I was hoping for a slower evening, but that morning I was reminded that my friend would be in town and coming for dinner the next night.
Suddenly, I felt like I should work on my blog and website, since I would not be able to do so the next day. I felt the pressure to be productive, to not lose time working on what I’m passionate about. Yet at the same time, I felt exhausted.
Over the previous weekend, instead of relaxing I spent most of the time cleaning and working. My husband had been traveling for almost a month, with only 3 nights home in between trips, leaving me to take care of the things around the house we normally shared.
I felt bummed. Here I had been looking forward to a relaxing evening, yet suddenly my to-do list was piling up.
Then all of the sudden, I realized I had a decision to make. Keep pushing myself through my to-do list despite my exhaustion or give myself some much needed rest.
On other evenings, I would have followed my long-time habit of pushing through. I would have felt guilty if I did not follow the schedule I set myself for the week.
On that evening, however, I made a different decision. I chose to listen to my body and give it some much needed rest. I knew that from this place of rest, I would be much happier doing chores on another night and be more creative later in the week to work on the blog and website.
Here’s how I created an evening getaway that left me feeling rejuvenated and full of energy in just 2 hours.
Set up the space
Thankfully, I had cleaned the house two days before, so my bedroom was free from clutter. I turned on some essential oils – lavender is excellent for relaxation – and bought my dog a special bone, so that I knew he would be occupied and not disturb me during my getaway time.
To set up your space, don’t deep clean, but take a few minutes to arrange some of the clutter and make your bedroom feel like a relaxing space. If you choose to be in another room, set up a relaxing area all to yourself. Make sure you have plenty of cushions around, a blanket and a comfortable place to rest on your back, such as a mattress or a yoga mat. Turn on some soothing scented candles or essential oils. Have your husband take your kids out for the evening, so you will have 2 hours all to yourself not to be disturbed.
Practice yoga nidra
Sometimes you need space alone to watch TV or get drowned in a good book. But this time, you want to experience deep relaxation, so that you can really release all your stresses, worries and body aches and experience total rejuvenation in mind, body and spirit.
My favorite way to completely relax is to practice yoga nidra. Yoga nidra is know as the “sleep of the yogis.” It is a powerful form of relaxation that calms the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Once the nervous system is in a complete state of rest, your brain opens up to a new state of consciousness – somewhere between sleep, meditation and conscious awareness – where deep healing can take place.
So for your evening getaway, choose a soothing yoga nidra to bring you into complete relaxation. There are many free yoga nidras available at Yoga Nidra Network. My favorites for this type of getaway are By the Stream and 5 Elements Wove: Tree.
Reflect and journal
After practicing yoga nidra, take some time to reflect and journal. There’s no need to write anything profound or deep. Instead, this is just a chance to get out any thoughts or emotions that you are having in that moment.
In fact, I encourage you to use a practice I use from Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. In the book, Cameron suggests writing 3-pages of stream of consciousness writing. Write whatever comes to mind: dreams, thoughts, feelings, worries, to-dos. If you run out of things to write, simply write “I don’t have anything to write…” until something else comes up to your mind.
This method of journalling is excellent for getting down on paper and releasing anything on your mind that is blocking your energy and creativity.
It does not always take a 5-day retreat in an exotic location to feel rejuvenated and refreshed.
The key to overcoming overwhelm and living life with a calmer mind is finding ways to rest even during the busiest of times.
Tell me in the comments…
Do you feel pressured to push through exhaustion? Will you try this evening getaway?