By: Stephanie Reynolds

(Every article I am going to highlight one of our current ‘Cations. Check out our Facebook page and website for more ‘Cation ideas!)

This week’s Cation? EVERYDAY-CATION!

Ok, all you “trying to be everybody’s everything” folk! It’s time to get some rhythm of rest in your day. Why?

Because you can’t give what you ain’t got.

Because it’s possible to serve AND rest (and at the same time!)

Because you function more when you stress less.

Because your loved ones want your smiles more than they want to be on your to-do list. (Ask them!)

Because YOU actually are—get this—one of the “everybody” you are trying to be everything to!

I used to feel I never had time for “me.” Actually, I did plenty of scrolling on the phone (which is distracting, not restful). I had many bits of time here and there, I just wasn’t using them for rest.

I also used to wake up at 3 a.m. and not be able to sleep because of all the pressure and stress to go back to sleep (y’all know sleep math, right? “If I go to sleep right now I will get 2 hours and 17 minutes of sleep…What if our daughter wants to join the circus?…If I go to sleep now, I will get 54 minutes of sleep…I heard the dog sneeze, what if he’s sick?”)!

Thank the Lord, at some point I thought, “This is actually nice in the dark and quiet, curled up and comfy, with no to-dos right then. I’m going to embrace this.” You know what happened? I slept through the night. Because I took the pressure off of myself to sleep, it was safe for me to sleep.

Now I still wake up sometimes, but I don’t stress about it. I just enjoy it and go to bed earlier the next day.

I also learned to embrace downtime. I experimented with this on myself and my daughter (because I’m a nerd and we are my first and third longest running psychological experiments). We tried rest times with no plan. We ended up scrolling through phones and didn’t feel the least bit more rested.

Then I tried LIVING my rest time. I scheduled it, announced it, and made little plans involving hobbies and naps. Those days were so much more restful!

So let’s put some rest and relaxation in our everyday. It really only takes 3 things:

1. A decision to embrace life/let tomorrow worry about itself.

2. A plan of how to live in the moment.

3. A set-up: Get out the fancy mug, dust off your hobbies, put down the phone and pick up the book. Or a cookie. Or fabulous hat.

Music can shape our moods, so let’s make a playlist of happy tunes:

“It’s a Good Day”-Peggy Lee

“It’s a Good Day”- Hilary Weeks

“It’s a Good Day to Have a Good Day”- Whisperin’ Bill Anderson

“Sunny Side Of The Street”-Frank Sinatra

“It’s a Great Day to Be Alive”-Travis Tritt

“Gonna Be a Good Day”-Rayelle

“It’s a Lovely Day Today”-Ella Fitzgerald

“Good Morning”-Mandisa

“Good Day”-Weeekly

“Little Bitty”-Alan Jackson

“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”-Bobby McFerrin (you’re welcome for the earworm…lol)

“Just Fine”-Mary J Blige

“Living In The Moment”- Jason Mraz

What to wear: What’s YOUR favorite outfit or piece of jewelry, tie, shoes, hat? Even if it’s a ball gown and you’re just going to vacuum the house, wear it!

What to eat: Let’s get something a little special. Lunch at Suzanne’s Bakery sounds awesome! You can eat in or take it to…

The Duck Pond! Come see me! (You get an extra FIVE points toward the ‘Cations campaign prize if you’re wearing your ball gown). Water, grass, sky, a playground (if you have kids that need to burn off some energy or if you like slides and rides too). Bring a journal and write 2 things: the good in your life AND what sort of rest you can work into your day. Post a pic if it’s not too personal.

Then stop and just breathe. In. Out. In. Out. Drop your shoulders. Look around. Be IN the moment. Through the day, and every day, breathe in and out and look around at the amazingness of your life. Food. Shelter. Trees. Sky. Love. Beauty.

Take a walk around the park, phone tucked away. Feel the strength of your legs, the wind in your hair, the sun (or rain!) on your face.

Then let’s go to Buff City Soaps. They have great pampering items there. Buy one just for you. I like their mystery boxes because I like surprises.

Remember, “rest” isn’t a crumb you lick off the plate after everyone’s done with you. YOU are one of the “everyone” (Yes, that’s the third time in 2 articles that I said that. It’s on purpose. Hint, hint.). Peace, calmness, relaxation are all a matter of YOUR choice, YOUR decision. You can have a busy life on the outside, and still be restful on the inside.

To Do (remember to take pics and tag us in each of these. FB: Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association and IG: @athenslimestonetourism):

-Make a playlist

-Wear something that makes you happy

-Go To Suzanne’s Bakery and tag them too (FB: Suzanne’s Bakery & Eatery IG: Suzannesbakery)

-Go To Duck Pond

-Go To Buff City Soaps

(I declare, you’re looking more restful already!)

By: Stephanie Reynolds

Athens-Limestone Tourism Association