A new year always brings out the hustling spirit in all of us.
“This year I’m going to grind and get this money!”
“The grind don’t stop in the ’17!”
“2017 is the year of the grind!”
Yeah. Grind, grind, grind. Work, work, work because hard work always equates to success right? Not really, but that’s a discussion for another time. Let me ask you this: With all this working and grinding you’re planning on doing this year, when do you get a break? I honestly believe that you should kick of this year of dope shit by resting.
Now to the serial over-planner that may sound like pure blasphemy, some would even say lazy, but I promise you it’s very important. We d0 way too much, all the time. Just think about your day for a minute. You wake up, get ready for work, go work (hate every minute of it depending on where you are in your career *cough cough*), get off work, go home, cook dinner (or order sushi like I do), take a shower, look up and it’s already 10:30 pm. And that’s the short version, not including the coworker or boss that pissed you off, the daily reminder of bills, debt, relationship drama, your unruly curl pattern, errands that need to be ran, and all the other countless surprises adulthood has to offer. You need to go somewhere and sit down!
Resting is not laziness, laziness is laziness. Taking the time to rest is so important for your physical, mental, and emotional health. Case in point: About a week and a half before Christmas I got sick. Yeah no big deal, right? No you don’t understand, when I get sick it’s always something crazy like the Spanish Flu or the Bubonic Plague, nothing simple like a cold because that’s my life. At first I thought it was cold, then it got worse, and I’m like, “Yeah, this is the flu. No worries, it’ll be over in a week or so”. Nah bruh. I was sick for two full weeks, and while this was happening I was working forty-seven hours a week. Why? Because the grind don’t stop! I had to push through it, a little snot and mean dry cough never hurt nobody.Yup I pushed myself through it all the way to Regions Hospital’s emergency room, and it wasn’t on my own accord. My mom, who’s eleven hundred miles away in Atlanta, had to threaten me bodily harm if I didn’t. And I’m afraid of her (still, at 28) so I went.
The diagnosis? A respiratory infection and the stomach flu. See? Fuckery. The physician’s assistant looked at me and said, “So how many days off do you want?” I was like, “Umm just give Saturday off” She looked at me like “Bish wheeeeet?!”
Her: So you want to go back Sunday?
Me: No, but a day should be okay. Can’t really afford to take too much more time than that. My boss would flip out.
Her: *stares blankly, obviously confused*
We kinda just sat in silence for a few moments, which was awkward. But then she said, “Your chest x-rays are okay for now but if go outside in this weather you will get pneumonia. It’s going to be below thirty this weekend. Your body needs to rest, you’re working entirely too much. I’m putting you on restriction for three days, that’ll be in your doctor’s note which you can give to your boss on Monday. Double up on the fluids, and don’t even dream of getting out of bed.” So I did what she said and by Monday I was still sick but far far better than I was before. But that whole situation got me thinking. Why is it so hard for us to rest when we need it the most? We kill ourselves in the pursuit of success, become damaged in the process, and wonder why our efforts don’t yield the results we desire. You can’t obtain abundance when you’re running on E.
Sometimes when we’re exhausted we gravitate towards people and activities that drain us even more. Or we convince ourselves that we’re being productive and a break isn’t really necessary because all this shit isn’t going to complete itself, right? Well screw all of that. You need to relax, refresh, and recharge. Today. Like right now, and we’re going to get through this together.
1. Disconnect from the world around you.
Get off Facebook (or IG, The Snap, ect.). Turn off your phone. Cut the TV off and get rid of any noise wherever you are. Do you hear that? It’s quietness, and you need more of it. You can’t make clear and calculated moves in an environment that rivals Jacksonville State’s Marching Southerners. Don’t think about what’s stressing you out, instead focus on what you want to see happen. Visualize yourself stomping that problem’s ass into the pavement. It’s very satisfying, trust me. Focus on how good it feels, don’t worry about the complexities of how it’s going to get done. You’ll figure that out later. This moment is all about enjoying the fullness and warmth of how good it feels to not think about all of your issues. Visualizing is so important and it’s the first step in applying the Law of Attraction into your everyday life, and it works. But that’s an entirely different animal, and another post for another time. Every time you feel your stress level spiraling out of control, go back to that thought of you knocking out your problems’ two front teeth. It’ll revolutionize your thoughts in a very major way.
2. Tend to yourself.
When I feel stressed, overwhelmed, or like I’m drowning in my problems I tend to myself. First, I clean my house. Seems like a small thing but it’s really a big deal. Usually when I can’t think straight my house is a mess; my thought space manifests itself into the environment around me. And I’ll let it go because I’ll be too tired to take care of it right then and there, but shortly after I just can’t take it anymore. I’ll drop everything and clean until my heart is content. When I’m done I feel so much better. I know where things are, it smells good, I just feel centered and content. So now when I go to handle my problems I can do so with a clear head because all that worrying and stressing wasted away while I was washing dishes and sweeping the floors. I wasn’t focusing on them which stopped my wild imagination from running all over America, which helped put the shine and sparkle back into my stove top, which stopped me from going off the deep end and snatching a couple wigs in the process.
