You Need to R.E.S.T
Rhythm is something that’s built into you since day one. We know there’s a time and a season for everything. We can’t be doing everything all the time with no breaks – that’s a recipe for burnout. The challenging thing about rhythm is we all have our individual rhythms, the ways we go about living our lives and working with the rhythms of the world, of the body, of the mind, and of the spirit is necessary in order to function properly.
Some of you didn’t get the memo as schools let out, kids’ headed to the beach and the ‘honey-do’ list began to swell. Summer is a time to rest, relax, recharge and replenish YOU. We read it in social media and in virtually every form of educational marketing piece…work-life balance. I’ll let you in on a secret – balance doesn’t exist, never has and never will unless you’re a scale.
What doesn’t change is your desire for some sort of peace, an equilibrium in your heart, your soul, your mind and yes your work and life. What’s missing is EVERYTHING in the world ebbs and flows, rises and falls – whatever goes up must come down. For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. There’s a pure reason our website’s main image is a surfer riding a wave as it’s a metaphor of life. So how come you keep searching for the misnomer that is BALANCE?
Life is about rhythm and summer is a time for rest! Face it, you’re weary and burdened working yourself to exhaustion and wonder how is your life out of balance. Your inner counterbalance, your gyroscope is to keep movement inside-out level. Is this possible? What’s possible is for you to reframe what that means in your life.
Too overwhelmed to read this now? Then bookmark this article and catch up the companion pieces here:
Rest is Physical – a Power of a Whisper post on LinkedIn
Rest is Emotional – a Power of a Whisper post on LinkedIn
With the links above, you’ll discover rest and relaxation may be important enough for you to finally take action. Maybe you do take time to recharge and you do live a life in rhythm, but sometimes your recovery is slower and slower; taking much longer to ‘get back into the game.’ Here’s a resource for you if this example is you – it was me a few years ago – Replenish by Lance Witt. Pick up the ebook for less than $2 or the paperback for less than $10 (NOTE: I don’t make a penny from any of these referrals). How do we impact the time we have to rest? We find the right rhythm that works for us and we REST!
Routine – Emotion – Slow Down – Thoughts
Maintain Your Routine.
Successful people follow a morning routine. Ninth Commander, U.S. Special Forces, Admiral William McRaven gave a commencement address about Making Your Bed that resonates with thousands of people to this day. Another example to start your day off in rhythm is to pray and meditate to prepare your heart, mind and spirit for the challenges and opportunities of the day. Your routine is your routine for it must be sustainable for you! Exercise and stretch is another example of your morning routine – motion is lotion. The suits tell me I have to recommend you check with your physician before beginning an exercise routine…
What can you do?
What are you willing to do?
Your confidence in yourself increases as you move through your routine. I have a routine similar to this one I’ve suggested to you. Mine includes Lifer’s Juice – coffee for the rest of you and I have a tee time with the Lord to set my day straight. Whatever you choose to do, make it a routine and develop your routine.
Your Work Routine. Many of you work an extraordinary number of hours, because of the nature of your work. For most business professional and Executives alike, if you’re working more than 50 hours consistently, then something’s not right. There’s effective and efficient, consciousness and competence. If you need a translation then chances are you’re overwhelmed and in need of a change now. Here are a couple articles on overwhelm, planning, organizing and execution of the one commodity you cannot recreate – time.
Your Week Begins on Thursday – a LinkedIn post
How’s Your Family Routine? Some of us prefer a plan and others prefer more spontaneity. Either way, you’re overwhelmed with work and are seeking work-life balance. Let go of that mindset and learn how to adapt to a life of rhythm and enjoy life much more than you are today! Part of a healthy family routine is simply having at least one to two meals a week together – not at a fast food restaurant and not in your car on your way to dance, travel ball or to the tutor. Here’s a thought for you based on feedback I’ve received from medical professionals and athletic trainers alike – you need to have 11 hours between your last meal to when you have breakfast the next day to accommodate your body’s natural biorhythms. Are you understanding the message – Life is about rhythm NOT balance!
Part of your family time is disconnecting from technology as a family. That doesn’t mean turn it over face down on the table either. As a society, we’re addicted to our phones and I see all age groups on their phones at restaurants all over the country when I travel. And yes, according to research, there’s 13% of you who immediately check your phones after sex.
