If I were to ask you how often you recharged your phone, you'd probably reply with "twice a day" (if you're an iPhone user). But, if I were to ask you how often you recharged yourself, you'd most likely reply with "does sleep count?". Recharging ourselves isn't something we tend to think much about. We're not taught about it as kids and no one really talks about it. It's not something that we had to think even half as much about just 10 years ago. If we were tired, we rested. Tiredness and exhaustion were mostly just physical. Now, it's primarily mental, and in a lot of cases, emotional. With technology and a direct connection to the world in our hands, there's no time to really switch off to allow our mind and nervous system to quieten.
Somewhere along the line, we started to value our techs to be more recharged than our bodies. Tirdness is now a bit of an inconvenience. We've become more tuned into the outside world than ourselves. We're tuned into the alerts on our phones more than the alerts of our bodies. Now, I'm not saying to bin the devices all together, no, not at all. I love my phone, and these days we need them. I'm just trying to convey the need to put the phone down every now and then, and truly take the break our mind and body need.
I had to learn the above the hard way. Stressed and anxious from my corporate job (amongst other things), denying my dream career aspirations and, quite frankly, wasting hours a day on 'the scroll'. My anxiety was so bad that every day was a struggle that I tried so hard to hide! Things had to dramatically change. So, I set out to recharge, learnt to put my health first and developed a kick-ass self-care/love routine.
So, here's my (tried and tested) top 8 ways to fully recharge and start to get that missing energy back:
To answer your hypothetical response above. Yes, sleep does count, and a lot! But only if you're getting the right kind of sleep. This is around 8 hours of non-inertupted sleep and waking before your alarm. While this is common knowledge, sleep has lost favour. There's Facebook and Instagram scrolling, Netflix, more condensed living, working later hours and weekends, eating later and even more scrolling, that all get in the way of a quality night's sleep. Once upon a time it was only the neighbour's dog who woke us up, now it's our friend-from-high-school's-amazing-Italian-holiday that
you're totally jealous of you've been lurking.
Soak it Up:
Get at least an hour by yourself and have a hot bath. Get out your bath salts, candles, essential oils and a quality book. No techs allowed. Take the full hour to really switch off and relax. Besides, who doesn't feel better after a good bath!
Get those endorphins pumping and sweat the stress away. Stress hormones wreak havoc on our nervous system and majorly contribute to us feeling worn down. Ever feel more exhausted from a day's work than you do an intense work out? This is why. While exercise puts physical stress on the body at the time, it's coupled with 'feel good' hormones that help the body clear out the stress, as well as pump much needed oxygen to your organs. You want to get out and burn up all of that excess adrenaline. Not only will you feel better after, you'll sleep better too!
When I first heard about "earthing" I thought it was a bit of BS, then I really thought about it and I realised my bare feet had not even touched the earth in over a year. A YEAR! Apartment living certainly makes getting out and into nature harder, but the more reason to do so. We all grew up playing in the backyard bare foot (remember stepping on bindies in summer, ouch!). Take a walk in the park or on the beach, and if you're lucky enough to still have a backyard, collect the washing bare foot. Feel those relaxing negative ions and get a bonus foot massage while you're at it!
Mindfulness and Meditation:
Probably my favourite tool in the box and one of the most misunderstood and under utilised skills there is! If I could package and sell in a pill "total relaxation, calmness, greater clarity, more energy, understanding, compassion and acceptance with no side-effects and completely natural", I'd be seriously loaded. Loaded. Everyone would lap that up! But it's free people and you can try it right now! It's literally as easy as googling "guided relaxation meditation" into YouTube.
Because we're not taught meditation as children, we resist it as adults. It seems weird, out-there and unnecessary. People also tend to think that they don't have time to meditate. In the words of Gabby Bernstein, "so you've got time to feel like shit instead then?". 10 minutes a day is all you need to totally turn your stress around! Also, meditation doesn't have to be spiritual at all, think of it as a simple mind reset.
This is a big one! We spend so much time on our (fully charged) devices, and probably one of the main reasons why we're so drained, that we find it so hard to put them aside. But once you start to break the click and scroll habit, it becomes so much easier. Sleep with your phone on flight mode. Get an old school radio alarm clock and have no phones in your bedroom (remember waking up to breakfast radio..). Turn the TV off an hour before bed. Have an email cut off time (I suggest from the time you start dinner) and don't use your laptop in bed. All of these things can assist in breaking the technology dependancy and the mindless scroll.
Take Regular Breaks/Holidays/Long Weekend:
If you need a day off, take it. Plan an annual leave day and take a long weekend. Get away, or stay in. Sleep in. It's what your annual leave is there for! Take a holiday. Got no-one to travel with? Do a tour or retreat. The simple act of getting on a plane and feeling far away from your 'problems' can do amazing things for your nervous system (I should know, I just did this. Hello spontaneous trip to New York). Don't really run from your problems, but do take a break when you need it. Airfares have never been so cheap ;-).
Don't be afraid to spend a little cash on treating yourself. Get a monthly massage, pedicure, floatation tank session, facial, lovely dinner, hot springs visit.. whatever brings you relaxation. While I don't recommend spending all your monies on #treatyoself, I do suggest that you put yourself first and enjoy your money, especially if it's assisting your healing. I personally get regular massages. I need them, I carry stress in my shoulders and I spend 8 hours a day on a computer, so I don't feel guilty about spending the cash as I see it as a necessity. So find what really assists your recovery and budget it in.
I hope these tips help bring some calm and zen back into your life. If you've got other recharge tips or tricks, comment them below, i'd love to hear (and try) them!