I recently read a statement, ‘what if we recharged ourselves as often as we recharged our phones?’ When I read that, I thought ‘YESSS’ - imagine if we did just that! It got me thinking about when and how often I recharge my phone compared to how often I recharge myself.
I don’t know about you, but I have a habit of plugging my phone in at night when I go to bed (now that sounds like a lovely cliché doesn't it), so I recharge my phone at night whilst I’m going to sleep and recharging myself! But then I thought about the times I don't put my phone on charge- either because I forget, or I just couldn't be bothered spending the 5 seconds it takes to plug it in. Of course this often happens at the same time I’ve planned to go out for the whole next day, which means I frustratingly may not have enough charge to see me through. Or there’s the scenario where I’m in and out all day, I have little charge left so I give my phone 10 minute bursts on the charger before I have to race out and hope and pray it’s going to be enough to make it home again!
This led me to realise that this is exactly what I do with my body… I forget to recharge. And it’s not just my body, but my mind and spirit also. The problem is, often I don’t consciously recognise that I need recharging. I can go for days, weeks or months even, without taking the time to stop, reflect, meditate or pray. I am tired, my mind is constantly busy, I feel foggy, I snap at my kids and, as I go through the motions of every-day life, I have no time for family or friendships. As a result, my relationships suffer, my health deteriorates and my overall wellbeing is distressed. As busy mums it’s so easy to get caught up in our day to day lives. We have demanding schedules and full to-do-lists that are continually added to (like the kids saying, “Mum you never spend any time with me!!” or, let’s be honest, the husband who needs more time with you!!) and when I’m feeling this way, and someone puts another demand on me, I just want to roll my eyes and say ‘Just add it to the list!!’
I recently got some unexpected recharge time and I have to say that I felt fantastic afterwards. For several days I felt clear headed and calm, I had lovely conversations with my kids, the morning school rush was easier to deal with, I didn’t stress out as much and, I have to say, the yelling was kept at bay! Communication with my husband was easier, and it seemed I had time for everyone. I felt refreshed, which for me meant, my thinking changed and I could see everything much clearer. When I looked around me I could see the tiredness of my friends, and my kids and my husband, and I wanted them to feel the recharge that I felt. I realised how important it is to regularly recharge, and wondered how I could keep finding those moments for myself.
My starting point has been to try and break life down into 3 separate areas - Mind, Body and Spirit, and then to ask myself the question, ‘what do I need to do to recharge in each of these areas?’ I am a Pilates Instructor so the Body part is easy for me. After I have exercised I feel energised, happy and motivated to start my day (I am also much nicer to be around in the mornings!) I won’t lie, it can be hard to get motivated, but I find if I have a training partner or group of girls, or even someone that I can be accountable to it makes getting up at 6am a little easier. I love to take the kids for a bike ride or scooter down by the beach after school as well. Just getting rid of a bit of that stress in our bodies by moving them and filling our lungs and bodies with oxygen is a huge part of recharging ourselves. I also try to maintain a healthy diet as part of looking after my body. I know that eating well always gives me a sense of wellbeing and keeps me feeling good.
Recharging my mind is also simple really. Switch Off! Not switching off my brain, but switching off devices, the television, the radio in the car, and having some silence - it’s refreshing! Also taking the time to look and listen around me, and to even find a quiet moment to sit and write. I find that writing what’s in your head, how you are feeling, how much you love your kids, how many great friends you have in your life, or even a love letter to your husband(!) brings you into a state of thankfulness and gratitude, where you start to think about the simple, little things in your life, and how in fact, all those little things make up for a pretty amazing big life! Taking the time to think, to listen and to write slows my mind down, and enables me to reflect on the important things - rather than your shopping list or the washing pile! Giving my mind some recharge time, means I leave to do the school pick-up with a little smile on my face, and a little more room in my head for some fun conversations when the kids get in the car.
Last but definitely not least is my spirit. I find I know in my spirit if it needs recharging. I am sure it is different for everyone, whether you’re an introvert, an extrovert, juggling a busy family or navigating life as a single woman, however for me, I am recharged spiritually by getting around people that encourage me, build me up, genuinely care about me, challenge me and tell me the truth! It is also recharged when I take the time to be alone and purposefully pray. It’s after these moments of being refreshed that I know I need recharging more often!
So I encourage you too, to ask yourself if you need a recharge. You might feel like you need a whole ‘re-boot’! For me, the easiest way to get started is to choose one of these things every few days and work on it. The washing can wait while you take care of you! And if you see me, through your recharged eyes, looking a little flat, then maybe remind me I need a little recharge myself.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Danika is a wife and mum to two young boys Oscar, 7 and Oliver, 3. She is a qualified Pilates Instructor and Allied Health Assistant (Physiotherapy Assistant) and, having recently established her own Pilates studio, is navigating life through being a busy mum and business owner. Danika describes herself as a bit of a talker, she loves a good chat and quality time spent with her family and friends. She also loves Farmers Markets and good gelato, and dislikes housework, geckos and weeding the garden!!