I love summer time because it recharges my batteries. All of my favourite childhood memories are from the summer, including horseback riding at my grand parents' farm, water skiing at the lake, and riding our bikes to get Dairy Queen treats or Slurpees. Now, I spend most summer weekends recharging my batteries at our family cottage doing some gardening or beach combing.
Unfortunately, it's not summer all year long and even if the sun did shine all the time, I wouldn't be able to bum around the cottage every day. Life can be quite stressful with the combined demands of work, chores, and responsibilities and unless you have the means to take a vacation every month, you likely feel the effects of stress from time to time.
The tricky thing is figuring out ways to recharge our batteries throughout the year. Some people enjoy artistic things like reading, painting, or listening to music.
Some people enjoy active things like sports, working out, or dancing. Some people enjoy outdoor things like walks, gardening, or fishing.
Finding time to do these things can often be the biggest hurdle for people who have extremely busy schedules.
Busy people have to find the time to recharge because if we don't, the energy that keeps us going will eventually become depleted. In a kid's toy, a drained battery results in the toy not working. In a human being, a drained battery results in the body not working. The symptoms start with fatigue and brain fog then progress to a suppressed immune system and could result in disease if left for too long.
If you feel stressed but are finding it difficult to find enough time to go for a run or pull out your guitar, then start small. Your office can be draining if you have stale, re-circulated air, white noise in the background, and fluorescent lights. Take ten minutes at work to get outside and walk around the building or up the street. Even a few minutes of fresh air and exercise is better than nothing.
Running yourself ragged will also drain your energy stores. If you don't eat food with a high nutritive value, you aren't replacing the fuel that you are using. Also, dehydration is a major cause of fatigue. Busy people tend to skip meals and forget to drink enough water. If you need a quick pick me up, don't have a soda and a chocolate bar, have an apple and a glass of water.
Try to get six to eight hours of sleep. (I know that those of you who have young children are rolling your eyes at the idea of getting that much sleep.) Sleep is the number one way to recharge your battery.
Try to avoid energy sucks. The TV, computer, telephone, and certain people can all be energy sucks. If you need to build your battery stores up, power down and disconnect from all the energy sucks around you.
If the silence drives you nuts, try reading, stretching, or listening to music to fill the void. Eventually, your body will adjust to the lower level of stimulation and once it does, it will start to relax and the healing benefits will kick in.
Everyone is a little different so don't necessarily expect that what one person finds recharging will do it for you. The easiest way to find your best way to relax and recharge your batteries is to think back to when you were a kid and remember what you used to love doing. If you loved building things, that's what you should do. If you loved swimming, that's what you should do.
Finally, don't forget to teach your kids how to recharge their batteries too. Kids also have very busy schedules and they are inundated with constant information that often makes it difficult for them to wind down and recharge. They may complain of being bored and even anxious when they initially try to relax, but if you wait long enough, their imagination will kick in and they will play, create, or learn
Danielle Aldcorn is a registered clinical counsellor with the Satori Integrative Health Centre in Richmond.