranky, irritated soul with resentment and overwhelm. As with sleeping, you and your body need time to just do nothing for very little; to do something that doesn’t take a lot of thinking and something you consider fun. Not only do you need to relax, you need to preoccupy your mind with things that don’t relate with work, the house, or anything else you normally stress over.

Signs It’s Time to Take a Break

Other than just feeling like you need a break, there are signs that tell you it’s time to step away and get some much needed R&R.

Frustration

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Overwhelmed

One of the first ones, is the feeling of overwhelm. Perhaps you are trusted to do more at work, but you also have to worry about the house, the kids, and anything else that comes along that needs your attention. And although you may have a system down to take care of each item, you feel like you’re falling apart. Trust me, I have had that feeling. One minute you’re rolling along a smooth road, everything is getting done and you’re getting ahead, then something comes along and now your road is bumpy. Everything is starting to pile up and your sense of accomplishment is now a sense of dread.

Tired/Insomnia/Irritable

As with overwhelm, that smooth road brought excitement, accomplishment, and the strength to keep moving forward, but that bump you hit (who knows what that was back there) is now bringing you every other bump you would have not otherwise noticed. With all the bumps and divots, you are now feeling tired all the time. You’re no longer sleeping well and you dread getting up in the morning to even do basic things.

Things begin to irritate you, those tiny things that should be brushed off as natural habits or actions are now getting on your nerves to the point you may be snapping at those you care about. That is not the way you want to live your life, right?

No Motivation/Ambition/Unfocused

That speed racer that was forging ahead at full steam, is now searching for any reason to not continue with what has to get done. Your motivation, ambition and focus to complete tasks and get ahead seems so far away that you’ll never catch up with the trailing rope behind the train of tasks. Your mind is wandering to all the things around you, rather than those that are right in front of you, and your attention is taken up by all the little things that could be put off for another day. What once felt like an easy ride has now turned into one of struggle and a fleeting grasp at the rope. One you may not have the strength to pull yourself back up to the train.

Mistakes/Regret

When you’ve run yourself to the point where you are making small mistakes all the time, ones that you regret, but can’t really control. (You could if you weren’t suffering, but when things reach this point, it’s nearly impossible to control.) That’s when you know you need to take a break. Speaking from experience, I’ve been so overwhelmed, tired and unmotivated that I began making small mistakes that just added to the pile that was growing, which caused more mistakes, more regret and a lot of frustration. Continuing as I was, was not an option. I needed a break!

Health Concerns

This could just be eating more of your favorite junk food, or maybe you skip a meal because you’re just not hungry. Perhaps you pick up a bad habit, like smoking or drinking to make yourself feel better or to take the ‘edge’ off. (That is not going to help, trust me and it may cause further health problems) When you start making bad health choices like eating a lot or nothing at all, you refuse to get even a walk in and your body is reacting to the stress in unusual ways; that’s when you know there is something wrong and you NEED a break.

If you get this far, I urge you to take a really hard look at what you are doing and fix it. This is not where you want to be, trust me. Yes, I’m speaking from experience. I was so overwhelmed, letting everything get to me that I barely ate anything for weeks and ended up in the hospital because my body was reacting to no nourishment. I knew I needed a break and it resulted in me leaving my job. Now, I don’t suggest you leave your job, but for me it was the right decision. When your health is declining, you need to take a moment and think about whether you just need a break or you need to leave in order to get better.

 

Ways to Take a Break

The first thing you need to do is decide if you are in need a shorter or longer break. That is something you need to decide, I can’t tell you which you should choose. You should have in inkling of which you should do.

Break

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Now let me list all the ways…

_____cations

These are all the, you know, vacation types. Vacation. Staycation. Play-cation. Whether you need to get away, you want to stay in the area or at home, or if you want to do something to have fun. Do what you deem best.

Relax

Create a list of all the things you find relaxing and do them all. Take a bath, read a good book, take a nap, walk in nature, listen to soothing music, you get the picture here. Whatever you find relaxing, go for it.

Activity

Though you may not find it relaxing, there are those of us who need to move or do something. Find a way to expend the energy that is still relaxing, like taking a hike, playing a board game, fly a kite or even coloring with crayons! I love to color with my kids! That is something that is relaxing for me.

Motionless

Here is where you will sit still or hardly move, but I promise you’ll still find it relaxing. Try star gazing, watching the clouds, or even meditating or getting a massage. You never know how relaxed you’ll feel after watching the clouds as the roll by.

No Electronics

I know, I know, your whole life is on that device, but we are trying to get you to not stress and to relax. Those notifications can live without you for a short time. If you let those around you know that you’re going to be unavailable for a time, they should get along fine without you. Turn them off and find out just how much quiet and relaxation you can enjoy.

