Most everyone leads a busy life these days. But those of us doing the work of recovery face added stresses to the mind and body that can leave us feeling tired long before bedtime. Though taking an afternoon nap probably isn’t always an option, there are more practical ways for us to catch a second or third wind during the day.
1. Get moving—gently.
Doing just a few moments of yoga can boost your energy level. Deep belly breathing delivers fresh oxygen to the blood, and certain positions can sharpen our mental focus. There are also other positions that can clear out toxins from inside the body. If you enjoy cardio, sneak in even just a couple of minutes of low-impact aerobics with a DVD, or simply dance to a favorite song. As your heart rate rises and your blood takes in more fresh oxygen, the fatigue will fade away.
2. Take a laugh break.
The health benefits of laughter have been explored in numerous studies. In fact, one study confirms that the act of laughing reduces stress levels and blood pressure, and improves heart health. Beyond all that, laughing is also a sure-fire way to lighten your mood. Check out YouTube or iTunes to find comics and movies that you enjoy. Or perhaps get together with friends who share your sense of humor. Since laughing is also a form of exercise, you can all have fun and get fit abs, too.
3. Find a change of scenery.
It’s easy to get “stuck” in the same position all day, whether at a desk or a cash register, and boredom leads to feeling tired. Believe it or not, even changing the focus of your gaze for a few moments can re-set you. But here are some other ideas: If you work with people all day, find a secluded spot to let down and take a few deep breaths. If you work with technology, move away from the screen, taking in different areas of the room, or the view through the window. If you have a couple of minutes, step outside to get some fresh air and focus on the sounds you hear. Do some quick eye rolls and jaw circles to loosen any tight facial muscles.
4. Read Scripture or some inspirational writing.
In the midst of a busy day, we can lose ourselves amid all the people and situations that demand our attention. Carving out time for a quick read from a devotional or the Big Book will set you right again. Your focus will shift to something beyond the urgent, and you’ll be reminded that a higher power is at work in your life. Chances are you’ll set the book down with a renewed sense of purpose and personal vision.
5. Engage in productive daydreaming.
You may think daydreaming is a waste of time. But taking little mental vacations during the day can actually help refresh you. The key is not to do it to escape reality, but to give yourself a spark of excitement about where you are headed in life. Have a vision in your mind that represents your short-term and long-term goals. For instance, imagine how you’ll feel as your recovery goes on: cleaner, stronger, more able to enjoy every day, being more available to those you love, etc. If it helps, find pictures online or from magazines that illustrate what you desire—you can even use Pinterest, or make a vision board to hang somewhere. Adding even a couple of these habits into your day will not only revive you, but will help your mindset stay positive and forward-looking.