How to Recharge Quickly
Work hard, play hard.
The fastest way to regain your energy and balance out a demanding life is to unplug from it. Stepping away from your day-to-day life and immersing yourself in something new gives your mind a vacation from its usual habits and patterns. The effect is renewal.
Studies have been done which support the idea that rather than working your ass off constantly to achieve great results, you get more done when you take time off. Productivity increases, sick days decrease, quality of life increases and you actually make more money.
My top suggestions for recharging fast:
1) Get off the grid. Get into nature. The further away from civilization you can get, the faster you’ll recalibrate. The deeper into nature you go, the more powerfully you’ll reset your natural rhythms and get back to your center.
If you’re like me, and you like roughing it–being in the wilderness with no electricity or running water but with a duvet and someone else providing the gourmet cooking–there are now a bevy of “glamping” (glamour + camping) experiences available. Clayquout Wildnerness Resort features yurts and cabins in the middle of nowhere (about 30 minutes from Tofino by boat) yet there is also a gourmet cook on staff and a spa. Best of both worlds. Aka gypsetting.
2) Communication blackout. When it doesn’t work for me to get out of town, I lock myself into my home and shut out all contact with the outside world. I turn off my phones (ringers included), I don’t watch live television (not that I have cable anyway), and I don’t talk to people. I have gone on several-hour movie marathons, sometimes I write, sometimes I read. The main thing is that I don’t interact with other people. Even a day of doing this can reset me. A weekend in extreme cases.
3) Immersion in another reality. Last night I attended a 2.5 hour parenting workshop. It was fantastic; so compelling that I hung on every word. Watching these two women in action made me ponder the concept of mastery–how people become experts in their subject matter. Anyway, my point is that I was so focused on them and not on me for that whole time, that I gave my mind/self a mini-vacation. Being intensely engaged in learning something new shifts us.
4) Socializing. I am technically an introvert. Meaning, I recharge by being alone. Extroverts, on the other hand, renew their energy by being with other people. I do enjoy social events and can get an energy high from them when I’m in the right state of mind. By getting out of my head, my environment and into another world, I go back to my own with a fresh perspective and ready to work again.
5) An afternoon at the spa. I go hardcore. I get about four hours worth of treatments and then steam it off for another half hour. Trust me, by the end of the afternoon, I look and feel like a new person. With that much pampering, who wouldn’t? My favorite spas in Vancouver are the Vida Wellness Spas. Their employees have a really high level of training. For example, to be taught Ayurvedic massage, an Ayurvedic masseuse is flown in from India to give the team instruction in the modality. Plus, their product line features ingredients that are body-friendly and Ayurvedic to boot. The spas themselves are like an oasis.
6) Volunteer or teach or just get the fuck out of yourself. When I give a talk or I teach a class or listen to a friend–anything that shifts the attention off me and onto something or someone else, I forget myself long enough to balance out again. I wouldn’t recommend this when you are really burnt out because you won’t have enough to give. However, if you just need a break, it works.
7) Sex. Marathon sex. A few hours or a weekend. By losing control and surrendering yourself, you’ll find yourself. I guarantee it.
The thread that runs through all of these ideas is immersion. Get out of yourself, your immediate environment–even if that’s just your mind–and get into something else. Or someone else. It’s the fastest way to get back on your game.
Image of Kenyan treehouse from Julia Chaplin’s Gypset.