My Annual Elvis Weekend — a.k.a. my annual pre-programmed opportunity to recharge!!!
The two key words are “pre-programmed” and “recharge”!!
Consciously schedule both the things and experiences that you value and time with people you love (including yourself). When things are not scheduled they don’t — or very rarely — actually happen. Once booked you can always opt out or reschedule, but the law of inertia dictates that if it is scheduled you will most likely just do it! (The naggy trainer in me is going to take this opportunity to also say, “Schedule in your health habits such as workouts, meal prep, and blocks of time to sleep too.”)
Like exercise, “recharge time” needs to be scheduled!
Just as technology will often miraculously “fix itself” when the device is turned off and back on, the body — or at least my body — needs regularly scheduled “reboot” time.
My favourite annual “reboot” weekend is the Collingwood Elvis Festival with James. It is the second largest Elvis Festival in North America, thank you very much!!!
You would think we are massive Elvis fans, but nope, we are just massive “get out of dodge and hang out in a nice hotel room” fans!!
There is nothing like a few days of cycling, running, sleeping, spending time with James, eating yummy food, and watching movies in the hotel to make me feel human again. (My mom says I have ALWAYS loved hotels — there is something so decadent about a place where the front desk will supply a toothbrush when I inevitably forget mine.)
I am a firm believer that we all need pre-booked experiences to look forward to and blocked off time to reflect, recharge, and do things that make us the happiest, healthiest, calmest version of us that we can be.
My question to YOU
What makes you the happiest, calmest version of YOU? What unites your family? Creates connection between you and your “lobster” (significant other)? Lights your inner furnace? Puts pep in your step?? Have you blocked off — even an hour close to home — to do those things?????
Life gets crazy — which in general is good; I would hate for life to be boring — but the crazy is only good when balanced with moments of your version of calm. Think of “busy” as akin to exercise. Exercise is a positive stress on the body, but only if you give the body the tools it needs to recover. Like sleep and hydration. Being busy is only a positive live stress when you give your body (and your relationships) the tools needed to recover. The body gets physically and emotionally more resilient and stronger through cycles of appropriate stress and recovery.
Now, your “recharge” activities will be different than mine. GREAT. DO YOU. Do the things that recharge YOU. Know yourself well enough to know what will drain you and what will energize you!!
I know a 30-km bike and/or a 10-km run will energize me. Longer workouts won’t. I know eating lots of yummy, healthy food peppered with a few small indulgences will make me happy. Too much indulging will make me feel gross. Sleep? A must. Time with James? Non-negotiable. A healthy dose of Elvis? Yes. More than a few hours? Too much. Some sunshine? Yes. Too much outside time? Draining.
Figure out what you need. Carve out time to give yourself what you need …. Camp or have a healthy meal at home with family, travel with friends, go to a silent retreat, etc. Can’t get out of the city? Walk in the woods or plan a picnic.
We all need pockets of “recharge and reenergize” time. Busy is good. Productivity is good. Work is good, but too much of a good thing is TOO MUCH!! “Exhaling” activities like work and carpooling and volunteering are only positive if you give your body the “inhaling” activities it needs to regenerate.
Call me an iPhone 🙂 Like technology, we are all better when given periodic time to turn off and reboot!!!