Are you tired? Out of gas? Grumpy in your relationship as a result?
Your spouse leaves crumbs on the counter after buttering toast and you explode, “If I wasn’t always cleaning up your crumbs, we would have friends, and I’d get my book done!”
Isn’t that silly? And yet you know I’m right. We’ve all done it.
We want energy to arrive in our lap. A bolt of inspiration!
You see a great movie and you are inspired to write the great American novel. You have a great time with some friends and you’re inspired to create a supper club so you can be together often.
But then you get home. You write three paragraphs and you’re tired.
Or you hunt through three food blogs and you’re overwhelmed.
Suddenly the novel and the supper club seem completely out of reach.
Do you know what happens then? A little piece of your dream dies.
Did you know you have a dream for your life?
It’s germinating deep inside you, weighted down by exhaustion.
When your dream dies, you begin to resent your spouse, as if they stole your dream.
Exhaustion and overwhelm turn you into an accusation monster. You tear your spouse apart, “It’s all YOUR fault,” because you don’t have resources to take care of yourself.
If this happens once or twice, an apology is an easy fix. But when you let your tired-self dictate how you treat your spouse over and over? You’re wounding your relationship.
The rest of rejuvenation is an energy factory for your life
Here’s my energy formula: rebound + restore + rejuvenate = Energy. TONS of energy.
- Rebound rest = Rest to recover from exhaustion. Rebound rest seems to make you more tired at first, because you’re rest starved. Your body collapses: Finally! your body says, and it falls deeply into the rest its been craving.
- Restorative rest = Rest to reflect and prepare. Restoration rest helps you regularly synthesize the past and prepare for the future.
- Rejuvenating rest = Rest to launch. Rejuvenation rest catapults you back to your life with energy to leap forward.
Do you resist rest as much as my clients do? Does it feel like a waste of time to you to rest?
If so, you’re limiting yourself.
If rebound rest is all you ever get, you’re headed for burn out
Most people are stuck in rebound rest. They GO! Until they CRASH! Then they watch TV or scroll long enough to GO! Again. Until they CRASH! Again.
This kind of rest perpetuates adrenal fatigue, and it’s unsustainable.
Most energy is created when you give yourself time to restore and rejuvenate.
Think of restoration rest like going to the store. You get your kitchen well stocked so that, when you have energy to cook something, you’re already prepared with ingredients.
Think of rejuvenation rest like filling a rocket booster. Imagine how much energy needs to be stored inside that booster to give the rocket enough power to escape the earth’s atmosphere. There’s an entire TEAM working to prepare for that launch.
Don’t expect yourself to run on rebound rest alone
Imagine what would happen if, an hour before the rocket launch, flight director said, “OK, how’re we gonna get this baby in the air?”
It would be overwhelming, right? The team would toss up their hands. Impossible. But we do this to ourselves, don’t we?
What part of your life are you most apt to expect instant results? Notice the disappointment you feel when you don’t give yourself time to plan and fill your tank so you have the energy you need to launch.
In order to launch a dream, you need time to get all that rocket fuel into your tank. You need to store up energy so you have enough of it to escape your current atmosphere.
If you never take time to rejuvenate, you’ll surge at your dream, but you won’t have that stockpile of energy needed to escape your current atmosphere. You’ll crash.
Your dream will be dashed. If you do that several times, you convince yourself the dream is out of reach.
When you want something that you don’t let yourself have, you get grumpy. Then you turn to blaming your spouse, “If I didn’t have to clean up your crumbs, I’d write my novel.”
Be brave. Make a choice to rejuvenate
It takes courage to rejuvenate. You (and anyone else watching) can’t see anything happening. You look or feel lazy. Boring. There’s no boxes to check at the end of the day.
Rejuvenation happens behind the scenes, just like that team that filled the rocket boosters. It takes research. It can’t be rushed.
Here’s a list of things that rejuvenate me and my clients. Take a look to see what resonates for you.
Oddly enough the number one rejuvenator is boredom. When is the last time you held still (not scrolling, not watching) long enough to honestly become bored? To get up because you were ready instead of prying yourself up. One of my favorite things is to wake up, but not get out of bed. To just lay there. My thoughts meander. And slowly I realize I’m ready to put my feet on the ground.
This is my number one rejuvenator. Playing with color and texture refills my tank every time. I don’t even have to make anything. Just sorting colored pencils is all I need.
Inhale the oxygen all that green stuff is magically making from the sun’s light. Think about the exchange between you and the trees: You exhale precisely what they need to live. Rejuvenation is hanging in every breath when you can think about it that way. And I do! Sometimes I count the shades of green to appreciate the huge variety of plant life breathing in what’s toxic to me and “exhaling” the oxygen that is my life force.
If I’m not in dire need of rebound rest, taking a walk helps me reset. There’s something about that movement that jiggles my system and presses the reset button. Walking daily is an enormous aid to keeping my tank filled. Here’s one catch: when I’m most brave I walk in silence. This is the most rejuvenating because it scratches the boredom itch too. But I’m not always that brave.
What is your form of meditation? Prayer? A mantra? A sitting practice? Hint: don’t ask yourself to do this for a big, long time. Just a moment is a great place to begin. My clients begin with three breaths. Inhale and fill the back of your body (low, down near your sacrum) with air. Then exhale like you’re blowing through a straw. Three times. Notice. Feel more calm? More centered? Imagine if you gave that to yourself three times each day. Try linking it to washing your hands.
Trust the invisible process of filling your tank.
When you allow yourself to rejuvenate, you give yourself the required energy to escape your current circumstances, just like that rocket that can actually escape the earth’s atmosphere. Think how kind you’ll be to your spouse when you allow yourself the energy refill you need to reach for your dream.
Self-care is relationship-care.