Can I be honest?
As wonderful as my life is, I often find myself worn out, tired and completely exhausted. Not necessarily in a bad way, but more in a life has just been busy kind of way. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.
We live and work in a go, go, go society. If we aren’t working, we’re driving, traveling, planning, producing, creating, parenting, “spousing,” dating, eating, thinking, worrying, fearing, trying or hoping. All of that requires energy. So, we’re often left depleted - too afraid of missing out to step back, pause, take a break and reconnect with ourselves.
But this isn’t really sustainable. And I’m tired of living tired. I’d much rather live energized. So here are five quick and easy ways to nourish your weary soul.
EAT!!!! Enjoy a meal with people you love.
I know , I know. This seems oh so basic but I read a quote the other day that reminded me of just how often we forget to nourish ourselves in one of the nature’s more simplistic ways. In her book (which I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on an advanced copy!), “Have More Fun,” Mandy Arioto writes,
A few years ago, I started seeing a therapist because life caught up with me and I needed some outside perspective to help me sort out the loss, grief, and resulting debilitating anxiety I was dealing with. At the end of our first session, after I told her all the things that were feeling too heavy to carry around any longer, she explained to me that the first step in regaining fullness of life is to eat.
Whether your circumstances require therapy or not, it’s hard to deny just how nourishing a good meal is. So text someone you love and plan a meal with them. You can go out on the town or you can simply potluck it up at home but don’t ever forget the satisfaction of sitting down and enjoy great food with great people.
Spend some time in nature.
Forgive my inner hippie, but get your butt outside. Embrace what nature has to offer. Keep it simple. There’s no need to plan an elaborate ski or hiking trip. Take a walk around your neighborhood and notice the little things. How many people have dogs vs. cats? What’s happening in the clouds? Do you have a backyard? Use it! Play catch. Sit in the sun. Watch the way the clouds move as it rains. Unleash your inner child and splash in some puddles or simply take a moment to notice how warm or cold the rain feels as it hits the side of your face. Go to a park. Have a snowball fight. More often than not, spending time in nature is not only free to do, but it’s renewing and reinvigorating. So let nature remind you to relax and enjoy the world. Life is so much bigger than our current worries and stresses. Take time to remember this truth.
No. I’m not going to tell you take a nap or pray or meditate. But you do need to rest, whatever that means for you. For me, it’s curling up with a good book by a fire with a cup of steaming hot tea. For others, that’s laying in a dark room listening to their favorite album. Maybe you’re a shopper? Maybe you’re the adventurous kind that needs to get out the house and do something a little wild. You know what puts you at ease best so live a little and do just that. Take the time you need to bring your body so much needed rest.
Detox from Everyday Stresses
Even a great life has stress. You know, traffic, running errands, email, social media and what not. And for the most part, we feel tied to these stresses. They’re a part of us but who said we couldn’t detox every once in a while? Put the phone down, hell - cut it off for a day or two. Refuse to check your email. Call up your boss and take a mental health day. Eliminate stress anywhere you can and replace it, with things that relax you. This doesn’t need to be complicated. You don’t need a certain list of requirements to make it happen. You simply need to make up your mind and decide to do it. Oh, and remember, do not feel guilty about doing what is best for you. Self care is not selfish.
Last but not least, Say No.
This is perhaps, the easiest and most complicated word in the dictionary. It’s only one syllable long but it carries with it some pretty heave connotations and I’ve never quiet understood why. “No,” doesn’t mean I’m mad. It doesn’t mean I hate you, that I don’t want to spend time with you, that I don’t like you or that I’m jealous of you. It simply means “no.” And we should all start saying it more often because consistently saying “yes,” is overwhelming and oftentimes, the reason we’re all so tired. We say yes to the promotion, yes to the dinner, yes to our spouse, yes to our kids, yes to our friends, yes to extended family, yes to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and by the end of the day, we’re physically drained and emotionally worn out. So say no. But if you’re like me and struggle with the idea of saying no, trying some sugar coated ways of saying no instead: “not this time, but check with me again soon,” “not today, I’m a little tired,” “I’d love to but my schedule is already jam packed right now,” “that sounds great, how about next week!” These are all ways to say no without severing a relationship. So use them. Say “no” to overwhelming demands and “yes” to nourishment.
Your soul will thank you.
Sharita Hanley is an emerging writer with a passion for Middle Eastern Cultures. A self-dubbed Modern Scribe, her writing encompasses everything from travel writing to healthy food entries to ethnographic narratives to personal essays to poetry to blogging to case studies to business proposals to random musings.