Sleep Routine. As you naturally begin to wind down from the hustle’n bustle of the day’s and night’s activities, you need some slack time before shut-eye. Sleep allows you to emotionally recharge your heart, mind, body and spirit. In order for you to function at your best you need a minimum of 7 hours and no more than 9 hours of sleep according to the Sleep Foundation. Take 30-45 minutes before you turn the lights out to disconnect from your phone, TV and any other tech. We’ve covered R now let’s move on to the E in REST.
Manage Your Emotions.
Do you want to reduce or eliminate your feelings of restlessness? Here’s where we find a healthier rhythm with our tech. You control the 24 hours you have and to optimize your work life and your family life, you’re going to step back and look at how you’re spending each 15-30 minute block, eliminate the time wasters, find high-value activities, plan your meetings, emails and manage overwhelm. I gave you some earlier tips on ovewhelm. If you’re serious about making a change, then click here to schedule a qualified FREE session to see if going deeper makes sense.
“Until the PAIN to change is LESS than the pain of staying the same, You will change NOTHING.”
I like roller coasters, especially the old-rickety wooden ones that click-clack as you rise higher and higher in the car up the rails. Do you like the emotional roller coasters life throws at you with incredible highs and devastating lows? Living in extremes is one sure-fire way to exercise yourself into a destructive lifestyle, and it doesn’t resolve the root cause of a healthy sense of rhythm at all.
Having empathy and proper perspective ensures your emotional rhythm doesn’t get too high or too low. How do you find that healthy rhythm? Build margin into your day. You can’t work 12 hours a day with four 2-hour meetings, 2 hour-long project updates, 68 emails, 12 voicemails and a litany of texts and expect any level of success. If this example resembles your work life, you’re out of control and you likely know it. At a recent corporate strategic planning session with a mid-market manufacturing firm in the midwest, one senior executive described their routine as one bad day after another. Not even close. A bad day is your child lying on a slab at the hospital. Everything else is within your control and your decision. On to the S in REST.
How long can you keep up this vicious cycle?
Why would you want to?
The work week for many of you is five days long, for others, it’s six maybe even seven days long. Slowing down is not about fatigue. It’s about resetting your rhythm to a more healthier pace that works with your personality, your sense of urgency and your ability to cope with moving targets and vacillating expectations. Step up, stand up for yourself and slow down to reset your rhythm. When is the last time you took a vacation – a real one without checking email, voicemails, etc. – where you were disconnected from work?
Scientists have concluded our body’s cells regenerate or has been replaced by new cells every 7, in some cases ten years. The Seven Year Itch wasn’t just a movie. These changes can be painful, and they don’t just happen once as they tend to come as a cyclical event of personal crises or breakthroughs every seven years. This rhythmic cycle changes us in some major way—mentally, emotionally even physically – a transformation occurs during this time in everyone’s lives. Every seven years you need some form of personal and professional sabbatical where you take as much as seven weeks off – yes off. You need this time to reset and slow down.
Still fighting me? Then, the weekend, regardless of when in the week you’re able to take two days off, is a time for you to recharge yourself. It’s not a time to cram a week’s worth of ‘honey-do’s’ and kids’ excursions every weekend. Keep it in rhythm. If you have to overthink it, then chances are it’s not in alignment with what a healthier work-life rhythm needs to be for you. You’re going to pay the price one way or another – it’s your choice.
This personal time off called your weekend is a perfect time for your family to share a meal together. Whether you go on vacation or have a stay-cation, make it seven days of time together as a family. It’s relatively easy to come up with ideas and suggestions that cost money. It takes creativity and imagination to come up with 7 days worth of no-cost or low-cost activities. If you need some help here let me know and I’ll share with you what I and others have done. You need some relaxation and slow down. The final letter in REST is T.
Capture Your Thoughts.
To have perfect peace and a sense of rhythm you must train to trust your thoughts.
If you can’t sleep,
If you can’t turn off,
If you can’t disconnect,
If you can’t slow down, and you’re at the end of your rope, now’s the time to take every thought captive. Your thoughts are where your trust lies. When you’re worrying, you’re stealing any joy you may have for that day. Worrying killed my father and that’s the last thing any son or daughter at any age needs to deal with. Step back and think. I have a client who has overcome sickness, several job transitions, financial devastation over several decades and their breakthrough came when they took 2 hours out of every work week to do nothing more than think. That’s it. Still with his thoughts.
You control your thoughts and your thoughts control you.