As I sit here and tell you it’s time to relax and unplug, I must admit that blogging, writing, and drafting my next article is my way to unwind. I may not be fully unplugged in this age of digital scripting, but doing what I love is so rewarding. Everyone needs to find their way to peacefully settle into that happy place, and this is mine. Putting pen to paper (or keystroke to laptop as it goes these days), is such a rewarding activity. It’s the process of just letting thoughts creatively stream onto each page in however they decide to take shape that always gets me. It doesn’t matter where I am, but if I have a moment to articulate some ideas and just be me, it’s exactly the happy place where I belong.

Each morning I wake up early and set aside an hour of time to write. Whether I’m working on my blog, my book, or a new article, I’m crafting away making just a snippet of progress each day. Taking a brief moment for myself when the house is quiet and the sun hasn’t quite risen yet, is just the spark I need to get focused and feel like I’ve had a little time to breathe. It’s so incredibly important to find this time for you, whether it’s morning or night, or somewhere in between.

Truthfully, though, this wasn’t always the case. I had to proactively change my routine and a piece of my lifestyle to find this precious time.

If you run at a lightning-fast pace, focusing relentlessly on working, parenting, staying healthy, volunteering, or anything of the sort, you may have found yourself in a place like where I was a few years ago. I was hitting the snooze button multiple times each morning, rolling out of bed in a daze to power through an action-packed work day, shuttling my family around town for various sporting events and stops at preschool, and then going to sleep each night purely exhausted (inevitably jumping out of bed a few times to take care of the kiddos) before waking up to do it all over again the next day. They were all rewarding and wonderful experiences, but before I knew it, years had passed, and I hadn’t stopped. Not once.

I bet many of you know exactly how this feels. It isn’t about struggles or problems or comparing varying degrees of chaos in our diverse lives; it’s just about time. If only there were more hours in the day, right? You’re incredibly grateful for every blessing in your life, but that feeling of sand in your eyes as you try to muscle through each day never seems to fully disappear, no matter what you do and what you face each day.

Taking time to stop, unwind, and do your thing – whatever it may be – is so important. My things are pretty simple: reading, writing, or sneaking in a good workout. I can feel such a difference in myself after I’ve taken that much-needed moment to unplug, and I bet you do too. When we take this leap into a just a few minutes of down-time, the results are remarkable. We’re rested, refreshed, personally satisfied, and in turn more productive at work and more engaged at home.

The key: be strategic about making time regularly and stay disciplined about how you use it. Find it and don’t let go. For me, I choose to sacrifice an hour of sleep each morning, but it’s an energizing hour. The first few days of finding this time were exciting. It was new, and while giving every ounce of energy I had to others, it was finally for me. Then, suddenly, it got exhausting and overwhelming as the reality of waking up early every single day set in, but I kept going. Before I knew it, it was a rhythm – a habit I couldn’t miss. I once tried to let myself sleep in for just a week, and all I could think about was how much I missed my hour of writing time. By the third day I was back up before the sun, returning to my moment once again. I just had to do it. It sounds crazy, but it’s my version of relaxation, and it is a big part of me now. How will you find that part of you?

So, as I sit here blogging away and taking my moment to unwind, I hope it sparks a little fire for you to do the same, finding your thing and embracing it. Be you. Enjoy you. Take time for you, even if it’s just a quiet pause for a cup of coffee and a few sun salutations in the morning, or a moment to read a few pages of a good book before you hit the pillow at night. It might not be every day, and that’s very real. Life happens. It might not be for a long or extended period of time either, especially if you propel through life at a similar pace, but you’ll be thankful you did take a moment for you when you wake up in the morning ready to embrace the true rewards we find in each day of our lives, however challenging or crazy they may be. We all feel it, we all need it, and we’re all better at tackling our own unique reality when we can have even just a moment to ourselves.

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