20180226_082100I’m an introvert. This means that in order to regenerate, I need time to myself. I need time alone to build myself up so that I can go back out to the world and be a better yoga therapist and yoga teacher. I need time alone so that I have the energy to do the daily tasks that inevitably fall in my lap. I need time alone so that I can check in with my inner self to know that I am doing what is best for me.  Often that means I have to completely step out of my normal routine to get this alone time.  That means stopping my routine and carving out time for myself.  Thus, my reason for stopping is so that I can have time alone and regenerate.

Stopping everything is a short break of my interactions with my world. Does this mean that I don’t like being around people? No, but it does mean that I need to get away from others every so often. An introvert will regenerate by being alone. An extrovert will regenerate by being around other people.  It’s not that I don’t like others, I just get depleted by not giving myself enough alone time.

I’m thinking about this today because I need to stop. Life has been very full for the past couple of weeks. I can sense my need to withdraw and regenerate.  Every so often I begin to notice the signs.  I’m more irritable. I can’t concentrate as well.  I get less done.  I start to procrastinate more.  All of these point to me not giving myself that down time that I need.

What do I do when I begin to notice these things?  I look at my schedule and try to carve out a day off or even just a few hours.  I give myself permission to not think about what I need to do for work, what I need to do for my family or even all the things that need doing around the house.  Sometimes, I have to be very deliberate about this.  I’ll schedule down time and will even go so far as to leave my house to do it.

You see, if I’m not being deliberate about my alone time, I can quickly get drawn back into life.  I’ll start the laundry or do some dishes.  Next thing I know, I’ve started working on one project or another and I’m not really taking that down time that I genuinely need.

One of my absolute favorite ways to get that downtime is to go hiking.  I’m away from home and can’t be drawn into house work or something else that didn’t get done the day before.  When I’m alone in the woods, everything else melts away.  I get the healing energy from the forest and I get the quiet that my mind needs.  I always come back tired and very refreshed from hiking.

I also like to spend time alone in the yard.  I actually don’t mind yard work because it’s so very therapeutic to me.  When I’m doing something in the yard, my mind is completely at ease.  I’m not thinking about what didn’t get done for work.  I’m only intent on the weeds that need to be pulled.  I can spend hours outside just puttering around.  Maybe I get something done and maybe not so much.  I don’t really care because I’m spending quiet time by myself and letting my spirit come back to life.

Everyone has their own ways to regenerate.  I know what some of my favorite ways are.  The important thing is to recognize when your life is out of balance and it’s time to refresh and come back strong again. If you don’t do this on a regular basis, then you’re likely to get burnt out.  If you’re like me, then you actually get less done when you keep pushing and pushing each and every day.  Breaks from routine are good for me.

Give yourself some downtime.  If you’re an introvert like me, find some downtime that is by yourself.  If you’re an extrovert find a way to be around other people that is fun & get refreshed.  See what happens to the quality of your life.  At first it may feel like it’s not necessary, but then you might notice that you actually like life better when it’s not going non-stop.  If downtime doesn’t come naturally to you, then start small.  Take an hour or two to do something that sounds like fun.  Just see how it feels and then maybe schedule that downtime again.

So, my reason for stopping is to be a better version of me.

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