Mom, have you ever been so tired that, when you finally sit down after a long day, your body literally radiates fatigue? No, just me? Okay … a few months ago, that was me. I was that mom. Totally and utterly exhausted!
From my first inhalation of morning breath until I flung myself across my bed at night, I was in action. Moving, helping, deciding, providing; it was like a non-stop action movie except I felt like I got stomped into the ground at the end of the story. As I deteriorated from thriving to barely surviving, my focus became more narrow. “How do I get through today, this minute, this second?” Once I reached this mindset, I knew that I was in need of REST.
Rest … what is that??
Ever tried to fall asleep after a long and stressful day? Some of us don’t even make it to bed, falling asleep in the middle of reading Good Night Moon to the kids. But, the rest of us struggle to rest. We feel so exhausted yet, when our heads hit the pillow, our brains go into overdrive! No matter how exhausted we feel, we just. Can’t. Sleep. Our brains will not slow down enough to let us rest!
“Now I lay me down to sleep,
my crazy thoughts can take a leap!”
How long can we function with chronically exhaustive days, minimal sleep and limited self-care? Not very long. Sometimes, we need a BREAK. And, although we all wish that the break consisted of a 10-day vacay on the beaches of Fiji, we know that most moments of rest are just that, moments. But, hey, that’s okay! Because we know how to make the most out of a little bit, right? So, let’s talk about how to maximize moments of rest by using Brain Breaks.
Brain Breaks are simple self-care options that allow you to take time away from the day’s challenges and breathe. These mindful minutes are vital to your mental and emotional well-being. They can give you the boost you need to successfully embrace the rest of your day and improve sleep patterns. Here are a few Brain Breaks that works for me:
Amazing Brain Breaks!
- Just. Breathe. — I know, I know, it sounds a bit over-simplistic. But have you noticed that the more stressed you feel, the more shallow your breathing becomes? Anxiety organically heightens when we are taking ‘sips’ of air instead of deep breathing. So, take one deep breath. Hold it for 4 seconds, then exhale. Remember that each breath is the gift of life. Rest in that awe-inspiring reality.
- The Five Senses Break — When we are super stressed and need a minute away from the immediate challenge of the day, this technique can help manage overwhelming feelings. Focusing on one sense at a time, identify five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell and one thing you can (or would like to) taste.
- Call a friend — Find that trusted friend who won’t freak out because you’re freaked out and give them a call. Let them know that it’s ‘one of those’ calls and vent. Trust that they will encourage and champion you in a way that will boost your confidence and reset your perspective.
- MOVE!! — When we are stressed out, most of us want to curl up into a ball and hide away from the world. But, “ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat!” Whether it is a simple stretch sesh, taking a walk around the neighborhood or turning on Spotify and dancing it out with Lizzo, get up, get up and DO SOMETHING!
We all have those days – the ‘everything that can go wrong HAS gone wrong’ days – and we are guaranteed to experience them again. So, give yourself LOTS of grace and take the time to rest and reset. You’ll be glad you did.