When Exhaustion Strikes (+ my recipe for recovery!)

I have been away from the site for a while, much longer than I anticipated. It’s amazing how quickly time flies. What was supposed to initially be just a couple weeks gone turned into a whopping 2 months! Definitely still figuring this blogging time-management thing out… (HOW do bloggers keep up with regular posts whilst working another job and tending to all other aspects that make up a healthy happy life?!) If anyone knows the secret please do share! In any case, these past 8 weeks have been quite eventful.

What have I been up to?

Traveling.. and more traveling!

My birthday recently passed and my one wish this year was to spend it somewhere beautiful and warm! You see, I am a winter baby and living in NYC, my birthday tends to fall on one of the coldest snowiest days of the year. This time I decided it would be different – I just needed to get to a different continent! So I packed up my FEAR, released the inner explorer full force and booked the longest plane ride I have ever taken in my life — 21 hrs in total — to a place I had never dreamed I would ever go to… Thailand!

It was the best birthday I’ve had in my life and I’m beyond grateful that it happened.

Warm skies & sunshine, hot springs swimming and jungle hiking, fresh bananas & coconuts and spicy noodle dishes galore, night bazaars, evenings spent lounging in hammocks, and spontaneous adventures with my hostel mates.

And that feeling that travel always brings, the one that makes it all worth chasing: Expansiveness. Freedom. Joyously, Beautifully Alive.

I snapped this pic right after meditating by the water in southern Thailand. Pure joy!
I snapped this pic right after meditating by the water in southern Thailand. Pure joy!
One of THE best experiences of my life - swimming with elephants!!
One of THE best experiences of my life – swimming with elephants!!

I rounded out my trip with a bit of time in Istanbul before heading back, more than a little jet-lagged but thoroughly, deeply exhilarated.

And then, exhaustion hits.

If you’ve been following me on facebook over the past couple months, you know that I’ve been on a whirlwind of travel lately. 7 countries on 3 different continents and a total of 13 flights in 30 days! I’ve eaten dozens of packaged snacks and take-away foods in transit, things that I normally tend to stay away from, and waited around in airports, buses and train stations far too many times than I care to remember.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel very blessed to have done so much back-to-back traveling and don’t have any regrets. But I definitely felt the burnout sinking in after this last trip.

I dove straight away into work post Thailand, which initially felt fine as I was still coming off the travel high.

But the days that followed were long, tiring, heavy. I began to notice I was sleeping a lot and craving rest whenever I could get it. I would sleep and sleep for 9 or 10 hours straight and wake up not because I felt refreshed but because I had to be somewhere and couldn’t stay in bed any longer. My digestion slowed down and I knew it was time to do a detox.

I had all these high hopes of jumping back and picking up right where I left off, especially since I’d heard the warnings from many others against taking too much time away from writing. Be productive. Stick to a schedule. Keep up the momentum or else you risk losing readers. This being a new site that’s taken a lot of time to get off the ground, I definitely wanted to keep up with things, yet. …

At the same time, a little voice inside me was saying to wait. Take time to restore and care for yourself. Do less right now, create more space.

What do you do when your head tells you to go in one direction and your heart pulls you towards another?

When do you push through and when do you pull back?

In the end I realized it came down to love and fear. Which one did I want to base my decisions on?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past year, it’s listen to your body. Take note of those gentle nudges & inner whispers and honor them before they develop into something louder, something that forces you to listen, often in the form of illness or disease.

So I chose to listen.

I pushed pause on the blog, swept up those inner callings into a lavender cloud of love, took rainchecks on outings with friends and carved out space in my schedule. And I allowed myself to be guided into full-body detox mode.

My formula for exhaustion recovery tends to look something like this:

  • lots & lots of green smoothies! yum ♥
  • home-cooking (with emphasis on nourishing healthy fats & easy to digest foods)
  • massage
  • spa and sauna time
  • fresh air, being in nature & sunlight
  • meditation
  • 8+ hours of sleep, going alarm clock-free whenever possible
  • alone time & personal space to read or write or do absolutely nothing
  • gentle yoga & stretching
  • inspirational reading
  • keeping a daily routine
  • reconnecting with my goals, dreams & visions
  • creative expression – art, dancing, singing in the shower
  • limited time with cell phones & technology. (You can’t always avoid it but when I’m detoxing I cut back quite a bit and always feel more refreshed because of it).

I’m continually amazed by just how much of a difference some dedicated self-loving can make. My digestive fire kicked back in, my vibrations soared, and I no longer need a lion’s share of sleep just to get through my day! (Which is super awesome by the way since there are so many better & more interesting ways to spend your free time!!)

Self-care seems like such a no-brainer, yet how many of us opt to push through instead of tending to our needs, asking our body to continually perform well whilst fueling it with insufficient amounts of sleep and quick energy fixes from caffeine, sugar, and empty carbs instead of proper nourishment? We all have busy lives and important things that need to get done but it’s super duper important to be aware of when to take a step back. When to be soft and sweet. When to stop the doing.

You must replenish yourself in order to give energy to the things that make your heart shine ♥♥♥

How do you support yourself when exhaustion kicks in? Where can you bring in more love & mindfulness in order to shine at your very best?

With healing love + support,
Diana xx