Events

Going to events or attractions can be relaxing as well. Places like the aquarium, the zoo, farmer’s market and museums can bring you peace while learning and seeing something new or what you haven’t seen in a long time.

Final Thoughts

Everyone looks forward to spring break, but have you thought about what you NEED and what kind of break you should take? If you’re like me and need some much needed R&R, try some of the things from this list. May you find peace and relaxation when you need it most.

Know of any other ways to relax and rejuvenate your mind and body? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear them! 

Calm

Calm

As we move into spring (hopefully sooner rather than later), we think of ways to calm our souls from all the activities of the holidays. Yes, I know it’s been a few months, but everyone needs some time to rejuvenate and center themselves. Calming your mind and body is essential to life, but first…

Wiki

  • Peaceful, quiet
  • (Of a person) Especially free from anger and anxiety
  • (Of a place or situation) Free of noise and distraction
  • (Of Water) With few or no waves on the surface; not rippled
  • Without wind or storm

Dictionary

  • Not showing or feeling nervousness, anger or other strong emotion
  • (Of the weather) Pleasantly free from wind
  • The absence of violent of confrontational activities within a place or group
  • Make someone tranquil and quite; soothe.

 

Being calm or taking the time to calm your body and mind can be exactly what you need to start living a better life, release stress, and tension. So, I’m sure you’re asking how you can calm yourself enough to get the results you’re looking for. Well, read on, my friend, read on.

Ways to practice Calm

Physical

The act of moving your body and muscles to release tension and produce the calm your looking for.

Exercise

Exercise

Exercising may not be what you think would calm you, but it does. Pushing yourself in an exercise releases endorphins, which boosts your mood naturally. Now if you want to do something a bit more physical in your exercise like kickboxing or punches, you can take out some frustration in a safe way to calm what’s raging within.

Yoga

Yoga

The number one exercise that people use to recenter and calm themselves. The smooth, flowing motions of these exercises can be used to relax the muscles and the mind, release the days tension and help you to refocus your thoughts.

Sleep

Calm Sleep

Your body’s way of rejuvenating and regenerating your mind and body. Making sure you’re getting enough sleep is essential not only to your bodily health, but also to your mind. It needs that time to relax completely and be ready to face another day.

Mental

Your thoughts and mind need calm just as much as the rest of your body.

Refocus

Focus

Taking some time to refocus your mind and thoughts on the things that are important allows you to discard and/or place on the back burner the things that are of little priority. Sit in a quiet area and relax yourself. Think of the things that are important to you and how you can accomplish those things.

Meditate

Meditate

As with yoga, this can relax you and calm your mind enough so that you are a functional human being. Sitting or laying down with a clear mind can help you calm your muscles and your mind. There is not greater feeling than rising from a well rested meditation, knowing that you are now ready to face whatever may come your way.

Other

Aromatherapy

Calm

Scents and snell are a power tool and using them to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere is one of the bests. If you have a favorite scent, use it or find another that promotes relaxation and a sense of calm. Use it around your home, or even in your office with mini diffusers. Stay calm all day long and keep fight the good fight.

Music

Music is also another powerful tool. Choose something that isn’t loud and obnoxious, something that is going to help you relax your mind and your muscles.

Limit/avoid the Harmful

Things like stress, and those things that will cause stress should be limited or avoided; things like caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, stressful confrontations, etc. Yes, I know avoiding or limiting these things can be hard, but you can do it.

Rejuvenate

Rejuvenate

With the new year right around the corner, I thought I would give a word that fits pretty well for the New Year. This is not just an encouraging word, but a reminder to take some time for yourself now and throughout the year to rejuvenate your mind, body, and even your writing/business.

Everyone needs rejuvenating, a fresh start or to refresh something in their lives. I learned that the hard way this year. I tried to work nearly everyday throughout the year with little breaks. It was extremely hard to keep going with my plans and a lot of them fell through. So, putting in some time to rejuvenate myself and my business is now part of my planning for next year.

Now on to our favorite part… definitions!

Wiki

  • To make someone or something look or feel younger, fresher, or more lively

Dictionary

  • To make young again; restore to youthful vigor, appearance, etc
  • To restore to a former state; to make fresher or new again.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the real reason we are here. How do we rejuvenate ourselves? and how do we rejuvenate different areas of our lives?

Well, that’s what I’m here to talk to you about, so let’s get started. You may want your planner for this one. I’m gonna mention it a few times.

How to Rejuvenate Yourself…

So, I don’t expect you to spend a lot of time with your planner and not enjoy the actual rejuvenating suggestions here. Go ahead, read through, get yourself ready and then get that planner out or visa versa, but we will be planning some time throughout the year. You choose!

