If you read THIS post and THIS one, then you know that a year ago my husband and I enjoyed a 2-week vacation at a very beautiful all-inclusive resort in Mexico. It was two weeks of pure pampered bliss, and one of the best vacations we had ever taken.
It was also, quite simply, a vacation that changed my life. How so? Let me explain:
Once we arrived, my husband was busy right away exploring the resort, the pools, the beach, the restaurants, the activities... on the other hand, I was exhausted and all I wanted to do was sleep. And honestly, that is mostly what I did the first few days.
When I woke up on the morning of our 4th day there, it took me a few minutes to recognize the wonderful feeling of being rested! It was actually a rather shocking revelation, and definitely made me think, "If it takes me THREE DAYS to get rested up from just LIVING, then something needs to change!"
So I re-examined my life and my priorities, and decided then and there that when I got home, I would implement changes to hopefully prevent that kind of bone-crushing exhaustion from ever "taking over" again.
And that's what I did.
In ways large and small, I took practical steps to make my daily life more *sustainable*. Of course there were certain obligations and responsibilties that didn't change (my job, my home, my husband!) and we could all use more hours in a day, but I was surprised by all the things that I could shift or rearrange. And by the difference these changes would make.
At the top of my list was, clearly, the goal to get more sleep. That is hard for me, but I made it my #1 priority change. I am now in bed typically 8 - 9 hours before I need to get up. That difference alone has been staggering! Of course that means better evening planning, so that I have everything done that needs done well ahead of bedtime.
Another strategy was our evening dinner. Meals and good food are important to us, but we began doing a lot of our cooking on the weekends, instead of cooking every evening. These weekend menus are fun to plan, very versatile, and great for mixing and matching all week long, for EASY, delicious weeknight dinners.
I tried to become more aware of not wasting time... keeping better lists of groceries and errands and combining trips so that more could be accomplished in less time, etc.
I continue to monitor myself... paying attention to my comfort level and my limitations. I realize that adjustments and "tweaks" will probably be ongoing. My mantra remains "sustainability", and not ever allowing that deep rut of exhaustion to take over.
What have I gained? More time with my husband, my family, my friends. More time to read, play with my pets, relax. More long baths, more long walks, more time to think and play and enjoy the things that matter most.
What tips or strategies do you have for keeping your lifestyle sustainable?