Exhaustion reigns. I’ve been back at work for a week and my two week vacation is but a distant memory. Where did all my energy go? It’s our winter solstice here in Brisbane. A turning point where the days get longer as we point our nose toward the second half of the year and on into Spring and Summer. It’s a comforting thought, despite getting up in the dark and coming home in the dark. The question is, when does one write when one’s body clock screams more sleep. My creative drive is like a bear hibernating.
Giving in to the energy draining demands of my day job leaves me as cold as the winter is long. I disappoint myself when I don’t push through the darker moments and into the light of achievement. I’m working a way, a schedule, a new possibility of getting the writing done when I just don’t feel up to it. I am learning to renegotiate the phrase “I don’t feel like it” to “I just don’t feel like it… now”.
I am learning to rejig my afterwork schedule as well. When I walk in the door, I am confronted with a million things that need doing at a time when I feel like I have nothing left to contribute. My work day sucks the life force from my marrow. I add insult to injury by forcing myself to do things, half assed, I might add, because they have to be done. Recently, though, I’ve discovered the magic of deep breaths. Not just the ones you draw in and out of your lungs. But breaths that are placed in spaces throughout my day.
When I walk in the front door now, at the end of a long day, I am learning to sound the mantra,
“I’m too tired…now…to do x,y,and z.” It doesn’t mean I will too tired for ever, to tackle what needs to be done. I draw a deep breath into the space between arriving home and beginning the nightly rituals of dogs, dinner, writing, bills, phone calls etc etc. I physically take a break. I lie down for 15 minutes and call it transition time. And it works. A shower and/or a brief rest where my brain can change gears is all I need to negotiate the night’s demands. I allow myself a break with no judgements. A big deep beautiful calming breath to transit from one world to another.
I guess it’s a bit like driving at 100 kph on a flat and then climbing a steep hill in the same gear at the same pace. You have to change gears or you will never make it. So, I follow my new mantra of “I just don’t feel like doing it….now” with a 10 – 15 minute transition. A deep breath drawn into my after work routine that gives me that recharge I need to sit down and get some writing done. My body needs that quick break at the end of the day. Here are some suggestions to try – they all work for me at the end of an arduous day when I feel I have nothing left to give.
- A nap
- A lie down on the couch
- Watering the garden
- Walking the dogs (daylight pending)
- A shower
- A bath
- Calling a friend
- Staring into space just because it feels good
All great ways to draw a big breath into my world to recharge me.
What do you do to recharge? How do you change gears when you hanker for creative energy that you feel is escaping you? I’d love to know…