Your Mind

Don’t overload Yourself

Here is something I tend to do all the time. I schedule way to much in a short period and then never get anything done. Do you ever feel like that? You plan things out and are raring to go, ready to tackle your projects, plans, and/or products and you find that you’re waisted by the time you get into the middle of the project because you’re trying to get everything going RIGHT NOW? That is totally me.

This year is different, I plan to schedule in things I feel I can get done and leave some space if those end up going longer than planed. The mind and body need to work together and scheduling your items with ample time to complete them will keep your mind on task, but without giving you the burnout you’re used too.

Take Breaks

This goes with the above, if you end up overloading yourself, which I’m sure some of us will do. Don’t forget to schedule in some much needed breaks. I honestly thought I could write everyday and work on everything else for my business at the same time without taking a break.

We all know that was a major mistake and I’ll be scheduling in breaks and days off so that my brain can rejuvenate and refresh itself instead of walking around in the fog I have now. Seriously, it’s a terrible feeling. Don’t do it!

Plan Ahead

I know every one plans ahead and if you don’t I highly recommend that you do. (At least make a list with deadlines) When you plan ahead, you have an idea of what is coming up and can keep that in your mind as you move forward. If you have a book coming out at the end of March, you know you have the pre-launch steps, graphics, artwork, posts, and more that need to get done. If you don’t plan ahead, you’ll be flying blind and scrambling to get all that complete before publishing.

Let’s save ourselves some time and frustration and get a plan down. You’ll be happy you did. This may not seem like something you would use to rejuvenate yourself with, but it will help you rejuvenate as you move throughout the coming year.

Me Time

You need to take some time to yourself occasionally in order to get your body and mind back into sync. Whatever you need to get your mind and body back on the same page, whether that’s taking a nap once in a while, meditation, relaxing with a movie, a good book 😉 and your favorite drink, or sitting on your porch watching the sunset/sunrise.

Whatever you feel you need to have some you time to recharge your batteries and realign your thoughts… make sure you put that in your schedule so you can forge ahead with the same vigor you had at the beginning of the year.

Your Body

Exercise

This may not be appealing to some, it’s definitely not for me, but us author and writers rely on exercise to keep us from becoming lazy, grumpy and irritable. Action and moving is necessary for good health and staying sane as a writer.

Yep, you know what I’m going to say now. Schedule that in your planner! No, don’t skip it. Put it in there right now. Ok, so if you’re reading through this first, make sure to put it in there when you go back through!

Water

If you are anything like me, which I bet some of you are… I hate water and only like drinking it when it’s ice cold. I know I don’t get enough water daily and I’m working on getting up where I need to be.

Many planners have a tracker somewhere and I’ve already started using mine. If you’re already drinking enough water, kudos to you, keep that up!

Nutrients

Yep, I’m gonna tell you to eat healthy and yes it’s coming from a chocolate lover (particularly dark chocolate… yum), but getting what your body needs to function on a daily basis instead of all the junk is going to boost your mood quite a bit.

No being sluggy or sleepy; get those nutrients you need so you can keep up with what your plans for the year. I’ll be here if you need motivation and you can throw some my way too. I’m gonna need it!

Sleep/Rest

Yep I’m gonna put breaks in here as well. Your body and mind need adequate sleep and rest in order to rejuvenate properly. If you’re not getting enough sleep and feeling tired all the time, you’re not going to be able to focus on what you’ve put on your schedule or get that big project done by the deadline you set. So make sure you’re getting the sleep you need to tackle all that awesomeness you have planned!

Posture

Ugh, sitting in this darn chair for long periods is killer on the back. It’s got support, but not enough. I guess I should invest in one of those back support pillows. It’s going on my list, right now… and done! 🙂

But seriously, your posture is important. You don’t want to get up one day and start feeling like your too old to even sit in your computer chair. Let’s take care of ourselves so that we can continue the things we love and bring awesome content to our readers!

How to Rejuvenate other areas…

Business

This may not seem like a rejuvenating category, but I guarantee you that if you take a look at these and adjust as needed, you’ll feel like a whole new business and ready to tackle 2019 and anything else that comes your way!

New Look

Sometimes you get used to the colors, fonts, pages of your site so much that you don’t realize that it’s just not working for you or your brand any longer. Here is the chance to evaluate how your site is doing and spruce it up if necessary.

Your readers and connections are going to know you by that site and brand. You want to make sure that it’s going to attract those you want to be fans of your work. So, go through and see if it’s still working as it was intended and make adjustments if needed to get more organic views.

Content

Now this goes for any type of content you’re putting out to the world. Blog, social media, books, anything. You may have been writing about whatever comes to mind or just journaling, writing what you feel may gain new views, but I encourage you to take a look at your past posts and see what got the most attention.

