Don’t Let the “Summer Break” You: 4 Steps to Feel Like Yourself Again
The Summer Break can leave you weary.
All moms experience weariness. The reason being is that we are fighting the good fight for our family. We give and give and give. And often we don’t spend the necessary time replenishing all that we pour out onto those we care about. Often, this is because we feel it’s selfish to take care of our self, or because we are so overcommitted we feel we just don’t have the time. The problem is that we are not Mother Machines. If we keep pushing, our body, soul, and emotions will be infected with the weariness virus.
There is no shame in admitting that we feel weary. It’s what we do with the feeling that matters. If we ignore it or strive harder, the weariness turns into a virus that can affect every area of our life.
How do you know if you have the weariness virus?
- You lose your gratitude
- You lose hope and don’t feel like you have a purpose
- You don’t feel pleasure anymore
- You find yourself obsessing or worrying all the time
• You find that you are irritated at everyone including your cat
- You binge on Netflix, chardonnay, and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and end up feeling worse about yourself
- You feel like it’s the movie Ground Hog Day because you keep having the same argument with your daughter every single day
- Your self-confidence plummets and you start to take your daughter’s snide comments personally
- You find yourself critical of the moms that seem to have it all together
- You find yourself losing it with your husband because he played golf with his friends
- You give your husband a dirty look when he tries to get intimate with you
- You freak out that there are dishes in the sink
- You find yourself wearing the same scrunchie, t-shirt and yoga pants every day.
- You find yourself attracted to your lawn man
(Better stop now) 🙂
Here’s the deal. You can’t be a good parent, wife, friend, daughter or partner if you are infected with the weariness virus. You will not enjoy your life and feel pleasure if you are weary. You won’t accomplish your dreams and live your purpose if you live in chronic weariness.
The Cure for the Weariness Virus
1. Take time off.
Sometimes you are just swimming in the sea of weariness and you have to step back to get perspective. Remember the concept of Sabbath. Most religious traditions talk about honoring the Sabbath and even say it’s a commandment. This culture definitely doesn’t encourage the Sabbath. Every day feels like a workday. All the stores are open. And even during the holidays we are busy cooking and making sure everything is in order. Because our to-do lists never end, our work never ends.
That’s why we need to resurrect Sabbath. We need downtime and rest to get perspective.
The question you need to ask is . . .
- Why am I weary?
- What do I need to tend to?
- Do I need to tend to my body, heart or soul?
2. Tend to the body.
It takes a lot of energy to guide, nurture, and protect your teenage daughter. And that’s one facet of your life. So you need to make sure you are taking really good care of your body. You know your daughter needs her sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet, but how are you doing?
- Do you get eight hours of sleep a night?
- Do you have your own time every day, even if it’s just thirty minutes?
- Do you get consistent exercise?
- Do you have one day a week where you can rest
* This week commit to one thing that will tend to your body.
3. Tend to the heart.
How is your heart doing? What are the dominant emotions you feel every day? Are you feeling sad, stressed, dread, resentment, or anger? Or are you feeling gratitude, joy, delight, and hopeful anticipation?
These negative emotions are like the warning lights in your car. They are telling you something needs to be attended to. You don’t want those negative emotions driving your life.
Once you have identified those feelings, what can you do about it?
- Maybe a friend or your partner hurt your feelings. Once you have identified the reason you are hurt, then you can decide what to do about it. Maybe you need to go to lunch and work these things out.
- You are so frustrated with your daughter. You keep asking her about how she is doing on her college applications and she keeps avoiding you. You find yourself obsessing and worrying all the time. Now that you can identify the pattern, you can change it. Take a break from monitoring your daughter. Watch a movie and enjoy your time together.
- You feel hurt because you haven’t seen your best friend in a while. Instead of making up stories in your head, invite your friend to go for a walk and have brunch
* This week commit to one thing that will tend to your heart.
4. Tend to your soul.
How’s your soul doing? Can you easily identify the blessings in your life? Or do you find yourself saying things like, “I should be grateful but…” Do you enjoy this season in your life and know you are living your purpose? Do you feel a sense of wonder, hope, and expectation for what life will bring? Or do you find that you have given up and have grown cynical?
If you find yourself feeling blah or despair then it’s important to know what feeds your soul.
- Does beauty restore your soul? This could be found in nature or in an art museum.
- Does a retreat, conference, or solitude feed your soul?
- Does an inspirational speaker, book, or program feed your soul?
- Does gardening, playing music, dancing, or painting feed your soul?
* This week commit to one thing that will tend to your soul
Leave a comment and let me know what you are going to do this week to tend to your body, heart, and soul.