Pit Stops

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I would like to think that I generally have things under control. I begin to doubt myself; however, when I am here writing at 2:22am, after being awake since 1:15am. If we put it in perspective, though, I fell asleep on the couch just after 8:00pm last night and crawled into bed shortly after that. I am actually feeling fairly rested.

What causes our mind to race, our thoughts to get away from us and our brain to be on a perpetual treadmill of constant stimulation? Why is it that we are unable to tame the beast that causes our life to feel so out of control? What is going on in our brain when we are unable to sleep or can’t shut down?

In the last two weeks, I have had to cover shifts for four staff members; one had the flu, another had a child home sick with Croup, one had a scheduling conflict due to a family function and the other got a concussion. This meant working by 6:30am, teaching several fitness classes a week and working some 14 hour days.

In the middle of all of this, I had medical tests and appointments, seminars, meetings, new clients, other responsibilities and tons of paperwork. For several days now, I have felt like I have been holding on to the back of a fast moving train, hanging from one arm, with my legs dangling in the air, as I am being pulled frantically along a track. There never seems to be enough time, the lists never get done and I can’t seem to get caught up.

My house has been left in an absolute disaster, I had to wear my least favourite clothes because I didn’t have time for laundry and I even walked out of the house yesterday morning forgetting my phone. It was interesting to be without my mobile, hand held communication device, my lists, my reminder alarms and my primary connection to the outside world, for almost 12 hours.

It is remarkable; however, how we can function in high stress situations for a period of time and still be okay. When it all comes crashing down, though, is when there is no rest or down time after an extended period of chaos. At some point, we need a pit stop.

It is much easier to accept that I am here, wide awake in the in the middle of the night, when I know that I now have one full day off. I can crawl back into bed, as soon as I am done writing, sleep in if my body feels like it and leave my pending emails and ‘to do’ items until Monday. I am in bliss knowing that I don’t have to leave the house, if I don’t feel like it, and I can take it all of the recorded Christmas movies that I can handle.

Especially when we are under pressure or have serious or important life issues burdening our thoughts, we need to give ourselves a break. If we don’t have a whole weekend, we can take a day. If we don’t have a whole day, we can shut off for a few hours. If we don’t have a few hours, we can unplug for a few minutes. Phone off, lists out of sight, responsibilities on hold and 100% control over what we choose to do with our time.

I guarantee that at the end of this glorious Sunday, I will be refreshed, revived and renewed for the next set of tasks ahead. We can’t turn off that life machine which constantly spits out things for us to do and take care of but we can decide that in order to be fully functional and have enough energy to get through our days, we need to have down time in between.

So, what are you going to do for yourself today or this week, to rejuvenate your soul, your body or your energy? Even if it is for a few moments at a time, you will end up much more productive afterward. If you don’t even have a few moments for yourself, perhaps it is time to reflect and realize that you are the CEO of your life. What might you need to do differently – boss?

‘Rest time is not waste time. It is economy to gather fresh strength… It is wisdom to take occasional furlough. In the long run, we shall do more by sometimes doing less.’ ~ Charles Spurgeon