Authentic Rest

I know a lot of people who are tired right now.

It's Friday at 4pm in NYC and it's been a busy week for many of us: one client took the red eye from London and was thrown in to days of work conferences, my friend had her first baby (!), another client squeezed four midterms in to a five day stretch, my boyfriend had three nights of work events, another client slept 2-3 hours one night because of an architecture project ... and me? Along with my typical training + teaching schedule, I launched my Costa Rica retreat and have spent extra hours seeing new potential clients for complimentary nutrition sessions. It's been a phenomenal week, but I'm beat! 

What's your Tired Story?

We all have our reasons for being busy -- fitting a lot in to one work week, being overly-productive, overly-social, and continually on-the-go. That tends to catch up to a lot of people by Thursday. We push on, (sometimes with a Thursday night happy hour), and by Friday afternoon the walls can come crashing down. At my old job, I always noticed that the 3pm Starbucks crowd was always bigger on Fridays. I'd love to see a Seamless web analytics report on what types of food are ordered-in for delivery lunch on Fridays versus Mondays and Tuesdays. Pizza with carbs on the side? Yes please! 

Learning to Listen

I work with my clients on learning to tune in to their body's cues about what it most desperately needs. Often our body whispers before it starts roaring. Friday nights are a great example. We most likely need to give ourselves permission to rest, to take it slow, to say no to social plans or let our hair down and change in to sweats, but usually we want a quicker fix. 

It's 4pm and the clock is still ticking towards 5 or 6pm. This would be the perfect time for a nap, but in the cubicle, sweets are a more socially-acceptable option that won't get you fired. What to do? How about a dance party in the stall of a bathroom? Or taking a 10 minute walk outside to "go to the bank" and swing your arms around a bit?

It's 5 o'clock somewhere

Oh happy hour. It's so easy! I remember countless times feeling worn-out and utterly exhausted by Thursday and Friday from an intense combination of work stress, earlyy morning workouts and not too much sleep. My plan would be to have a quiet night or run errands, or head home first to get ready for a date or meeting up with friends. But I was TIRED. Then I'd get that magic email from my office buddy -- "happy hour?"  YES. I had purposely not done much with my hair that day or worn a middle of the road outfit so I wouldn't be tempted to go out for drinks. But why not! It was the easiest way not to feel "blah and tired anymore!" It's really easy not to listen to your body when your half way through your second cocktail. 

Now let's talk about Saturday and Sunday

We pack our weekends. I'm a huge planner and I'm super guilty when it comes to over-planning my 'rest days.' But I urge you to think: how can I plan for, or schedule in, "authentic rest?" That could take on many forms for you, and I encourage you to think about what that may be for this weekend. Here's some ideas to get you started:

  • 10 hours of sleep, or 12 hours, wouldn't that be lovely!
  • A Saturday cat nap
  • Going for a leisurely 60-90 minute long walk in nature (Central Park, East River + The Hudson count)
  • A restorative yoga class
  • A movie night with healthy popcorn
  • Reading a book on the couch
  • Lingering over a slow breakfast with the New York Times Weekend Edition
  • Sitting and staring at the wall or out the window (I'm serious, doesn't this sound sort of meditative?)

Ok, pick one, and carry on with your weekends my dear friends!

And PS: if you have a cocktail tonight, give me a cheers. Being social can be a huge way to unwind and de-stress and I think that's pretty great too!