Another way I tend to myself is by getting my nails done. I know that nearly every woman in the tri-state area does this but getting my nails done is like borderline a religious experience for me, I’ll make an entire day out of it. Why’s this so important? Because I don’t have to do anything but sit and be pampered. Sure I’ll have to drop a few coins, but the peace of mind I get from it is money well spent. Being able to walk into that shop and say, “I need a fill-in, a pedicure, and my brows snatched” and they say, “Yes ma’am” and get me right makes me feel like the Queen that I am. And that’s how I should feel all the time, that’s how you should feel all the time. You are a strong, amazingly talented, hard working, intelligent, drop dead gorgeous and dazzling adulting superstar. Don’t let life’s problems allow you to believe anything less than that.
3. Rest your body.
Your sleep system works like a bank, you can only withdraw what you deposit and most of the time you find yourself swimming in overdraft fees. Thirty-seven percent of American women chug more than three caffeinated beverages a day according to the National Sleep Foundation. Stop making Starbucks rich and get some sleep! It plays an important role in your physical health. It’s involved in healing and repairing your heart and blood vessels, keeps your immune system on it’s toes, and improves your memory. Ongoing lack of sleep has been linked to increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. I know you don’t want any part of that. Plus, have you been around someone who hasn’t had a good amount of sleep? Not fun at all. I’m the worst when I don’t sleep enough. I’m cranky, I whine a lot, or cry, and the smallest things set me off. God bless the poor souls who have to deal with me because I’m a hot funky ass mess. Eight hours a night is a must, no exceptions. When you get in bed silence your phone, don’t ask questions just do it. You’ll thank me in the long run. And its okay to sleep in sometimes, there’s definitely room for passive rest on your off days. This was a big challenge for me because I used to not be able to turn off my “grind” switch, but boy have I made up for lost time.
When we have problems we like to sound off and unload those problems on the people closest to us. That’s become second nature to us but if you’re not careful it can easily become the foundation in making your loved ones an emotional dumping ground. They love you and want the best for you, but nobody wants to hear drama and negativity all the time. So write it down, and don’t hold anything back. Write down exactly how you feel in that moment, it doesn’t even have to be complete thoughts just as long as you can understand it. This is extremely therapeutic because you’re only reliving your pisstivity once instead of over and over again if you told multiple people. Have you ever noticed how exhausted you feel after you tell five people the same emotionally charged story? You’re ready to go take a nap, or just stop talking altogether. Yeah, journaling cuts all that out. I use Journalate when I need to blow off some steam and its great because its free, I do love free. Or if you like kicking it old school go out and get a physical one. All of my journals are pretty, and the pens I write in them with are pretty too. Why? Because that makes me excited to use them, I look forward to writing about my day, or my goals, or the latest thing happening in my life no matter if its good or bad. I get all of those thoughts out of my head and onto those pages so I can make room for others that get me closer to my dreams. You should do the same.
5. Create a bedtime ritual.
Rituals are bomb as f*ck. I have one for every occasion you can think of, but none of them pop harder than my nightly ritual. I’ll light some candles, pour me a glass of wine, turn on some music, eat a fabulous meal, wash and exfoliate my skin, condition my hair, take a long hot bath, lather every inch of my body in oil, dry off, get dressed, and go to bed. How do I feel afterwards? F*CKING FLAWLESS! The entire time you know what I’m thinking about? Absolutely nothing. I think all day and it feels good to put my mind into airplane mode. By the time I get dressed I can barely keep my eyes open, I knock out, and I stay that way until the morning. When I don’t do this I stay up all night scrolling through Facebook, I think about my problems until I drive myself insane, and I toss and turn all night when I finally start to fall asleep. Which one is the better option? Exactly. Get a routine going, I have one for the morning and the night, it works wonders.
6. Recharge your emotions.
This one’s a biggie. Being around people who are positive and emotionally healthy is imperative to your well-being. You want to be around people who want to see you win. Someone encouraged me to be alone on my off day and I looked at them like they were crazy. I had just moved to Minneapolis, I didn’t know anyone there (which is strange to me because I know tons of people back home in Atlanta), and I felt like I really needed to get out there and meet people so I wouldn’t turn into a hermit. But they were onto something good. I spend over forty hours a week around people at work. Short people, fat people, dumb people (mostly dumb because *retail*), semi-sort of smart people, nice people, rude people, people with bad ass kids, old people, young people. Just people. And all the time. Taking two days out of the week to spend time with me and replenish my energy and emotions was very wise advice, I’m glad I was smart enough to take it. Because if I hadn’t I’d probably would’ve lost my mind by now.
7. Refocus your spirit.
Your mind and body are usually at the forefront of your consciousness, and your spirit tends to get lost in the shuffle but its just as important. Resting comes full circle when you learn how to focus your spiritual self. I’m not talking about practicing religion but more so realigning the balance within yourself. When doing the things I’ve mentioned thus far I always find some time to slip in some meditation. I know some people may be turned off to the idea of meditation but that’s because they don’t understand it. You should definitely try it because it’s amazing and its been scientifically proven to help your overall well-being. It lessens worry, anxiety, impulsiveness, depression, creates better cognitive skills and creative thinking, reduces blood pressure, kicks PMS’s ass, and even helps with inflammatory orders and asthma. How? Because it disconnects you from stress. People really don’t realize just how much stress can f*ck your shit up. It leads to heart disease (which is the leading cause of death worldwide), insomnia, diabetes, digestive problems, and a wide range of other ailments which are all good reasons to keep calm and realign your chakras.
Working hard and going after your goals and dreams is great, I applaud you for doing that. But sometimes we have to know when to hit the pause button and take a moment to breathe. You should never feel bad for taking time for yourself because that time is so necessary. Here’s to being a more complete human being, let’s make this year a spectacular one. Cheers!