Give Yourself a Break NOW! By Hannah Alexander

Once upon a time I thought that when I got older I would be able to slow down all the frantic busy-ness in my life. Little did I realize that the longer I lived, the more responsibilities would pile up on me. And don’t even get me started on deadlines. Even now that my Hannah Alexander persona is writing independently, there are still deadlines to be met to keep readers happy. Combine that with growing a new business (our clinic) and it seems our lives are full to overflowing with work. Sure, it’s work we chose to do, but there’s still stress involved.

I wake up in the morning thinking of all the things I have to do that day and I want to hide under the covers for the rest of the day.

Because of that, some days I’ve begun to force downtime. I’ve turned a blind eye to laundry piling up. Usually before we run out of clothes, I’ll be in the mood to wash. That’s good enough for me. I can even fold socks in front of the TV if I feel like it, but only if I feel like it. Long ago, I made the decision that the home and appliances are there to serve me, I’m not there to serve them.

When I’m in the mood to cook I’ll cook extra and freeze the rest so when I’m desperate for something to pack for our lunches, I can grab something from the freezer and we’ll be set. However, on those cooking days I’ve discovered it’s necessary to go ahead and freeze as much as possible or leftovers will be eaten too soon.

On those occasions when I haven’t prepared anything ahead of time, I’ll grab apples and nut butter for a quick meal. Nuts are nutritious and the healthy fat in them will help you feel satiated.

Feeding us is always a stressor for me, as you can see, so yes, I do grab gluten free comfort food from time to time when I’m rushed and not in the mood to cook, but I make sure that in the next few days, those carb-high comfort foods are counteracted by protein-veggie days so I can keep the ol’ vital leptin working in my system to control my appetite. It’s easy to grab some jerky and a veggie tray. Keep it simple. Fruits, pre-chopped veggies, nuts, jerky, eggs are all dense in nutrition, so those are go-to foods

One unguilty pleasure I indulge in as a writer to trick my brain into thinking I’m still resting is to turn on an essential oil diffuser, bring my computer to bed with me and write, do my edits, even eat breakfast from time to time. I can have a lazy weekend morning and do something I enjoy at the same time.

Our lives are busy, and some people would think that taking work to bed with you would be counter-productive, but for me it just prolongs the sense of relaxation while I do something I most enjoy–even if it is work. Hubby and I have found that wherever we are–whether in our recliners side by side or in bed with our computers side by side–we find a sense of peace hiding from the world together with the doors locked and phones turned off.

We keep our home as a sanctuary and seldom answer the door unless we are specifically expecting someone. Even though we do a lot of work at home, we try not to allow the world to intrude on us on our rare days off.

Someday I’d love to find the time to take a three-hour hike in the woods again. That day hasn’t come yet, but I can still dream.

Everyone is different, and your escape won’t be the same as mine. Whatever it is, though, take the time to escape from the pressures of life before the pressures of life trap you. Ask yourself if you’re doing what you know you’ve been called to do or if you’re doing something out of guilt or someone else’s sense of need. Serve God, serve others as God tells you to, and give yourself a break. Even God rested, according to Genesis.

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About alexanderhodde

I love to write, I love to read (in that order) and I love to hike. My husband loves to fly remote control model airplanes, when he can get them into the air.
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