I was a super busy kid. I danced competitively (think Dance Moms), played on sports teams, studied, played outside, attended birthday parties and studied some more.
But in the summer - when the dance competitions came to a halt - I'd do my absolute FAVORITE thing...
I loved curling up in the corner of the young adult section at the local library. I got my hands on everything from Sweet Valley High to Goosebumps to The Babysitter's Club.
I'd spend HOURS there and then head home with a fresh stack of books. I still remember the plastic on the covers and how heavy my arms felt as I lugged the latest editions back to my mom's car.
I didn't have to GO, GO, GO as much as I did during the school year. During the summer I could just unwind and not feel guilty about it.
Flash forward to me as an adult - I never take enough time to TOTALLY decompress - even during the summer.
I always feel guilty if I try to take a break.
I "should" be enrolling in a new business course. I "need" to be working on my blog. I'm not yet "at a point" in my life where I can relax like this!
But this past summer, I decided to pay homage to the little girl within me who needed a time out. I decided to go back to doing the thing that brought me joy AND signaled that I could trust the process of relaxation.
I read my face off.
I read trashy beach reads, fiction, self-help, biographies - anything I could get my hands on. I even bought a kindle (which made me feel very hip, before realizing everyone's been using them since 2009, but I'm a late adopter. And I'm fine with that).
To be honest, I was kind of scared to take FREE TIME to read - I could be attending workshops, listening to podcasts (I just discovered those, too!), learning to cook, cleaning out my closet, organizing my email inbox - you get the point.
I had a million and one "very productive" things to do.
But I read my face off anyway.
And now that it's fall, I'm realizing I'm actually ready for the change in seasons for once in my adult life. I'm recharged BECAUSE I prioritized decompressing.
Who would've thought?
And it's not just the ACT of reading. It's about carving out for time for myself and remembering that I don't always have to be striving and doing.
Why is it easier to make time for relaxing during summer?
So as we transition to fall, the holidays (I just saw someone post that we only have 8 Fridays until Thanksgiving!) it's more important now than ever before that you do the things that make you feel calm and nourished.
Bike rides? Picnics? Swimming? Long runs? Staring out your window with your feet up a wall? Laying on the floor with your cat or dog? Journaling? Drinking copious amounts of tea?
Easing into the morning instead of rushing out the door? Listening to juicy podcasts? Yoga? Reading self-help books? Farmers market? Strolls in the park?
Just because it's fall doesn't mean you have to get rid of the stuff you save for "vacation-mode." Commit to at least one thing this week that feels like a mini-vacation...even if it's only for 10 minutes.
Make your fall as laid-back as possible in between the moments of traveling, spending time with family, and the upcoming holidays.
You'll feel grounded, relaxed and inspired....with a LOT more to give :)
Now I want to hear from YOU! What recharges your soul? Leave a comment below and let's keep each other accountable. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you!