Learning how recharge our batteries (and I’m not talking about our cellphones)
I knew a woman who told me about a tired looking dog who went through her front door one day. The dog came down the hallway, and got on her couch to fall asleep for an hour. The woman let it stay because it had a collar (even though it didn’t have tags), looked well fed, and her own dogs didn’t seem to mind. The dog slept for an hour or so and then went out the door. The next day he was back and resumed the same position on the couch. He continued to do this for the next three weeks. Curious, the lady pinned a note to the dog’s collar and wrote, “Every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap. I don’t mind but I want to make sure it’s okay with you.” The next day he arrives with a different note pinned to his collar saying, “He lives in a home with three children. He’s trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?”
In our busy and fast paced culture, we forget that it’s good to take and cherish quality alone time because it is an opportunity to check in with yourself, bring awareness to what you really need, and “recharge your batteries”. Because we are constantly interacting with others face to face or on social media these days, it seems almost impossible to be alone. We have to consciously shoo away others in order to not be bothered. We have to set “out of office” replies on our computer, we have to turn off our phones, we have to deactivate our FB accounts, we have to unplug. Quite frankly it’s a lot of work and who really wants to do all that?
If we somehow do happen to have a lot of alone time, it is also very rare to actually cherish that alone time and be at peace with our aloneness. We often feel like we need to constantly be doing something otherwise we don’t feel productive. Because of this, most of us spend lots of time running around and feeling exhausted. We never learn how to “recharge” ourselves. It’s hard to not always be multitasking and responding to people via text, email, phone, or social media. It’s easy to use our technology as an escape, too. Think about all of the people you see checking their phones at restaurants or while waiting in line for the movies. It is habit. The second we start to feel bored, our go -to move is to check Instagram or Snapchat. Boredom usually comes from not having anything to do that gets you truly excited and fills you with joyful anticipation. Find something that makes you feel happy and creative and do that instead. On a budget? Find some old watercolors in your junk drawer and go wild on some old assignments. Slowly but surely you will begin to cherish your alone time and then in return actually have more energy to give to the people around you when you see them.