Do you ever feel like you’re on an empty tank? Like, you’re so depleted that you just can’t focus or you get overwhelmed easily? Or maybe you’re unable to fully show up in life, or lack the wherewithal to tackle any of the shit on your to-do list?
Well, my friend, that’s because you are quite literally low on energy. In today’s episode we’re going to learn a few ways to recharge your powerhouse so you can get through your day more easily.
Welcome to the podcast, Unlocking Wellness! I'm Crystal McLain, Licensed Clinical Massage Therapist, and Self-Care Coach and I'm exploring ways to unlock our wellness barriers so we can create Self Care Independence, because we find our freedom when we’re living well.
Hello my friend, I hope you’re doing well, and if you’re not then I hope you find this episode helpful. AND, if you’d like to read along while you listen, I offer that feature at my website: crystalmclaincreative.com. You can find a direct link to this episode in the show notes below. And, if you want to make sure you never miss an episode, you can either sign up for my newsletter, or subscribe to my podcast wherever you like to listen most.
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Alright, let’s get to it.
So, there’s lots and lots of reasons why you might be running low on juice. And we could spend a life time sifting through the possible culprits. But, because you’re busy, and quite possibly exhausted, let’s not worry about those reasons right now. There’s plenty of time for that later. Instead, let’s just explore the seemingly obvious way you can recharge your battery…
I know, it seems so simple, right? Get a solid 7-9 hours of sleep, and take some time to kick up your feet. Rest doesn’t seem like rocket science, but all too often we’re actually not doing it very well. Now, I don’t want you to go and start beating yourself up if you happen to be one of those people who’ve been half-assing their sacred R&R time. We ALL fall prey to shitting habits, present company included - yes, my friend, I suck at resting sometimes, too. But, instead of getting down on ourselves, let’s take this as an opportunity to enlighten ourselves and maybe try something new.
So, a good chunk of us, quite honestly, are over scheduled, or, more accurately, over stimulated, and we suffer from a nagging case of FOMO. We’d sooner forgo an hour or two of sleep so we can catch up on all the things we’re afraid of missing out on, including… scrolling through social media.
Now, let’s have an honest moment, how many times have you stayed up a little too late because you just couldn’t get enough of the Facebook, the TikTok or ‘grams…? Or, how many times do you rummage through the socials while you’re watching tv, cooking, or taking a bath?
MmmmHmmm…. I know, I know.
I get it. It’s fun, it’s entertaining, and it literally, yes, literally, gives you a dopamine boost. Which, by the way, is one of your feel-good hormones. BUT, this surge of happy hormones poses its own problems because that’s how we become addicted to our phones… And let me tell you, addiction will steal you energy quicker than anything. But we’re talkin’ about quality relaxation, so let’s get back on track…
Our brains are designed to be able to take in an enormous amount of information, that said, even the brain has its limits. When we regularly and frequently scroll through this infinite sea of social media, we give our brains too much to process. It’s cruising through so many ideas and images, that it can’t possibly complete an entire thought process. Consequently, this throws us into something that’s actually called, “information overload”, it’s a real thing. Look it up. Anyway, information overload dramatically impacts the “motivational system” in the brain and makes it harder for us to make decisions or prioritize tasks. When we take in too much information, the brain literally sees this as a threat and kind of shuts down, putting you into a tranced out, or zombie type state. It’s kind of like when a computer tries to process too many applications all at once. You get that stupid whirligig thing while everything else seizes. Too much social media overloads your brain and will drain your mental battery. Not only that, but it can lead to anxiety or even depression…so please, please, please, take solid breaks from your phone now and then.
Another reason to tuck your phone away when you’re trying to get your relax on is because it fucks with your circadian rhythm.
The blue light that shines from all those fancy electronic gadgets literally restrains your natural production of melatonin, which, by the way, is the hormone that controls your sleepy-time cycles.
Seriously, put the phone down, unless, of course, you’re reading this. Which in that case, put it down when you’re done…and then go buy yourself some blue blockers.
Okay. Great. You’re ditching the phone, not completely, let’s not get crazy. But you’re certainly going to put it down when you’re trying to fully relax and recharge your batteries.
Now, let’s talk about the crazy shit that might happen when you stop using your phone during your chill time. Because honestly, it’s probably gonna get weird.
Well, to start, you’re probably going to get antsy, and maybe even feel compelled to “entertain” yourself somehow. You might find yourself unconsciously reaching for your phone. You might start bargaining with yourself, justifying just a quick peek. You might even feel the urge to be productive. You MAY even start to kick around bullshit thoughts like, relaxing means you’re lazy, or, that you’re dumb for not doing this whole resting thing sooner. Who know’s, the brain is a crazy bitch. But you can bet your ass that you’re gonna go through very real symptoms while you give yourself a stimulation detox.
