As we just survived the trauma-filled “back to school” season, it feels timely for me to talk about what might be the one most important key to living your life in our theme for the year, “Go Big.”

Rest. Yep, I said it. You have to rest.

I know you’re all saying the same thing that I say . . . “Great idea, Peff. When am I supposed to fit that in? Before grocery shopping? After taking the kids to soccer practice and cooking dinner? On the weekends, when that’s the only time I get caught up on cleaning and laundry? Give me a break. That sounds great in theory, but I don’t see it happening.”

Listen. I’m not even close to kidding, and I’m not saying this because it sounds like the cool thing to say. This is mission critical. As busy wives/moms/friends/employees, we can only give what we have in the tank. If there is no filling of the tank, we will no longer have anything left to give of ourselves, and we definitely won’t be able to give the best of ourselves in a bold step forward.

Rest can look like many things. Setting aside time to read and not feel guilty about it. Leaving the kids with the husband (or sister or parents) and taking the afternoon to sit lazily with a friend over a glass of wine and process what’s going on in your life.  It can be a nap, or time with a forgotten loved hobby. But most importantly, it has to be a vehicle for bringing you back to center.

I know it feels selfish. It will feel really awkward at first. But, if you do that, you will be a better version of you and be able to find some of those answers you’ve been searching for in your head.

For me, as a busy extrovert, I need two things: One, I need to be able to process my feelings out loud with someone that I absolutely trust and feel safe with. Two, I still need that time alone to journal and read. Journaling isn’t something that I do regularly or even very well, but I’m always able to find myself and hone in on what I need when I’m writing.

The first step I recommend is to identify if you are an introvert or an extrovert. I know it seems easy, but it’s not completely simple. It’s not the difference of whether you are outgoing or shy. It’s based on what gives you energy and how you process thought. Extroverts receive energy by being with others, and they often need to process thought out loud. Introverts recharge alone and need to think things through very carefully before speaking. It’s very important to know yourself.

Even I, as an extrovert, find myself stretched and tiring to the point that I crave being alone. That’s a huge warning sign for me. That means I’m not rested, not centered and not taking care of myself.

Will you join me in this next month in committing to at least one significant time of rest for yourself? I’d love to hear what you chose to do in that time and the obstacles you had to overcome to make it happen. You can always reach me at Erica@businesstimescompany.com

Proud to be your Chair,

Erica Pefferman