By Josh McDonald, Project Manager with Nexus 5 Group
Anyone who has met me can easily tell I'm an extrovert… extreme extrovert. I’ve never met a person I don’t know. I feed off of relationships and people. I like to be on the move and busy. I love crowds, lights, and excitement. I’m the guy who gets “shushed” by my wife by causing a stir in the back of a room at a questionably inappropriate time.
Busyness and people do not typically bother me.
Lately, EVERYTHING in life has been busy. At home, we have dance and football practice every night of the week, birthdays to celebrate, social parties, fun summer activities; the list goes on. Work has been busy too. Nothing extremely out of the ordinary, but it has felt that I'm running at full capacity for quite a while now. It’s a great position to be in as we continue to grow, but running the motor at full speed for extended times is wearing.
Summer has been packed with a LOT of fun and awesome things. However, I feel it... I feel the fun, busyness, workload, and ‘peopling’ catching up.
Even though in my daily routine my energy comes from the busyness and relational way of life, I've learned that it can also cause weariness during extended times of full capacity. During these times, I feel myself retreating to a place where I cannot give 100% of myself to relationships. It always feels a bit odd since I typically thrive in this environment, but find myself withdrawn.
As I've matured, I have realized the importance of refueling in the quiet times, silence, and peace.
It is difficult to completely disconnect from many aspects of life, but there are a few ways I capture this, which I will explain below. Hopefully, my journey and experience can help others during their times of weariness.
1. Listen to those around you. Not too long ago, I had three different people at separate times tell me that I looked worn out. This isn’t typical, and it caused me to reflect. I knew I had been burning the candle at both ends, but it was now showing in my countenance. Listen to the people who know you and those you trust. These are the warning signs that a disconnect and restart are needed.
2. Take the small moments. It may be a short breathwork session in my vehicle before getting out. It could be simply turning off the radio as I drive. Maybe it's time at the gym, headphones in with nothing playing. It may be a time of prayer and reflection. Take that short walk in silence. It is easy to buy into the overstimulation of life as an extrovert. Use a quick "time out" to settle your mind, spirit, and body.
3. Plan your escape. I am headed to the mountains in a couple of days. Outdoors is where I truly find peace and beauty. I'm disconnecting and resetting my mind, body, and spirit. It typically takes me a day or two to unwind. Know yourself and plan accordingly. If possible, physically remove yourself from the busyness of life. Put down the phone and laptop. Just be for a few days.
4. Assess your circumstances. Develop ways to streamline your effectiveness and workload. Create boundaries for yourself and your family. Say “no” to an activity or event once in a while. I know… I want to be involved in every social happening all the time but that doesn’t mean it’s always good for me. Sometimes life is just busy. But many times, we personally choose into the circumstances of life when overwhelmed or running at capacity. Know your limits and create healthy boundaries.
I understand this is not a one-size-fits-all message, but I hope that my experiences and strategies have some helpful hints for you to develop your own ways of staying healthy, available, engaged, and connected for the long haul. After all, if we are to SERVE WELL in all we do, we first must stay healthy ourselves.