Thursday, September 18, 2014

Super Woman's Cape Needs Cleaning: Recovery Time

Her cape must get dirty every now and then

I would like to say that I never bought into the whole 'superwoman' thing, but I would be lying.  I want it all.  I want family, career, success, handmade crafts, cooking from scratch, and time to relax.

Well, I fall quite short of everything, but regardless of whatever else is happening, I try to remember to relax and unwind.  Being a traveling storyteller can get unrelenting at times.

I've had a pretty crazy few weeks between showcasing, performing and festivals.  Sometimes it feels as if I will never stop long enough to catch my breath, or, if I'm not careful, I'll meet myself coming or going.

So, how do you recover after a crazy jag of work...especially if you have only a short break between the crazy?

1)  Make time to actually do it.

I drove back from Columbia, SC tonight, I'm going on a family trip with my husband and kids tomorrow.  That means I have tonight...after I finish writing this entry!  I am going to lock myself in my room, soak in the tub, put on my 'sack', watch a movie and go to bed around nine thirty.  Yes, there are other things I could be doing.  I could always work on new material, write, hang out with my husband, play with my kids, or clean something.  Not tonight.  Tonight I'm off the clock.

My sleep sack is blue

2)  Find out what actually relaxes you.

I am an aroma therapy person.  I love the scents of vanilla and brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves.  When I need to relax, I break out my Bath and Bodyworks lotions, bath gel, and body spray and infuse my space with those scents.  For some people it is music.  For some it is movies or silence or hanging out with your pets.  Just because someone tells you what relaxes them has no bearing on what will relax you!  Advice is what you know works.

A little honey, a little milk, and life is very, very good!

3)  Draw the line.

How much time do you need?  If you only need a couple of hours, take them.  If you need the evening, ask for it.  If you need more than a day, see if that is doable.  Make sure you get regenerated.

4)  Don't suffer.  You needn't be a martyr.

Nobody wins if you are wired and stressed.  Nobody's life is better.  Not you.  Not the people who are forced to deal with you!

5)  Stay healthy.

A pint of Ben and Jerry's will only feel good while you are eating it.  Just sayin'.

6)  Actually Sleep.

If you binge watch something, or start doing a project or anything else, don't forget to sleep.  I used to do this all the time.  I would be wired and awake at two in the morning.  Even if you sleep late the next day, your body doesn't get the kind of sleep it needs if you throw your body clock to the wind.

This is important!

7)  Create a relaxation routine.

It took me a while to believe this was worth it, but it is.  Our bodies take cues from what we are doing to tell it what it is supposed to be doing.  Train your body to relax when certain stimuli are present and it will follow you Pavlovian style.

So, what does all of this have to do with Super Woman's cape?  I'm sure she always wants to be in the thick of things, but every now and then, the laundry must get done.  I'll bet she breathes a sigh of relief when she sticks that outfit in the machine.  She can't do a thing until it gets clean.  I wonder if she puts it on 'extra wash' every time.

Happy Relaxing!


  1. This is so important, Donna. Permission to give ourselves time off is probably the hardest part of all! Thanks for the reminder!

    1. This was a very hard lesson to learn. These days I swear by it! Thanks for stopping by Louise!

  2. Thank you! After 20 years of being an indepeneden storyteller none of this is completely new for me, but I very much enjoyed the way you put it together and the pictutres. It is good and necessary to be reminded of what we know inside.
    I especially like the Pavlov-idea. I will print this out and follow it.
    One thing I also found helpful is to get inspired by how the heroines and heroes of the folkstories I tell take care of themselfs. I look at my favorite story of this month and ask "What does the main character do for herself?". Then I try to transfer it to my life.