It was a dark and stormy, very windy February night that produced a small blizzard. Not a tornado, but still…80 mile per hour winds. Anyone who lives on the front range of the Rockies can tell you that the wind can be horrendous.
Now some might say that was not a miracle. However, to me it was! I had gotten too busy lately taking on extra work at my job as a teacher, being on the computer too much job as Zen Mama, and then suddenly everything else was being neglected at home! I got a sinus infection even though I very rarely get sick. Everything was pointing to the need to slow down, but I wasn’t paying attention to all the signs.
When you let yourself become too busy you get overwhelmed by life’s daily problems – too many emails, too much laundry, too many commitments, and not enough time to do what you love – then you can find yourself stressed.
Stress brings fear. Fear can make you sick, unproductive, uninspired and in the worst cases, depressed. The end of winter can prove difficult as well.
So that’s why the electricity being off was a miracle. I couldn’t get on the internet so instead I used my computer to listen to music. My son did his homework and asked to hear his (only) favorite classical song, Clair du Lune.
When he was finished with homework, I grabbed my latest book and read by the fire by candle light. It was all so beautiful that I had to take some pictures.
For that hour and 1/2 I had a little vacation right at home. I extended that little vacation for the last week. I still did my work but I took more walks. I finished a book. I watched a great PBS series. I began researching a trip. The Zen Papa and I had several fun evenings out as well.
Now, exactly a week later, I’m feeling much much happier and ready to take everything on again!
What lessons did I learn? Don’t let yourself get burnout! I need to follow my intuition when I am a little too busy and take a little vacation right in my own home.
Here are some steps to take a mini vacation right in your own home:
1. Do what you love!
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
~ Albert Schweitzer
While I do love both my jobs I also need to time to:
• garden – pretty soon I’ll start my vegetable garden.
• be creative, take photography or write for pleasure, like poetry
• research travel
2. You need time to be mindful of the little things.
“We can do no great things – only small things with great love.” ~Mother Theresa.
Practice mindfulness whether this a walk in nature, a meditation for 15 minutes to a 1/2 hour or some activity where you can be quiet and find peace. It’s also taking the time to enjoy laundry or dishes, the smile on a child’s face or the singing of a bird.
3. Slow down!
“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery
you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”
The schedule I’ve made is created by me! I can control my schedule and fit “slowing down” into it.
4. Count your blessings.
“Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence.”
~ Og Mandino
It sounds very simple but I am blessed and in the moments I’m feeling a little depressed, I count my blessings and feel gratitude.
5. Take action!
“When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.”
~Pauline R. Kezer
Taking action can be either be physical activity or a mental one. It can be taking steps to solve the problem that is overwhelming you.
6. There’s something good in every bad day.
“Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day.” ~Unknown
Find the good in the day. And know that later you can look back and see where the bad events and thoughts that happen sometimes bring about the good as well.
7. Sometimes you just need to let go!
“The wind does not break a tree that bends” – Sukuma proverb
Bend a little, let go of your anxiety and relax for awhile. This can actually spark your creativity and get you moving again.
I’d love to hear what you do to recharge your batteries!