“Don’t forget to take it easy from time-to-time.”
My friend emailed yesterday, and that was her parting line to me.
It stopped me in my tracks and I couldn’t help but to read her words over and over.
Take it easy.
It’s safe to say that I’m physically taking it easy at the moment.
A painful, and incredibly tight piriformis muscle has put paid to that.
I can’t do anything about it, other than to rest.
And stretch. I’m constantly streeeeeetching.
I am being very deliberate about taking it easy, physically. I have learnt, from past mistakes, that running through an injury, is pretty darn stupid.
And yet it got me thinking:
About the last time I very deliberately took it easy, emotionally.
Here’s the deal:
I have spent the last 3-4 months hustling away on my new businesses, as well as holding down a 9-5 job.
I work into the evenings, and on 9-5 days off, at weekends and all the hours in between. I am tired, emotionally, and yet I
I am wired! whacked out! and my brain just won’t stop whirrin’.
And I know I’m not the only one.
When was the last time you gave your brain a break?
Some much-needed TLC?
Some, I’m-gonna-switch-off-my-laptop and read books and listen to music, time out?
Finding it hard to answer that question?
Maybe you need to take it easy, emotionally, from time-to-time, too….
Here’s what I suggest, (for me + you), to give our brains a break:
Pick a day, any day, in the next week or so.
Declare this day a no laptop/phone-checking/tv watching/other device that makes your eyes googly and your brain buzz, day.
On this day, partake in all or some of the following suggestions:
Lie on the floor of your living room and stare at the ceiling.
Yes, it feels slightly odd, but it’s also very calming. Trust me.
Allow your body to just blend into the floor and zooooone out.
Add music (Mumford and Sons works for me), or simply enjoy the silence.
Sit in the garden or a park and look at things – other than the Twitter feed on your phone – such as the trees around you, the sky, or that bird that keeps hopping up to you to say hello.
Really look at them. Notice them. Even if it feels really fucking weird to stare at a bird.
Breathe. Deeply. (It helps to dramatically reduce stress – but you already know that).
Meet with a friend, your mum, your girl, your guy. Leave your goddam phone at home and engage with the person sitting in front of you.
Make a meal from scratch.
Leave the washing up until tomorrow. It can wait. It can!
Go for a run without your GPS watch and just run.
Stay in bed. All day long.
Plant some tomatoes.
Pour a glass of your favourite red wine. Or make yourself of a cup of tea.
Buy a book. From a real book shop. Crack the spine and smell the pages.
Pour another glass of wine. Boil the kettle again.
Skip like you did when you were 5 years old.
Call your Grandma from your house-phone (remember your house phone?) and ask her to tell you something about her childhood.
And most importantly,
(Repeat the above as necessary).