How Do You Recharge?

While I do write each and every blog on this site, I have a confession to make.  My grammar isn’t that great.  I owe the proper placement of each comma and improved flow of my sentences to my incredible mother-in-law.  She also gives me feedback on the topics of my blogs and sometimes that even prompts me to write a new one. 

That is exactly what happened this month. After reading though my first May blog on my post-Covid overwhelm, she lovingly reminded me that sometimes the most productive thing a person can do is sit on the sofa and watch Netflix.  If you haven’t read that blog, I mentioned how all the overwhelm I was feeling around the expanding number of commitments on my calendar was making me want to hide on the sofa and binge Netflix instead of getting out there and getting things done.

I love those reminders.

It got me thinking about the importance of recharging and how I know the difference between Netflix to recharge and Netflix to avoid.

Why talk about resting and recharging during a month in my blog where I focus on reorganizing your priorities and improving productivity? Because you can’t achieve your maximum potential without recharging your batteries when they get low.

As I write this, I’m sitting in my office surrounded by cords for charging.  I’ve got cords for our computers, cords for our tablets, cords for our phones and watches.  They’re everywhere.  They’re easily accessible because I know that if I don’t keep those items charged, they’re likely to run out of power when I need them the most.

If we know this, why is it that we so often try to live our own lives on <10% power?  If my phone hits that level of charge, it sends me a warning. Where is the warning for us?

I didn’t really understand just how harmful this was to my emotional life until I started planning time into my schedule every day for rest.  This is my time.  I get to do whatever I feel like. Sometimes I work on a sewing project. Sometimes I go for a walk.  Sometimes I read. Sometimes I take a nap.  Most of the time I sit on the sofa, turn on some sort of crime drama, and play the coloring game on my phone while paying some moderate attention to the TV.

The most important thing about this time is not how I spend it.  It’s that I use it to recharge and I’m not allowed to judge myself for how I do that.  It’s also planned.  I’m intentional about setting aside time for these activities because I know that to sit here and write blogs and perform at my best on overnight shifts in the emergency department, my brain needs some time to chill out. 

The other little secret about these activities is that, if I don’t plan them, I’ll likely do them anyway.  Our brains know that we need to recharge and they do a very good job convincing us to find a way to do that even against our will.  The secret to getting them to stop this behavior is to make time for recharging already.  Then you won’t find yourself watching Netflix when you told yourself you were going to be cleaning the house. 

So you can live in constant conflict with your brain and how you spend your time or you can plan rest.  I highly recommend the latter. 

This is also the secret to knowing if you’re doing an activity to recharge or if you’re doing it to avoid something else.  If I’m scrolling social media during time I’ve planned for rest, then I’m recharging.  If I’m scrolling social media during time I planned to be working on this blog, I’m avoiding.

What do you do to recharge?  Not what do you wish you did to recharge, but what activity really allows you to fill up your batteries?  I’d love to tell you all that a 10-mile run really refreshes me, but that’s not the case.  We like to answer questions like this with a vision of who we wish we were, but – no judgement here, friends – be honest and embrace the sofa or your bed if that’s where you fill your batteries.

Each week, when I’m planning how I’m going to spend my time, the first things I schedule are my work shifts and the second are the hours I’m going to spend sleeping.  Each day I allow a minimum of 2 hours of time where I get to do whatever I want to recharge my batteries. These hours are often at the end of the day after I’ve accomplished the goals I set out for myself.  They are also sacred.  If something needs to happen during my recharging time, I make sure that it is in service to one of my HIGH priorities (see last week’s blog for more on setting your priorities).

If your brain is telling you that setting aside time for rest makes you lazy or that you’re just not someone who needs or has time for that, I would love to work with you.  You can have your most productive life AND have free time to recharge.  Start by checking out my free course How To Feel Better On Your Next Shift or email me directly at You can also download my free guide 7 Steps To Get Your Priorities Straight.