You’re allowed to rest.

We’re springing forward  tonight. I don’t know if every country uses daylight savings but I doubt it. Daylight savings means that twice a year we set our clocks back an hour or forward an hour, depending on whether it’s the spring or fall one. So 7:00 becomes 8:00 when we go forward.

In other news, I made salmon for the first time. (My favorite fish.) It’s pretty easy. And for those of my followers who pray, please toss one up for my extended family. A bunch of them just got the nasty flu that’s been going around. Ugh. I was lucky to escape it so far and I want to keep it that way.

I was surprised by how many people responded to my last post about Burnout. I knew it was a big thing, I just didn’t think people were that interested in reading about it. I didn’t even give any tips for dealing with it.

Which is mostly because I don’t have that many. But other sources do and I’ve heard a few over the past few days that might help you out.

First, rest.

It’s the obvious one. But we neglect it shamefully. Don’t be “on” all the time. Today I deliberately didn’t do homework or that much physical labor. I slowed down, read, watched a movie or two, played games with my family, spent some time outside before it started raining, and spent my time with God.

Which is the second thing, though I know not everyone can or will implement that. But one christian to another, please, do this more. Unless you’re better at doing it then me, in which case I take my hat off to you. Of course being spiritual is not a contest of favorites or superiority, but it is something you have to do on purpose. I find the best way to just relax with God is to worship. Music is a great stress reducer when you pick the right songs, especially worship ones. Surprisingly, I’ve heard that even non Christians find christian music relaxing or fun. (I recommend Bethel, Hillsong, Jesus Culture, Laura Hacket, and Jason Upton, to name a few. I also like Switchfoot.)

If you don’t want to do that, then even listening to regular music, if it’s happy or upbeat or soothing, often helps me relax. It can take my mind off the things that bother me.

Third, and this is a big one, let it go at the end of the day.

I used to do that thing all the time where I’d go to bed and start thinking about everything I had to do the next day. Or about all the things I failed to do that day. And I mean everything from controlling my temper to doing a chore. Even blogging.

I actually thought it would help to plan things out. I might be more organized.

But, surprising no one I’m sure, that never worked. I would forget the plans I made by morning; but I would certainly stress myself out in the meantime. That effect lingers.

If you didn’t do everything you wanted, or needed to do, don’t lose sleep over it. Unless you have to turn something in by tomorrow and absolutely won’t have time in the morning (and I mean if you have to rush somewhere, not if you want to waste time watching a show or whatever,) I would say don’t do it. Just go to sleep. Do something fun with your spouse if you’re married. But let it go. You’ll work better after a good night’s rest anyway.

Another tip is to read. Read something you like, something you want to read. Something that takes you out of yourself for awhile. But avoid books about self help or goals when you’re trying to chill. They are guaranteed to make you feel like you’re not doing enough. There’s a time and place for that written kick in the pants, but an off day is not one of them.

And go outside for goodness sake. Find a safe park or a garden, or your own back yard. Don’t take any electronics. Or keep it in your pocket if you do. Just enjoy it.

Keep in mind screens are stressful. Especially white ones. But even TV can stress you out further or at the very least not do any good. Unless it’s a really good movie that you like, TV usually does nothing to relieve stress.

That’s about all I know. There’s always diet and exercise habits, but I’m not an authority on those. All I can suggest is fruit and pleasant walks.

And I was talking about what to don on off days in order to relax, not how to fix your life. Though a little rest can go a long way.

Most of all you need to give yourself permission to rest and detox. Even if you can’t afford pampering, and can’t set aside a whole day just to take it easy, you can set aside time on one day to do something for yourself. Remember that you deserve a little me-time just as much as your kids, family, or friends do.

It’s okay to need it, really. Don’t think you’re tough enough to go on without ever taking a break. It’s humble to rest.

Until next time–Natasha.

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