Feeling drained lately? We all have times when our internal batteries seem to be screaming for a recharge.
And now, it seems like we’re wearing out faster than ever–between work pressures, family life, constant news alerts and a hectic pace.
And at RACSB, recharging is more important than ever. We are facing a dramatic workforce shortage. And the needs of individuals with mental health, substance use and developmental challenges aren’t decreasing. Which means that our HopeStarters are having to stretch themselves in unprecedented ways.
The work we do is often difficult, and most of the time, the rewards are not immediate. Sometimes, we don’t ever see those rewards. We are merely planting seeds that will make a huge difference in the future.
Our HopeStarters shared some tips for recharging that can be helpful for anyone who’s in need of relaxation:
- Cuddling with my pets always makes me feel better on those days when I am overwhelmed and exhausted.
- Talking to a friend. Not the friends who drain your energy but that one friend who always makes you feel better.
- Singing Lizzo songs at the top of my lungs. The combination of happy and sassy can always revive my energy.
In our field, we need to give ourselves self-love, which can vary depending on each of us. As we are so giving of our time and effort, we often forget about ourselves. I get a monthly massage at a great local business. I bought a cycling bike, which I strive to use 4-5 days a week. The sweat and focusing on myself for a 30 min class are good for a quick mental recharge!
I recharge my internal batteries by practicing a lot of self-care, which is especially important to me for my recovery. Recognizing when I need to do this is key & making it a daily routine allows me to re-center & ground myself. The key areas that are especially important to my self-care are sleep, eating healthy & regularly, journaling & writing poetry, doing fun activities/hobbies, listening to music or comedy (when I need a good laugh), doing meetings, step work and talking with my sponsorship family.
My favorite way to recharge my battery is by being outside. Whether I’m laying on the grass in a park or finding a small trail to explore, being in nature helps calm any chaotic energy that I feel is surrounding me. I typically will take pen and paper with me, accompanied by my favorite snack. I like to write down the things I’m feeling and then take time to reflect on and be thankful for all the amazing things life has to offer, that are easy to forget when my battery is low.
I recharge by going hiking. Not the “I’m going as fast as I can to get a work out” hiking, I mean the “stop at every other interesting looking plant, examine the shape, texture, smell and florals of the plant and research its medicinal uses later” kind of hiking. Spending time around trees and nature has incredibly positive psychological effects on people. According to the National Institutes of Health these benefits include “blood pressure reduction, improvement of autonomic and immune functions, as well as… alleviating depression and improving mental health.” In Japan, they call it forest or tree bathing. Since moving to Virginia from Wisconsin, I’ve been loving all of the forest that surrounds even the more densely populated areas and I will always go a “long” hike in the woods next to my house weekly to help with some of the stresses of every day life.
The first thing I do, is play serene music on my way home. After my mind is all over the place, I want peace.
I take a shower to wash the day off as soon as I get home, put on my favorite lotion and my other halfs 2x too big clothing.
I cook something quick or stop for food to alleviate any additional tasks for the night. Combo meal with an Ice Cream tonight!
I put my phone on Do Not Disturb just so I do not see nor hear notifications pleading for my acknowledgement. I will look when I want.
I inform those close to me when I am contacted that I have had a long day, letting them know that I do not have the mental capacity to help with one more problem solving dilemma tonight. This has been the biggest form of recharging for me, as people have their people-Best friends, family members, significant others’ they go to for everything. For the good, bad, funny, etc.
Acknowledging that you are at your tipping point, that you want to be there for others’, but remembering that you are the first person you need to take care of is so important. Some may feel hurt with putting yourself first as you are always their rock; Always available. Always the strong person. But as the saying goes, you cannot pour from an empty cup.
Communicate the time you need to avoid others’ disappointment and one more thing you need to sort through tomorrow. I am more of a space person vs. venting, so I will come to you when I feel I am ready in a day or two when I don’t feel as rushed.
My other half knows I just want affection without bringing up the day that is already behind me.
I am a busy body always working down a Checklist, or at least that’s how it feels. I have to remind myself the dishes can wait. The dog fur covered rug that needs vacuumed almost daily can wait a day. Telling yourself to say, “Not Right Now” is OK for all the in between things that make you feel like you are in a constant state of movement without any proper rest. ❤
You need to know what you need, whether that be from yourself, others’ or both.
- Set aside some “me time” each day. Make an appointment with yourself if you need to. Just have a few minutes–or even an hour–dedicated to doing the things that make you happy. Most importantly, don’t feel guilty or think about the things you “should” be doing with this time.
- Create something. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. Try an art project or craft. Write a song. Knit a hat. Don’t worry about the end result, just lose your worries in the process of creating. Your brain will get a break from anxiety and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment.