Why is it that children have more energy than we do? If I were God, the rule would be this: Children shalt have no more energy than the adults who must keep up with them.
My children are on their second wind at nine in the evening, while I’ve been ready since six-o-clock to sit with a book, watch the ants cross my pavement, or—please Jesus—go to bed early for once!
I’m tired because I’ve had to work, schedule the kids’ dentist appointments, argue with health insurance reps, pick up cookies for the school bake sale, clean cherry stains off the carpet, wash the previous day’s dishes, google “free” dog (to get the kids off my back), and start two loads of laundry (because it’s easier for my kids to throw their clean laundry down the laundry chute rather than put it away, don’t you know?). And all before three in the afternoon!
Bet this sounds like your life, too. So what to do for energy drain?
Drop That Hot Potato
Remember the game “Hot Potato?” You pass around the “hot” potato, and whoever holds it for too long loses. Similarly, you are stuck with many hot potatoes in your life. So drop one or two. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Mashed potatoes?
Seriously, were I to look at your calendar or to-do list, I’d find lots of hot potatoes that aren’t that hot (urgent). So what if you missed a kids’ game for once or decided to skip going to the grocery store? Rarely is something so urgent or of such importance that our lives should be governed by it. So simplify and scratch off a bunch of your to-do’s. You may event want to make a “to-don’t” list, if that’s helpful.
As part of my group coaching program, The Year of Living Adventurously, participants and I have decided to emphasize the fun and adventure factor this month. Consequently, we’re going ziplining this weekend: speeds of 25 miles an hour, 50 feet off the ground, 3,200 feet in length. Can anyone say, “Ahhhhhh!”
If I’m not energized by zipping across the forest canopy, then I must be dead. Then I’ll need some real revival, pun intended.
While ziplining may not be in your future, play is important, whether play means tennis or making cookies or fishing. Play enhances our relationships, fosters creativity, and helps us enjoy our lives.
Repeat The Mantra
Repeat after me: I am not lazy or weak if I relax or rest. Hard to say that, huh? We are bombarded with messages of success and ambition and diligence. Why, we must be perfect! Perfect parents, perfect employees, and perfect bosses in our perfect homes driving our perfect cars and enjoying a perfect life. Cherry stains must not defeat us!
Well, you are not lazy or weak because you desire—no, need—to relax or rest. I’ll relax in my crumb-filled bed, for all I care (okay, I do care, because crumbs in bed are slightly irritating).
Despite how difficult it is to take breaks, you must. And part of being able to do so is by changing your mindset: Breaks are necessary. They are healthy. They are good.
What about you?
What boosts your energy, besides an energy bar or caffeine break? Besides dropping your hot potatoes, playing, and resting? Put your ideas in the box below.