Q: Lately, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed. Between my duties at work and the responsibilities of home and family, I am exhausted by the end of the day. How do I start getting time to do what I want to do? A. M.
A: Dear A.M.,
I am going to give you advice that might seem quite counterintuitive. Instead of suggesting that you make an organized list of tasks (aka “to do list), I am going to suggest that you make an unbreakable promise to yourself to build “riposo” into each and every day. Many Italian shopkeepers still honor the traditional 2 (more or less) hour closure around lunch time (see image above). It gives them time to take a leisurly lunch (not a wolfed-down fast food burger), or simply rest after the noon time meal, so they can go back to their shops refreshed. You do the same, and you will start to notice a change in your energy. How to implement this? Here are some ways:
- When at work, resist eating a sandwhich at your desk while working. You get a lunch break? Take it. Take a leisurly stroll, go to the cafeteria or luncheonette close by and be mindful of what you eat. Ask a coworker if they would like to go outside and sit in the sun for a few minutes with you. Or, you can close your eyes and do a five minute meditation, as one person told me he does. It changes the way the rest of his day goes.
- When at home, schedule all of your activities AROUND your “riposo”. You decide if you will need a half hour, full hour or more. Napping is good for you, and if you can do it, that ‘s great. If not, you might want to meditate, read, prepare yourself a nice lunch, etc.
The Personal Riposo is a way to honor YOU and let all the business come second to –not ahead of–your well-being. It is a way to take back control of a feel-good pace, and reclaim the energy you had before your life became overwhelmed with tasks.
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