I needed a break

This past Sunday was a dream kinda day for me. 

I spent it shooting some gorg new Shrink Session videos for you.  (Details on that in a few more weeks.)

I had two of my wonderful Shrink Session teachers, Olivia and Joanie there and a full crew of insanely talented people to support the process. 

All of our collective adrenaline got us through several workouts, a few costume changes and lots of sweat.

As we wrapped up the day, I felt complete.

I know YOU have had those days where you are so satisfied because everything you could imagine falls into place.  You feel connected, inspired, and unstoppable. It feels like you did that VERY thing you were born to do and if you could do it everyday, all day for the rest of your life, you WOULD!

It’s kind of funny then, that I am writing this love letter to you from my bed, under my covers, barely able to get a thing done on my to do list. My body aches, my head feels foggy and inspiration feels like a far off distant dream.

How did I go from being A GIRL ON FIRE to a GIRL UNDER COVERS?

Is it not possible to maintain that open, inspiring, take on the world energy like, every single day?

If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it is the importance of planning downtime and rest after you put yourself, your talent, your ideas or your energy out there in a very big way.

Regardless of your personality (introverts tend to need a little more rest after big to do’s than extroverts) building REST into your life will be the very thing that helps you get to the next level.  

More importantly, rest helps you maintain the “my life is freakin’ amazing” attitude that I know you seek. 

I want you to think of it in terms of training your body.

Sports medicine will prove over and over again that building recovery time into any training program is important because it’s the time the body adapts to the stress of exercise.

The REST is actually where the REAL training and growth takes place. (Imagine that!)

Recovery time allows your energy stores to be replenished and your tissue to repair itself.  Without sufficient time to repair and replenish, the body will continue to breakdown from intensive exercise.

And guess what happens when the body breaks down? It gets injured.

The same thing goes for your life. Without planning proper rest and recovery, you WILL burn out.

And burn out ain’t sexy on anyone. I don’t care how good you look.

So, with that, today, tomorrow or this weekend, I want to give you full permission to take it easy.

My guess is that if you are reading this, you are putting yourself out there in bigger and bigger ways.  You are sitting on your tush waiting for life to hand you things.

I know you are moving, shaking and regularly stepping out of what’s comfortable for you.  

Notice how I said comfortable for YOU.

I didn’t say you only get to rest if you have accomplished what Gretta Bleikenstok accomplished. (I made that name up.)

But if you are doing things that are new, big and out standing for YOU, then a rest is imperative and you have full permission.

Here are a few tips/reminders to help you create that space for yourself.

1. It’s ok to say no.

I was supposed to meet friends out for dinner last night, but instead I cancelled and ordered in. No cooking for me. My friends understood, so will the people in your life.

2. Spend some time doing something uber relaxing and indulgent for yourself.

After I finish writing this email, I am going to spend an hour watching Breaking Bad. (Ok, let’s be honest, it’s prob more like the next several hours, but I will try to practice some self control… and then again, maybe I won’t.)

3. Understand your rhythm

By this point, I have learned that if I spend a day around a lot of people, giving a lot of my energy whether it is teaching, coaching or shooting, I am going to be pooped the next day. The more I accept this about my own personal rhythm, the more I can honor it.

Today’s action step:

I invite you to come on over the blog and tell me WHEN you require a big REST?

Is there something that you do in your life, that if done really well, you know will be best served followed by some RECOVERY time? 

Is it a big meeting? Launching a product? A networking event? Spending time with your in-laws?

Let us know in the comments. It will help you start to understand your own rhythms. (And secretly, I like to know about the cool and exciting things you do.;)

When you can understand your needs and you’re bound to succeed.

I’ll see you when I get out of bed.



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8 Responses to I needed a break

  1. Heather says:

    Thank you for sharing this! Especially with living in NYC it is sometimes hard to not beat yourself up for wanting and needing to slow down for a day or two. This city is so fast paced and there is always something to do or something that you could be doing that this was an excellent reminder to take care of yourself. I find that after a full day of auditions, and then bartending I am generally not jumping out of bed the next morning. Prior to this post I would get very down on myself for being a little hermit in those moments but now I will learn to listen to myself more and take the time to rejuvenate when I need it! xoxo

  2. Well that was perfect timing. As you know, the Summit ends today. The last week I have been out of town in Canada with family and now in Seattle all while doing last minute work for the Summit. I thought it would be fine to be out of town for the entire last week of the summit – but it made the vacation less vacationy. ( made up word )
    I do have “down time” planned in to my schedule – yet I will still be teaching. Just at a totally different pace than what the Summit demanded of me. I learned a lot about the similar thing you were writing about above. Things seem easy – or seem manageable and we don’t really know what will be required until we are in it. So I think what I’ve learned is that – even if I have the best team ever, and the best outline and schedule, I need to add in down time after every single project I do. And to NEVER vacation in the middle of my biggest event of the year!
    P.S. Thank you for being in my Summit. You are one of my favorite people and I’m honored to have had the opportunity to interview you. xo

  3. Cassie says:

    I am a high school teacher. I have breaks built in… thank goodness. Because by the time they roll around, I am ready for a few days of lazing about, reading my book, and laying in bed.

    I am more an introvert than anything. So being around 60 students plus countless faculty and administration members every day, all day wears me out… emotionally mostly.

  4. Heidi says:

    I love this advice ! I am a Kindergarten teacher and I often feel like my body is asking for more rest than I give it. I agree that the breaks in the school year are vital to us to be rejuvenated for the kids again.

    When we are truly present for our students, it can be emotionally draining. Some jobs you just have to love !

  5. Susan says:

    Great advice! Stopping to listen to your own body is so important and yet sometimes so difficult to do when you are in the business of giving your energy to help others. Thanx for the reminder on how important recovery is – that’s where the magic happens!

  6. Melody says:

    yes, yes, yes! I work with my rhythm… I figured it out years ago and shift from here or there!

    I need at least a day and a half after traveling, just to chillax and unpack. Preferrably two days, but no less than a full day to recoup.

    I need a half day to recoop after working with one person intensively in their homes/space. I schedule every other day, and as needed, I’ll schedule a smaller session the day in between them.

    I need 8 hours of sleep… it doesn’t matter if I go to bed at 8pm or 1am… my body naturally wakes up around the 8 hour mark. So…depending on what I’ve got planned for the next day, I may or may not get to bed early!

    Every morning I take at least one hour of quiet time to sip coffee, go outdoors, and warm up to my day. Then, it’s on!

    To relax or have fun, I head outdoors. There are so many different ways to enjoy the day… 4 wheeling, walking, laying in the grass… pulling weeds… or taking pictures. If I’m up to getting dressed to go to town, then I do that once a month :-D, sometimes twice a month.

    I have coffee, lunch, or tea dates with my long distance friends & colleagues on Skype. It’s a blast!!!

  7. Max Arthur says:

    That’s a pretty good advice for people always on the go like me. Thank you, Erin.

  8. Jamie says:

    That’s so true Erin! Love this! We learned at a homeschooling conference several years ago about the importance of rest. When our minds are resting from learning, it is actually processing all that we have learned in the past week. This is why God created the Sabbath, or a day of rest. I also find that when I am dreaming at night, it’s my minds way of working things out from that day. God is so good! Love you!