Give Me a Break! (No, Really.)

I'm sorry for posting this blog so late in the day, friends! I couldn't think of something to write about for the life of me, and that so rarely happens. Then I took a nap, and--whala!--started feeling alive again.

It's amazing how much our bodies like sleep. And sweet tea. And chocolate.

So today I want to chat about something I think often gets neglected amid the deadlines and the mad-dash rushes to get books to our agents to prospective publishers. And that is rest.

Sometimes we all just get tired. Take today for example. I really had no one reason to be wiped out (aside from the sinus problems I've been having--bleh!), but by this afternoon after a stressful vet appointment and a delightful lunch with my mom, I could not seem to sit down and write.

Often, we think if we could just push through the tiredness, we could something productive. But more likely what we end up doing is spending two hours looking at the Sephora website because we never could muster any energy. :)

Are you running on fumes? Here are a few signs it may be time to just take a nap:

  • You start feeling jittery and little problems feel like big ones.
  • You have trouble bringing to mind what should be simple information, like why you walked into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator.
  • You can't seem to find motivation to do what needs to be done.
  • The only thing that sounds exciting is pushing the snooze button.
  • You've caught yourself being overly sensitive or having a grouchy attitude to those around you.
  • You walk around feeling constantly overwhelmed.
I think most of us, at one point or another during the year, just get burned out. Maybe you're a teacher like me, and you consider a choice between grading final papers versus eating brussels sprouts a toss up. Maybe you have toddlers and you feel this exhausted every day of your life. Here are some things that can help:
  • Take naps. Even just a 15 minute power nap might seem like a luxury, but can really boost your productivity. Just be sure you actually get up! Ha!
  • Avoid caffeine. Ah, it's so tempting, isn't it? Caffeine does give you that immediate pep. But I know in my experience, caffeine makes me really jittery, which in turn makes me fretful. And then I once again have to visit the Sephora website to relax. ;) It's a vicious cycle!
  • Listen to Pandora. I really like the Bethel worship station and the Billie Holiday one. Music helps bring another dynamic to your day, especially if you're working on something creative.
  • Try getting more antioxidants, like delicious fruit smoothies, to help keep your immunity up. We like to mix Chobani yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, and orange juice.
  • Reward yourself by doing something fun. Watch a quick episode of Say Yes to the Dress or even Gilmore Girls to give your brain a break. You're much more productive if you work in spurts rather than exhausting yourself. Studies have shown that in people preparing for finals.
  • Stay consistent with your devotions. I don't know about you, but when I start getting overwhelmed, my devotions are usually the first thing to go. Why is that, when spending time with God is one of the best ways to keep our perspective?
  • Surround yourself with positive people, quotes, movies, books, etc. that help you keep a healthy framework.
Doing these things will help you feel like yourself again, and in the end, make you all the more productive. There's only one you. So don't deprive the world of what you have to offer. :)

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