Reduce Overwhelm by Taking a Resting Day

Welcome to Healthy Tourist, a blog about me trying to figure out how to do healthy things and how to keep me and my family well in and around Orlando.  I am an ordinary - super busy mom, wife, business owner, crazy person just doing my best.  I have spent the last year trying to figure out what me, my husband and my son should be doing to invest in our health.  I would love you to join me as I explore places, practices and people in and around the city beautiful while I cobble together some good habits that will help me and mine and hopefully you feel to the fullest this gorgeous life.

I want to talk about rest this month.  Whenever I think about health, the first thing that comes to my mind is the food I eat and the drinks I drink.  But I think that ninety percent of the time I make a horrible choice it usually comes from overwhelm, stress and exhaustion.  Nothing gets me thinking about chips and fishbowls of wine like a crap night of sleep (or couple nights of sleep) and unresolved, lingering worries.  The other ten percent of the time I am celebrating something, being treated to something wonderful, or having date night.  And I am not changing those one bit.  But what if I got serious about the rest and peace I need to care for myself and my guys the rest of the time?

Rest.  I think of it as Sabbath and I have always yearned to build one of those days in to our family routine.  Some people have power down days where they just turn off the devices and do fun things.  A lot of people have pajama days where they never get dressed and eat whatever they want and watch things that make them happy.  These all sound great!  I put it out to my Facebook community and I got some great ideas.  Every one unanimously favored spending time with the people they love the most, and sometimes that is on their own caring for themselves in loving ways.  But it seems like carving out space to really be with our people is top of the list.  

I, for us, got really enthusiastic with all of these great ideas and decided (upon waking that very morning) to have a power down Sabbath Sunday combo that would involve no cleaning or shopping and no phones or computers and that Brian and I and Nicholas were going to be really happy all day doing special things together.  Sounds nice, right?  No pressure.  Let me share with you how it actually went … We woke up.  That was pretty good.  And I snuggled up with my delicious little boy to share with him our wonderful plans and he shot upright in bed in immediate tears and complete indignation.  I had forgotten that Nicholas looks forward all week to Sunday breakfast in bed on a lap desk where he is allowed to watch some youtube before church.  I think this is the favorite day of his little week.  But determined I powered through the complaints and explained that this was going to make us really happy.  Then I left him to pull himself together and thought it would be nice to have a good power down Sabbath breakfast together.  But I forgot that I usually shop for the week on Sunday afternoon.  So I kind of cobbled together ‘stuff’ for Nicholas and made Brian and I shakes with all the end of the week fruits and nut milks and we all ended up rounding it off with the free donuts at church.  In the frenzy of trying to negotiate doing nothing, Brian and I both missed our windows to go running - which for habitual runners makes for a very very very edgy day of rest.  Church was good.  Two hours down there.  But it was only like 11:45.  And I completely did not want to go back to our messy Sabbath house and eat the end of the week food.  So we went to Dexters in Winter Park which should have been blissful because we got a table outside and it was one of the many perfect Spring days we have been treated to this year in Central Florida.  The memory, though, of a nine year old is short especially when he wants my phone and I had to renegotiate the power down thing all over again.  This time in public and at full volume.   I will be honest, I caved.   I gave Nicholas the phone and decided that noon was a great time for a glass of wine.  Super classy restful lady - day drinking with her son zoning out on the phone on the power down day.  And I was so ashamed of myself for my terrible resting skills and annoyed at Nicholas for craving the phone so much (my fault - I know!!!!!)  that I did the only thing I know how to do under severe and unnamed duress … I started a fight with my husband.  I don’t even remember what about.  I just know I ate my salad and drank my second glass of wine maaaaaaad.  Really mad.  

I took a deep breath and reframed the day of rest and tried to reset to something closer to the pajama day.  We were already dressed granted, but I decided to focus on having fun with my favorite guys.  We picked an action film we were all dying to see.  Then we went to the store, bought our favorite dinner stuff, sent Brian out for that evening run he missed, kept the phone from Nick but played some legos with him to keep it fun.  I went to bed not necessarily rested but happy, feeling okay that I am not yet good at resting but that I am working on it.  And thinking about next weekend.

I checked back in with my Facebook community with the question “Where locally do you go when you want to force yourself and your child to unplug?” I need ammo for the next round!  I decided to listen to my beautiful friend Shea who would prepare during the week for full weekend rest.  Here are some suggestions:  Winter Park Pool, Leu Gardens, Mead Botanic Garden, Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens, the beach, the library, make meals and hand them out in Lake Eola, build a fort, local springs, Crane’s Roost, fly a kite, swim, bike, fish, hammock, Lake Eola, walking adventures downtown, Bok Tower, Park Ave, Disney, ice cream, Rock Springs, Blue Jacket Park, Altamonte Picture Show, Sea World, Science Center, Disney Springs.  I feel ready maybe not to relax but to focus on the people I love and to be present for the day.  

I would love to hear your attempts, successes and adventures trying to build rest in to your busy lives!  You can share with me on thehealthyfamilyproject on Facebook and on Instagram! Thanks for taking the time to read this and exploring with me ways we can tweak our small daily habits to build lasting well being.

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