When You Need Little Ways to Recharge

As an introvert with a full calendar and an even more full plate of responsibilities, I've had to learn how to recharge in small doses and make it count in big ways. This time of year, people seem to be even more stressed and hurried and busy than usual, and I've heard more than a handful of people say in just the last few days, "I just can't wait for Christmas vacation."

If you're lucky (like my roommate who's a teacher) you actually get a legitimate Christmas vacation. If you're not so lucky (like me), you might just get a day or two, or maybe even less than that.

But we all need to recharge. We all need to relax, to rest, to breathe.

Here's a whole bunch of simple ways to recharge, this holiday season or any time:

  1. Unplug during your lunch or dinner break. Laws mandate that you have to have chunks of time off of work for every few hours you're on the clock, so no matter your job, there's at least a few minutes of downtime. Use it wisely! Get away from your desk, put your phone away, take a walk down the hallway, do something to get a breath of fresh air and disconnect, even if just for a few moments.

  2. Sip your morning drink. It's easy to grab coffee as we rush out the door and slurp it down while we're stuck in rush hour traffic, but taking a few minutes to sit and slow down and linger over that coffee can change the whole tone of your day.

  3. Spend ten minutes in silence. No devices, no sounds, no distractions. Just you, sitting still, breathing deep, being silent, and recharging.

  4. Write everything down. There are always going to be millions of things on your mind, but if you can get them all down onto a peace of paper, you'll be able to relax and not feel as much stress about accomplishing them all. They're there, noted, recorded, ready for you to tackle them as you can. Now breathe! You'll get it all done.

  5. Take a walk. Even if it's just a quick lap around the office in the middle of the day, moving your body and changing what you look at will be refreshing.

  6. Phone a friend. There's bound to be at least one person who will make you laugh, or let you vent, or have a great story to share, so call them up and chat for a few minutes!

  7. Read a poem. I personally recommend Ted Loder or Mary Oliver or Wendell Berry. Taking a few moments with beautiful words is a refreshing pause in the midst of busy schedules.

  8. Listen to peaceful, inspiring music. I recommend Sleeping at Last or Ben Howard or Beta Radio's Christmas album, They, to me, are songs that help me slow down and appreciate the intricacies of the melodies and harmonies, and they help me calm down.

  9. Stretch your body. I've found that just getting up from my desk or the couch or wherever I've found myself stuck for too long and moving my body is an instantaneous way to feel better. Even if I'm still sitting at my desk, I'll take a few seconds to stretch my neck in every direction, move my arms, stretch out my legs, etc. Get the blood flowing however you can, wherever you are, and it will help clear your mind and give you a fresh burst of energy.

  10. Pray. It can be easy to just get so busy that we forget to stop and pray, but it's probably the best way to hit the reset button. Taking even just a few moments to thank God for the many ways He's blessed us or to surrender our stresses or worries to Him can make a massive impact on our day.

  11. Create something. I've often found when my to-do list is long and my stress is running high, it's helpful to actually make something. Sometimes it's as simple as a cup of coffee, sometimes it's something more creative like a handmade card to mail to a friend, and sometimes it's just a page of doodles in my journal. Seeing a finished product come to life reminds me that I am making progress, and it lets different juices in my brain flow and refresh me.

  12. Look up. I love sunrises and sunsets and starry skies and cloudless or cloudy skies...I just love taking time to look up at the bigness of the vast expanse above me. It puts things into perspective, reminds me I am small, reminds me a bigger Creator has His hand over everything and is making it all beautiful.

Wishing you slow, sweet moments of refreshing relaxation today in the midst of busy schedules and a bustling holiday season!

Any recharging tips you would add to this list? Share them in the comments!