My advice? Embrace that shit. Sit with your antsy-ness and accept it. These feelings come from years of being conditioned to HAVING to be stimulated in some way. You’ve been programmed to become a human doing/consuming/absorbing. It’s time to retrain yourself to go back to being a human-simply-BEING.
So, what’s the best course of action while you recondition yourself to living a life that’s less digitally stimulating and more therapeutically relaxing?
Well, long ago, in a more analog way of life, way back in the 1990’s we actually lived without smart phones. And while our leisure time may have consisted of a television set, it also included things that didn’t melt our brains like the radio, books, hobbies, and other things that slowed down the brain’s processing system.
And that’s the goal. While you’re giving your body a break, you must also slow down your mind. It’s super important for your brain to take its time while it completes an entire thought process.
This is that mindfulness thing I keep talking about.
Anyway, if you REALLY wanna level up your recharge game, and relax to the max, try simply being. Sit on park bench, and watch people go by. Curl up by a window and witness the shadows shift and change . Lie on the floor, and stare at the mother-lovin’ ceiling - that, actually, has ALWAYS been go-to for when I need to drop out of life and drop into my chill zone. It’s so friggin’ good. Seriously, these simple, “boring” activities are SO rejuvenating. Your brain, and your body, need real, proper rest, free of as many extra external stimulators as possible. So whatever seems like the most boring thing for you to do, go do it. It’s gonna be so good for you..
And if you’re having trouble pushing past those brain-body jitters that come from a stimulation detox, there’s a few things you can do.
I know, I know…breathing. It’s everywhere, right? With all the hype deep breathing gets you’d think it could save the world. Well, I think it actually could…but I digress. There’s a reason we’re told to breathe during challenging times, and it’s linked to the same reasons why we need proper rest. Both breathing and rest help trigger the parasympathetic response, which is that magical time when the body repairs itself.
One of the reasons we end up with anxiety, digestive problems, insomnia, high blood pressure, and a boat load of other issues is because our bodies never get a chance to recalibrate after all that we demand from it. Now, I’m not saying a good breathing sesh is going to get rid of your hypertension completely, but it’s certainly going to help.
Slow, deep breathing will slow down your heart rate and relax your nervous system, which are key ingredients for proper rest.
2. Make a Mantra
Giving your brain something else to focus on other than the thousands of things you could be doing instead of relaxing, is super helpful. And creating a mantra that makes sense to you can certainly do the trick.
Mantras don’t have to be all spiritual or profound. They can be short and simple, like, “I am relaxed”. Or, even just, “relax”, works if you’re not feeling overly creative. As long as your mantra aligns with what you’re working on and matches your personality’s tone, use whatever you want. “Bitch, I’m chill…” See? That works, too.
By the way, you totally get bonus points if you can pair your breath with your mantra.
Also, don’t feel like you have to say your mantra out loud, you can that keep it in your head if you want, or even write it down in a journal. It all works.
3. Head Massage
All the functions of your mind and body are controlled by your brain, which, as you know, lives in your head. And because the head is such a busy place, we tend to hold a lot of tension up there. Giving yourself a thorough face and scalp massage will not only feel AH-MAZING, but it will also help relax your ass.
So, here’s a few pro tips for a good massage.
- Go slow. The slower the movements, the more relaxing it will be.
- Experiment with pressure. Sometimes light nerves strokes feel good (especially when you’re sweeping down the face), and sometimes a deeper touch does the trick (like, at the top or base of the skull). Do what feels good, and what feels right.
- Go exploring. There’s lots of spots on the head that feel REALLY good when they’re massaged. Try gently pinching the eyebrows, the lips, chin, and all the little bits on the ear. Glide behind the ears, down the sinuses, and along the jaw. Smoosh your cheeks in great big circles with your palms. Get weird, have fun, and make it feel delicious.
There are so many things we can to to elevate our rest and relaxation, and these are just a few. If you’re feeling burnt out, foggy brained, or cranky try these simple tricks. They don’t cost you anything and are accessible 24/7. Even if you just start with a few minutes here and there, you’re retraining your brain to create healthier habits that will help your body to keep up with all of life’s demands.
You deserve to live a balanced, healthy life, and you have the power within you to create it.
If you’d like to learn more about anything that I’ve mentioned today, or would like to explore other self care resources I have to offer, you can visit me at crystalmclaincreative.com, or check out the show notes below.
I love you.
I appreciate you.
Thank you so much for being here.
I’ll see you soon.
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