Monday, March 14, 2011

Small Steps to Successful Living: Refilling the Well

Have you ever driven all week in your car, rushing through all the To Dos on your schedule, only to have your car stop on Friday, right in the middle of the road?

Out of gas.

Sometimes our bodies and minds are like that. We go and do, because our family needs us, friends need us, employers demand us, and the muse is running on high. Before we know it, our tank is on empty and we want to do nothing more than collapse.

Because the car can’t keep going if we don’t fuel it up.

Commonly called “refilling the well”, the idea is to replenish your energy and Can Do spirit by giving back to yourself in a way that energizes your mind and body.

Unfortunately, I don’t read my energy meter very well, so I often find myself on E. I’m trying to be more mindful of this. As a mother… as a writer… as a wife… I need to reward my body and mind for all the hard work it does for me. And be gentle with myself (an extension of last month’s post).

So how do we refill the well? Some ideas:

1. Artist’s Date -- Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way recommends Artists Dates. This is the chance to go somewhere new and different – a museum, antique store, model home – anything that you’ve wanted to do but put off because its silly, unnecessary, or no one else wants to go. It is supposed to be done alone, and I can see why. If I take someone else with me, then I worry about whether they are having a good time, ready to leave, etc. Instead, immerse yourself in YOUR enjoyment of the experience.

2. Reward Day – My sister and I came up with this concept. Before I get so overwhelmed that I crash, I schedule a day to do only what I want to do. I read all day if I want. Eat (or order out) what I want to eat. Claim the big screen TV for myself. What defines your Ideal Day? Do it! No excuses! (and I don't want to hear how you don't have time. I REALLY don't have time. If I can do this once a month, so can you!)

3. Go to the movies – There’s nothing like vegging out with a great movie and popcorn. Check the local theaters and make seeing something YOU want to see a priority. Low on cash? See if you have a Dollar Theater in your area. I can go see a movie I missed in a regular theater for about $5, with snacks.

4. Girls Night Out – Actually, it doesn’t have to be at night. Try lunch, coffee, shopping. You could even meet at Walmart – you have to get groceries sometime). I have a friend that I have “tea” with occasionally. Any girl time is refreshing and rewarding.

But none of these things will ever become more than ideas if you don't make them a priority and actually DO them. Don't just think about refilling your well, make it a regular part of your life.

So tell me, what do you do (or want to do) to refill your well?


PS. SP's Free Book Friday winner is CrystalGB. To claim your prize, email your snail mail info to


alinaduffer said...

Morning! I would have to say the thing I do the most, to refill my well, is just curl up and read a book. I have been known to read 1 or 2 books a day if I can really get into it. of course with 3 kids, 2 dogs and 1 husband that doesnt happen often.

Have a wonderful day!

Playground Monitor said...

I've been trying to go to the Botanical Garden and just walk to enjoy the plants. Things are beginning to bloom so it's an enjoyable place to be. I take a small notebook with me and sometimes end up jotting down thoughts or a story idea.

Instigator said...

I always forget the Botanical Gardens is here, but I enjoy it when I go.

My me time is usually spent in front of the TV or in the bathtub with a book in my hand. The problem is I also write in the tub so my brain can sometimes get confused on what it's supposed to be doing.

Going to HOD meetings is my me time too. I spend all day and try not to feel guilty about what I've left behind while I enjoy the company of people who understand me in ways Zilla and the girls can't. They try, bless their hearts, but it just isn't the same.


Smarty Pants said...

I think I wait too long to do this. I wait until my body or brain just absolutely gives out and all I can do it sit and stare blankly at the tv for hours on end. I barely read. I haven't gone to the movies in forever. Shopping is a must do, not a want to. I never get in my bathtub. Baking just makes fattening stuff for me to eat. I watch tv mostly just to clear stuff off the DVR.

It appears as though I'm living a miserable, pointless existance.

I tried rewarding myself with a really nice massage after my proposal ended. Just my luck, now I have this constant, nagging unease in my shoulders and neck now. Not necessarily a pain, just this aching restlessness. Guess I might be rewarding myself with a trip to the chiropractor soon.

robertsonreads said...

Well I am planning to take 2 vacation days this Thursday & Friday to refill my well. I have started a list of places/things I wish to do. 1. Go to Old Time Pottery, Tuesday Morning, Stackables, 2nd & Charles, & wherever else pops into my brain. I plan to have comfortable shoes on, no make up, gas in the car, see when these places open up and go! Then Friday, if I didn't have time to do all that I wanted, I will finish up, take a nap, and read. My daily refilling of the well is reading at least 30 minutes. The only time I don't read is when I am so sick I can't.
May everyone have a wonderful time refilling the well.

Cheryl said...

I like to go to the woods. Nature seems to refill my well. Sitting there alone, watching the birds and occasional animal reminds me of how I fit in the scheme of the world. I have more ideas when I do this than in any other location. It relaxes me to be outside.

I am with Smarty Pants. I think shopping is a chore and cooking is usually a disaster for me. I guess I also lead a boring life. Communing with sixties!!!