Hi friends, welcome to June. I don’t know about you, but this 100 degree weather has me dreaming of sand, palm trees, and frozen margaritas! Summer is almost synonymous with vacation, and man, I feel like I could use one right about now.
I don’t know if a single getaway would do the trick, though. With the studio, YL School Teacher Training in progress, and a little one who happens to give me every single virus he catches at daycare, I’ve been losing steam little by little over the last 6 months and simultaneously reinforcing the not-so-healthy habit of pushing through even when I really need a break.
That’s kind of how we all operate, right? Work, work, work until we burn out and then try to recharge with a few days a year away from reality. It’s common sense that a tree won’t flourish if we drench it with gallons of water one day and not again for a few months…but somehow we expect to flourish in our lives without consistent care. Most of us view rest and relaxation as a luxury, something we need to earn and the first thing we cut out when life gets busy. What if we reversed this pattern of thinking and started viewing R&R as a key ingredient for productivity? What if instead of working until exhaustion and then taking time off, we could take time off first and then show up to work with a clear, focused, and energized mind? What if the rested version of us could accomplish more in less time and create a more sustainable, balanced cycle of work and rest?
Dave is currently enrolled in a strategic business course, and I’ve been browsing through some of the books and classwork he brings home (I just can’t help myself!) In one of the sections about effective teamwork, they used the term “with batteries included” to describe the kind of people you want on your team, which makes a lot of sense. No matter how skilled or knowledgeable a colleague is, they are pretty useless if they don’t have the energy to deliver and execute. Similarly, I know that I won’t be the best wife to Dave, mama to Lucas, or leader of my business unless I show up with my AAs charged up!
Warning – I’m going to use a pretty nerdy analogy here, but since more people in the world have an iPhone than a driver’s license, I thought it would be an effective way to bring a few more points home.
According to Apple, there are three easy ways to preserve battery life in your device, and we could all learn a thing or two from these simple techniques:
1. Store your device at 50% battery charge. “If you store a device when its battery is fully discharged, the battery could fall into a deep discharge state, which renders it incapable of holding a charge.” Same thing with us. If we wait to go on vacation when we are totally burned out, we’ll have a really hard time quieting our minds and recharging during our time off. One of the definitions of relaxation is “the restoration of equilibrium following disturbance”. If you’re on empty by the time you hit that beach towel, you won’t have any energy to restore and re-calibrate.
“Conversely, if you store it fully charged for an extended period of time, the battery may lose some capacity, leading to shorter battery life.” So yeah, if you take a super sweaty vigourous vinyasa flow class that revs you up and then go to bed, I can almost guarantee you it will not be restful sleep. The name of the game here is equanimity of mind and energy, so try to avoid the high highs and the low lows.
2. Minimize the number of activities your smartphone is doing at any given time. Unless we disable location services and/or background activity, our phones will continue to use up energy figuring out where we are and updating/refreshing our apps without us even knowing. This constant multi-tasking results in a slower phone that loses its ability to perform at 100%, ever. Often when we think we’re relaxing, our minds are actually working away in the background. Watching TV, surfing the internet, scrolling through our social media feeds – these activities are all energy drains disguised as rest. It may sound ironic, but relaxation requires 100% of our attention.
3. If you charge your phone by plugging it into a computer, the computer has to be plugged to a power source or the phone’s battery will be drained. Have you ever spent a lazy afternoon doing nothing and then felt even MORE tired and unmotivated? Recharging our batteries requires us to plug in to a source of energy – whether that’s a person or an activity – that helps us relax, not numb out. Contrary to popular belief, relaxation is not about spending time doing nothing, it’s really about spending time in the present. An art class, walk with an inspiring friend, or a mindful yoga practice can all restore the body and mind as much if not more than straight-up snoozing.
Ok, if you haven’t picked up on it yet, our intention at Yogaleena this month will be to hep you get some well-deserved and much needed R&R so that you can show up to your life with batteries included. Now that you’ve made it through the newsletter, go ahead, take a break – it just might be the most productive thing you do today.