By Lily Alvarado, @lilykarenalvarado
As the tide rises and falls, so do our energy levels. We human vessels are meant to be replenished regularly to keep living. What fills your well?
If you’re not sure, you’re not alone. As women, we are taught to constantly put others’ needs before our own with little to no regard for what that does to us. Figuring out where the juice is for you is a good place to start. Taking the time to check in with ourselves throughout the day helps us to better understand what we truly need, moment to moment.
We all know a grumble in our bellies means it’s time to eat, but what is our body telling us we need when we’re irritable or inexplicably sad or anxious? It could be pointing to a lot of needs, but they all include one key element: rest.
As a Christian, I believe God created the universe in six days and on the seventh day, He rested. Why? My faith precludes any notion that He was tired or depleted or somehow in lack and needed to slow down. No, we believe He rested to demonstrate to us finite beings the completely integral importance of stopping and resting regularly. We call this Sabbath rest. And because it’s built into the fabric of humanness, it’s vital we all understand it, religious or not.
Do you have one day a week where you are absolutely not available for anything work-related, no matter what? Where you don’t obsess over Monday’s presentation or whether or not you’ll get the raise you asked for?
You see, Sabbath rest is not just about a day on the calendar, it’s a mentality. You may not go into the office on the weekends, but is the office still on your mind? Then you’re not resting. So how do you get there? It’s hard to just not think about work; it needs to be baked into your daily mindset.
What I’m really pointing to is boundaries.
How are you at sticking to them? Do you respond to emails when you’re off the clock during the week? It’ll be much harder to shut that mechanism off come Saturday. Do you consistently take on too many responsibilities in your life? Do you often feel worn thin? Then you may need to sit with yourself and really write out what boundaries you need to put in place immediately to conserve your energy reserve.
I know that new boundaries can be difficult to keep, especially when so many people have come to depend on your availability, but start with creating and honoring your own boundaries and watch how quickly your “No” muscle strengthens with others! Here are just a few examples of small boundaries you can start to implement:
- No recreational screen time after a specific time during the week
- No work emails or correspondences after office hours
- No work-related activities or conversations on Sundays (or whichever day works best)
Try one or all of these out and just see what comes from it. Once you get the ball rolling, you won’t be able to stop! And as you do a better and better job of honoring your boundaries, you’ll find that you’ll want to guard them with your life and rest will be a space you can move into easily and effortlessly.
- Lily A.
Based in Brooklyn, New York, Lily is a Soprano known for her signature red-lip and has been to virtually every French Bakery in the five boroughs.