Do you feel tired all the time, like you can’t get enough sleep to ever catch up? This has been me for most of 2020 and 2021 – I can’t ever seem to feel “caught up” on sleep, and could sleep til 1pm on a Saturday if left unattended. At age 39, I recognize this is not “normal” for a healthy adult, but despite ditching my burnout-inducing web business, taking up daily yoga and meditation, eating a plant-based diet and cutting out all alcohol, still, I sleep.
Stress less and rest more
Until I took a REAL vacation! This past week spent in the mountains of North Carolina, with zero agenda, no bar or restaurant trips or tabs, no WiFi connection at the rental, and hours of unscheduled river play time with my kids. And guess what? I woke up every morning around 8am feeling refreshed and ready for the day.
I have concluded that the secret is not in my diet, exercise, or (lack of) substance consumption, but rather in actual rest for my mind. Hours without emails, time without a timetable. Very little external intrusions from the phone or computer. Less worrying, thinking, planning, driving, coordinating, doing. Just resting and relaxing. For entire days, in repetition. With plenty of fresh air and time spent in the sunshine.
My new “mom hack”
I’m going to remember this mom hack: When planning a vacation, make sure it’s a REAL vacation. Make time for yoga and make meal plans that are low-stress and healthy. Avoid trying to “do stuff” or “see things” and plan instead to spend most of your time with your feet up. If you’re a reader, pack something light and enjoyable. I’m reading Lucy Foley’s debut book, The Book of Lost and Found, not true crime or self-improvement, two of my stress-self weaknesses that don’t relax me as much as a good “love of your life” tale. My tip: read a paper book, not on a Kindle or e-reader. Screen breaks are soothing and so, so necessary, especially for adults!
Move your body outside
Another key component to a REAL Vacation, at least for me, is time spent outdoors, in nature. A lot of the rest & recharge I felt in my week away came from my daily yoga flows, which I did outside, next to the river or under the stars before bed. Since my new favorite hobby is producing and sharing yoga and meditation videos, and this type of computer work is NOT work to me, I recorded a few flows while I was away that serve to bottle up that beautiful setting and bring its gifts of relaxation back to you. This video is available in both landscape and portrait orientation, so that it works no matter what device and WiFi access you have when you take a break away.