Stop Before You’re Tired
Stop Before Your Limits
I rarely meet a woman that is really very lazy. On the other hand, I see many, many women that push themselves way past reasonable limits. When they do this, it invariably takes longer for them to accomplish their tasks and responsibilities. They respond by becoming cranky, they begin to make mistakes, or they just stop functioning rationally. Sometimes they oversleep the next day or during the weekend. Sometimes, if the demands of life make it impossible for them to stop before they are weary, they slowly lose their vigor for life and their internal peace. Each exhausting day takes its toil.
Reduce the Hectic Lifestyle
It seems that somewhere along the line they have decided that weariness, fatigue, and other sleep challenges shouldn’t exist in “their” life and they can push themselves to stay up too late, to work at a project past weariness, and to keep up a hectic pace day after day, week after week, while at the same time hoping it will not affect their general well-being and their health.
But, it does. Pushing too long and too hard always wears the body, the mind, and the soul. Invariably and without exception, there is a price. So what is to be done? The pressures come, they pile one on top of another without restraint, and they often seem to line up endlessly.
This is compounded because weariness makes for dysfunction and dysfunction plus weariness is a great enemy to having an orderly life.
Check for the Descent of Weariness
I would like to talk about some reality checks that each of us might want to consider for a minute. It is unlikely that any one is going to give you a “rest period” for the rest of your life. That means that off-duty minutes can only come your way from the inside out. It is up to you and I to take the momentary rests that we need. It is best if we take these rests before the heaviness of weariness has settled upon us.
This means taking a moment to sit down and play with the baby, or take five minutes and sit on the back steps and drink your afternoon soda, or even taking a half-hour after the children have settled for naps, if you’re a stay-at-home mother, and sit down to read.
It means removing yourself to the restroom during a busy day and leaning your head again the cold tile wall of a stall and breathing deeply and slowly one hundred times. Then, reapplying your makeup and, returning to the hectic, challenging pace of your chosen career.
It means walking purposefully slowly from your vehicle to the mail box and then into the house after a long day at work. It means taking control when you feel weariness descend.
In my experience, such rests don’t make for any less accomplishment. On the contrary, usually the results of returned energy actually make it possible to get more done. What we struggle against is the “permission” to stop. I give you permission. You must give yourself permission, too.
Take a Break During Slump Time
Take notice of your weariness patterns during the day. For myself, I’m pretty good until about 11:30 in the morning and then I have a little slump of weariness. In the afternoon, I have a great big drop-off weariness slump right around 4 p.m. After dinner, I’m good until 9 p.m. and then it’s time for pajamas and a lighter project as I have a slight rebound just before bedtime.
If you watch, you will find you have weariness patterns, too. Once you have assessed your weariness slumps, practice stopping and resting before you’re too tired. Take a short breather. You can change your activity from up to down, from vigorous to boring, or from stimulating to routine so your body can last through the slump and keep going (with or without that much needed nap). This will give you strength and energy to go on.
It is up to you to go a little bit slower (i.e. rest for a minute or two) so that you can go on a little bit longer. It is up to you to stop and rest.
Change It Up
I have been experimenting and have found that when I can’t formally rest, even a five-minute change of routine, yes, just a five-minute switch, makes a tremendous difference in my stamina. You may want to try it yourself. The few minutes’ time spent on the back doorstep looking at the mountains, the sky, and the roses; a moment in a book; or a change of routine to slow me down, helps me get past my weariness so I can continue with the projects and people for which I’m responsible.
Take good care now and look at your weariness periods this next week to see what you can do about them. Remember, take charge so you can rest before you’re too tired to go on. It is the better way to a more orderly life!
Photo from sxc.hu. Used with permission.