Use those to create new pieces of content to continue gaining new views and new fans.

Office

Again, here you wouldn’t think would be a rejuvenating activity, but that’s the beauty of business and organization. Once you know what your doing and where everything is. Things tend to go smoother.

Organization

Okay, I totally get that some of you are the ‘Organized chaos’ type of people and I completely respect that. You do what’s best for you, but if you’re the type that likes to be organized and have everything in it’s proper place. Here is your time to do that.

I love having an organized office (area), desk. It makes me feel more productive when I know where everything is and I can reach it easily. For me, it’s annoying to have a cluttered desk and to have to search for something when my brain feels it should have been within easy reach and organized.

Office Pic

Declutter

With organization, here is the time to get that clutter out and create the space you’ve always wanted your office to be… a zone of productivity and accomplishment.

Remove anything that shouldn’t or doesn’t have a home within your office, on your desk, or in your drawers. Find another home for it that’s going to create a sense of organized peace within your life.

My kids are notorious for putting random things on my desk. Get all that out and find a place for it or get rid of it if it’s not important for you or anyone in your family.

Rearrange

This one is optional, but helps me when I’m in a rut, visual wise. I like to rearrange my office once in a while to give my brain a new visual perspective.

Seeing things in a different way can get your brain working in creative ways that you never would have thought before with your things in their original position. This may contradict the last few items, but if you rearrange as your organize and declutter, I know you’ll love the outcome.

New Paint/Decorations

Something I’ve been waiting to do is repaint my office (area), unfortunately, it’s not in the plans until we take down the paneling and replace it with drywall. Hopefully that will happen this year! But that doesn’t mean you can’t add a new color that would encourage your imagination, ignite your mind and provide a sense of accomplishment as you walk in the room.

Decorations (not ‘decor’, my husband hates that word, not sure why, but I’ve learned to write it out for his benefit) are the window to encouragement and imagination. If you create them yourself, the more meaning they have. Find quotes and images that will encourage and keep you motivated.

Home

One of the things we really hate is going out or on vacation and returning to a dirty home. It’s not easy to keep a home clean with multiple people and small children running around, but with some planning and periodic pick up it can become a clean and welcoming place.

Deep Clean

Here is something that I’ve done this year, room by room. I definitely wouldn’t do this all at once unless you have an empty house for the weekend and determination to get it done in that time. I pick a room, remove everything from it, clean everything (scrub the floors, baseboards, windows and sills, and anything else that needs cleaning) before returning everything back to the room in an organized manner.

My kids actually liked helping me with this and asked when we were going to do the next room. It’s a nice team working activity, if you want to use it as such. 😉

Home

Organize

Same with your office, if you have your home organized and are able to find everything, creating a space for everything so you can find it when you need it. This is still something we are working on in our home, but it’s getting done so we know where everything is.

Renovate/Remodel

This is definitely optional and only if you were already planning to do this, but remodeling could also give a new perspective on things as well as a new feeling of accomplishment, not just on your home, but within your business as well (if the room was your office).

Use those small accomplishments to fuel your goals and missions for the coming year.

Relationships

Are your relationships needing rejuvenating? Are they getting stale and in need of refreshing?

Well, I’m not going to tell you what you need to do in that area, but I can give you some generic suggestions.

Connections

Are the connections you have with the people you care about falling to the wayside? Think of ways to create deeper connections with those you care for.

Find time to spend with them, got out to lunch, play a game, plan a party or just hang out and get some drinks. See what they like to do and offer to do that.

My kids love to play games and my husband loves movies so we plan game days and movie marathons regularly. Luckily for us our friends like games too, so we’ll plan game days with them as well.

Online connections are just as important if you’ve got a business. Ask them how they’re doing? See if they need any help with anything and be there if they need to rant. Connections are the best way to get fans of your business as well as network with others, not to mention creating a fantastic new group of friends.

Spontinaety

Being spontaneous has been some of the most enjoyable times for us. We’ve actually decided one day to take a trip to Tennessee and left the next day for a week. No planning, nothing. We just packed and went. It was fantastic!

Surprises also work the same way. Do something that will surprise your friends, family, and/or significant other. Don’t expect anything in return, cause that’s not how this works. Enjoy the surprise and joy you bring to others by providing something to their day they weren’t expecting.

Final Thoughts

Yeah, I know some of these are not your usual ‘rejuvenate’ type things, but they will bring a fresh start and a new perspective to your life that you may not have had before. Who wouldn’t want a fresh start sometimes?

What are you doing this year to rejuvenate for next year? Let me know below. I’d love to hear how you are. You never know, something you do could encourage another so go ahead and comment below!