It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over. In some parts of the country kids have already started school, and the unofficial end of summer is less than 10 days away!

With the end of summer comes the end of the laid-back mindset. Time to start setting deadlines, unofficially plan for NaNoWriMo (more on that in Monday’s Write On! Review), and wrap up projects by the end of the year.

Before you go diving in to fall, let’s talk about The Recharge … and how you can make it through to years-end without burning out.

Why Recharge?

1.Brain processes information more effectively. Downtime is when we learn, process, and make room for more information. Like the rest of the body, the brain is only capable of doing so many things at one time. When we’re constantly being bombarded with new information, projects, and tasks, the brain never gets time to catch up on the backlog.

2. Stress levels are lowered. When we reduce our stress levels, the entire body gets a chance to recover. Stress creates a myriad of physiological changes in the body, including decreased blood flow to the brain. Stress, literally, lowers our intelligence.

How to Recharge?
That’s up to you. Though, here are three helpful rules that will help you make the most of your recharge.

1. Don’t make a plan. Set aside a day, half day, even a few hours, to do whatever strikes your fancy. Don’t work on a specific project, use it as a chance to “catch up.” Or take your in-laws sightseeing. Activities must fall in to the category of, “Ooohhh, that sounds like fun.”

2. Go it alone. While we may love our friends and family, spending time with them is still a commitment. You need to make sure everybody’s having a good time, nobody is getting crabby, and everyone has food and drink. By going it alone, you truly have the freedom to execute on rule #1.

3. Make it OK.Taking a day to recharge is only going to work if you embrace it for what it is. If you spend the entire time worrying that the your next chapter isn’t getting written. then taking a recharge day is only going to make the situation worse.

Rule #3 tends to be the most difficult. We already work too much (and always have too much to do), so spending our precious free time ALONE and UNPLANNED, may seem wasteful. But, trust me, you will come back a much, much happier person. I’m all about happy, so highly recommend this mindset going in to it.

Last Sunday, I took a recharge-day, allowing myself to do whatever I wanted. Since I set no agenda and used the rule of, “Ooohhh, that sounds like fun,” I ended up working through some nagging problems, clearing some to-dos off my plate. The freedom from those items being “obligations” made tackling them fun. It never felt like work, made me smarter, and allowed me to come at them differently. The results carried over to the next day. I returned to work considerably happier, more focused, and monumentally more productive.

How about you? When was your last recharge? What challenges do you face in making your recharge times happen? Please comment below.

Jen

Jen Waak is a Seattle-based movement coach who uses a system that combines eastern philosophy with western medicine to reprogram the nervous system and get people out of pain, moving better, and feeling younger. jen@movefitfun.com.

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