Our world is a busy one and if you’re like me, there are times when you’re pulled in many directions and can end up feeling overwhelmed.
It’s not a good place to be.
When my world is frantic my head is buzzing but not in a good way, I’ve got multiple tasks on the go at the one time, the to-do list is growing faster than I tick items off, and my patience is tested with work colleagues as they keep asking me to do more.
I’m mentally drained when I do leave the office and when I get home, there’s a list of domestic to-do’s, meals to prepare, website work to do and before I know it it’s 10:30pm and I not felt I’ve had any ‘me’ time to relax before going to bed to sleep then do it all over again. Sound familiar?
Thankfully not all my days are that hectic however when they are I feel as if the hamster wheel is spinning on overdrive and I can’t get off.
Caring for your self is essential
No person, not matter how super human you may think you are, can maintain a relentless pace that doesn’t allow time out for rest: trying to do so will only cause you to burn out and your emotional and physical health to suffer.
It’s vital to get off the hamster wheel on weekends so that you can recharge. I’m very fortunate that I can physically and mentally escape the energy and pace of my city working world to the country most weekends. It’s my time to completely immerse myself in a very different routine that allows me to let go of the working week.
Whilst weeding the beetroot patch at the farm last weekend I asked myself what is it that I do differently on farm weekends that re-energises me for the working week ahead? So here is my veggie patch wisdom that will help you to recharge and care for yourself:
- Unplug from technology
Phone calls and emails control my working week so I’m more than happy to unplug from technology on weekends. When I’m at the farm I don’t have my computer and my phone is on silent and in the house, only getting checked at the end of the day. When someone calls or emails you, it’s their agenda not yours so it’s very liberating to be in charge of when you want to be contacted. Try it.
- Be in nature
As a city worker, my Monday to Friday working environment is one of concrete, steel, glass, air-conditioning, artificial lighting and technology.
At the farm it’s the complete opposite. I feel physically invigorated and alive breathing fresh air, feeling the sun on my skin and the wind in my hair. I’m walking on the natural ground and have my hands literally in the earth. I can see the clouds move, the landscape rise and fall: there is physical space all around me. I can hear the birds sing and call, and the other animals bark, meow, quack and cluck. I can smell the earth. I can see plants how the plants have grown, how the rain has filled the dam and watered all that is growing. The farm is a natural environment, alive, growing and nurturing.
Whilst I do aim for 8 hours sleep each night during the week, it regularly doesn’t happen during the week, so come Friday I’m often tired: a tired Joanna is not a happy pumpkin!
Less than 6 hours each day on a regular basis will impact negatively on your mood, energy levels, mental clarity, productivity, communication, creativity, vitality, emotions and ability to handle stress so it’s essential to get some catch-up sleep on the weekend.
On farm weekends it’s an absolute luxury for me to wake when my body says to rather than when the alarm goes off. Having worked physically hard during the day doing farm tasks, it’s usually an early night too, so another opportunity to catch up on a bit more sleep.
- Some solo time
When was the last time you spent time on your own, simply being in the moment?
Weeding the veggie patch has come to be a favourite farm activity for just that reason. I’m only responsible for me and the single weeding task I’m doing which is so refreshing.
It’s my time to pause from corporate work life and simply focus on how I’m feeling, and what I’m seeing, smelling, and hearing. My thoughts wander here and there as I weed and I can pause at any time just to be and soak up the energy of nature. It feels sooo good!
Human bodies were not meant to sit for hours on end staring at a computer screen. Our bodies become stiff and cramped and our natural energy is impacted by the artificial environments we work in.
Farm weekends are physically active for me. I walk, sit, kneel, squat, bend, twist, reach, lift, and carry continually throughout the day. I discover muscles that haven’t been used for a while and whilst I sometimes feel weary come the end of the day, I love the opportunity to be physically rather than mentally tired.
- Quality time with family, friends and loved ones
City working life can be very isolating. You may be surrounded by hundreds of other people in your working day but how many of them do you actually share a smile, a story, a hug, a laugh or dream? Many people go home alone with no one to share their day with.
Farm weekends for me are very much about connection and sharing thoughts and feelings. In doing so, perspectives and understanding can be confirmed, or perhaps shift and change. Conversations and activities are by choice rather than directed by others and linked to KPIs. Time can be spent over a leisurely cup of tea, a meal, a walk in the sun, an evening by the fire: sharing life, connecting with others and creating memories together.
Fortunately these 6 steps are not exclusive to a farm weekend: you can do all of them regardless of where you live. The key is to take time to do things differently on your weekends and take care of you!
How do you like to recharge on weekends?
Until next time, wishing you a delicious day filled with love, laughter, happiness AND plenty of caring for yourself!