#12: Recharging. It's not only for your phone

I am going to keep it short and sweet in an effort to do as the title says… Recharge. This past week has been a long one! Been working 12 hr days since Monday, 4 of them spent living on an offshore platform. While I will not say that any of the work has been stressful, the time put in has been taxing. In every way. But I have reached the light at the end of the tunnel (I am finalizing this post from the Mobile Airport).

I bring all of this up because Sunday evening after I touched back on land I had the option of starting a run, working on my blog, getting caught up with my nutrition course, or to continue working some stuff for my community project.

Instead, I decided to check into my hotel, go for a roughly .75 mile walk to a lovely restaurant with an outdoor patio in downtown Mobile to have some sushi and beer at OK Bicycle Shop (an interesting Mexican/sushi place where you can also purchase bicycles… The sushi is trustworthy, at least the veggie is :P, and the beer selection is superb. I have also had the chips, salsa, and a taco, on a separate occasion of course, and that is also quite delicious).

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I just sat, relaxed, enjoyed some sushi, talked to my lovely mom on the phone and put that long to-do list in the back of my head.

As I sat there, I also thought about a conversation I had with a good friend about living by our calendars. When I am working (and often when I am not) I essentially have every hour of the day mapped out.

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I know you are thinking one of two things 1) wow, look at all of the pretty colors or 2) how sad.

What was really amazing about this “recharge” night that I took, where my calendar did not dictate what I did, was that something in my body told me that this was the right thing to do. I wasn’t feeling unbelievably stressed, I didn’t have a mental breakdown, and I didn’t feel so physically exhausted that all I needed was sleep. Those are my usual indicators that such an unplanned evening is needed. But it shouldn’t get to that point. Prevention is primary key to good health, not reaction.

Who needs to recharge?

Everyone. AND, like me, if you feel like you are:

  1. Just a walking version of your calendar
  2. Like every night after work you are running around
  3. Feel like you never spend any time with yourself, I encourage you to give it a try.

When should you recharge?

Often. More often than we all think we have time for. I believe this should happen a minimum of once a week. I know that putting this into practice is going to be a challenge… For me personally and I imagine for others as well. More on how to do that next.

How do I make sure that I commit to recharging?

While scheduling recharging may seem counterintuitive (because having plans is exactly the thing we are trying to avoid!), we are all busy people and blank spaces in our calendar often get filled! So if you live by your calendar, SCHEDULE it.

This next week, I will be in San Francisco visiting friends. I consider this a huge recharge.

I have scheduled my next recharge session for Friday, March 25. I will be offshore, so to me and in that location, recharging could be reading, listening to an audiobook or podcast, talking with my brother or a special person, or playing poker with the guys. 

What activities qualify as recharging?

This is different for everyone and changes at different times (why I was so noncommittal in that last paragraph)! Sometimes, recharging feels like doing my nutrition class work or writing a blog post. Other times, when I feel like I have been looking at a computer for too long I just want to read or watch Girls (thanks Mom for the HBO login… great contributor to productivity).

Let it come to you! Maybe the night that you schedule time to recharge you feel like watching a movie with a friend, or maybe you want to go for a run or that yoga class, or maybe you want to work on a project that you have been putting off.

Whatever it is, it’s yours. Own it and enjoy it.

Disclaimer:

There may be times during your recharge session where you are particularly… confused or perhaps feel some anxiety. I know that while I silently walked to dinner, no music, podcasts, phone calls or audiobooks to listen to, I had some thoughts pop into my head like this is unproductive… I am not accomplishing anything here… If I had driven I could’ve saved myself 15 minutes and then I would be able to get back and get to bed earlier… I have some food back in my room, I could just eat that and do work…

Then I forced myself to stop. I started looking around me, appreciating the 70 degree breeze, the bustle of Mobilians having beers on patios and enjoying that extra hour of sunshine.

When I finally sat down at the patio outside, I knew that I was doing exactly what I needed to that night.

Nothing much.

Let it be known that taking care of yourself IS productive. It is the most influential factor of productivity.

Without recharging the body and mind how can we be sharp, focused, or happy?

So your assignment is to schedule time this week to RECHARGE! Or not schedule, but make sure it happens! You deserve it, but most importantly, you NEED it. Now enjoy it.