Americans are not only collectors of “stuff” and spenders; they also tend to be workaholics. For purposes of this article, workaholics are “those who never take time for self to relax so they can regenerate their body and mind. To state it even more plainly, they schedule no “downtime” or take time to truly rest. They are constantly on the run whether it is to work, to help children, to help a friend, do volunteer work, go to the mall or religiously watch their favorite TV show. And, perish the thought that they might miss the latest episode or 24 or American Idol.
You do not need to have a full time job or work out of the house to be faced with this over worked fatigue plus mental and physical exhaustion. A very large majority of our population complains about always being tired; having little or no resistance to the latest flu bug or simply running low on energy. You can not possible take care of the business of taking care of yourself if you do not plan for “downtime”. You can indeed work out and feed your body the best of nutritional foods, even supplements yet those are no replacement for “downtime”.
So what really is down time? Just what does one have to do to achieve pure unadulterated regenerating “downtime”? Is there actually such a thing? Yes, there really is such a thing. The best definition I can give you for true “downtime” is: personal quiet time alone, set aside on a regular basis to allow your body to completely rest and regenerate”. I’ve been asked, “but how much time do I need”? The only answer to that is “it depends on how depleted of energy your body has become”. For some people it can be as little as an hour per week, for others, it could require a whole week of “downtime” per month and maybe more in the beginning.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Are you always overly tired
Do you constantly have this nagging feeling that you are forgetting something important
Do you seem to catch every “bug” going around or constantly have what you think is an allergic reaction to something in the air
If you’ve answered yes to at least two of these, the odds are good that a large amount of pre-planned rest will do you wonders. Sometimes even the most mundane of things can cause a depletion of energy; a boring job, demanding children, volunteering regularly for the sick and dying. No, you should not give those things up, what you need to understand is that you need to also build into your schedule time for self; time for regeneration, time for re-energizing you, not just your job, neighbors, children and the millions of other things and people constantly tugging at you, draining your energy.
The first thing you can do to counterbalance all of these energy drains is to decide you will change. Once you make that decision, the rest is easy. Sometimes it is the simplest yet most difficult decision that stands in our way. Say to self, “I choose to re-energize self on a regular basis through the use of positive energy “downtime”, and then do it.
Next decide when you are going to give yourself this much deserved “downtime”. In the beginning I’d suggest clearing at least one hour per week on your schedule for reenergizing “downtime”. Then, do it. After you spend a couple of one hour sessions in “downtime”, you will know whether you need longer more frequent sessions, the same number or fewer. Just don’t make changes too soon. You may think you are bored when your body is saying “this is great, I want more”.
Then, select a space or area in your home where you can be totally alone for this one hour period. It can be a bedroom, patio, loft or wherever your heart leads you in your home where you feel safe and secure. Now you are ready to begin. Make sure others living with you understand that you are not to be disturbed for this one hour. During your one hour in this lovely space you have created you are to do absolutely nothing. Yes, that’s right, nothing. The more nothing you can do the better it will be for re-energizing. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to nothing. If you hear noises or music, that’s OK, just keep your mind focus on nothing. Let it day dream or visualize pretty things or remember very peaceful times in your life but nothing in particular. This will be the best part of your week once you get the hang of it.
“Downtime” is so very important for all of us. We think we go on vacation but what we really do is “go”. We think we to visit friends to relax but our body is constantly working and thinking while visiting. We think we visit shut-ins for downtime but that drains our energy too. “Downtime” is just that; no work, no thinking and no interaction with others. “Downtime” is complete and utter absorption in doing nothing but letting your body and mind completely rest, regenerate and re-energized. “Downtime” is the best form of Feng Shui you can give yourself.
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© Pat Heydlauff, All Rights Reserved
Pat Heydlauff, president of Energy Design, uses Feng Shui design principles to eliminate chaos and stress at home and within oneself. More than a Feng Shui expert, Pat is a consultant and speaker who helps remove clutter and negativity while encouraging personal growth, improved relationships and prosperity. Her new book, “Feng Shui: So Easy a Child Can Do It,” shows how to achieve a better tomorrow. For information on her consulting, speaking and artwork, call: 561-408-2708.