Just resting is not the same as Restoring

Don't feel too sorry for me! This is the sight as I got off the coach for my last trip! :)
Don’t feel too sorry for me! This is the sight as I got off the coach for my last trip! 🙂 If that doesn’t restore your soul, little will!

I’m touring a lot at the moment. The last time I saw my wife was for 37 hours before I headed back to the airport. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining because I love the work and it’s nice to get paid! 😉  But I’m weary. I’m looking forward to the end of the week when this big training contract is over.

The thing is, I didn’t get tired. I got weary. There’s a difference. When I’m staying in hotels I’m usually in bed around 10:30 and pretty much always by 11:00!  I either need to be fresh for clients the next day or I have an early morning plane to catch. Either way I need my sleep so I make sure I get it.

So, as I said, I’m not tired. I don’t need rest.

But I’m weary.   You know what I mean by weary?  It’s different from tired.  It’s a soul-based thing: the definition I’m thinking of here is the one that talks about being unwilling to experience any more something.

But as I got plenty of sleep it’s not a physical thing and that means I need to make an obvious point to myself – specifically, that the Restore frame isn’t just about resting, it’s about other things as well… things to do with your soul (for lack of a better term).

Ideas to get more productivity by recharging your soul?

Even for an introvert like me there are times when it’s about people. And for extraverts it’s sometimes about quiet. Let’s not go there, because it’s a conversation that’s been had a zillion times. Instead, I’m going to list a few things that help me recharge my mental batteries. Don’t take these as examples to follow because you’re not me: think of them as me asking if you’d like a drink of tea, or coffee, or perhaps an orange juice – but it’s okay for you to say “Not thank, but I’d love an apple juice drink if you have one!”


Well yes. Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. I’m thinking particularly here of fiction books and even more specifically about science fiction and fantasy. What’s important about those genres for me is that they’re utterly transporting. I have no experience of being a space marine fighting giant spiders as they invade my space research centre and that means that it engages different parts of my brain. It engages the creative and imaginative parts, stopping me thinking and, effectively allowing me to mentally play.

Oh, and they’ve got to have a happy ending.  I’m rubbish with sad endings.

Oh, and books have the advantage that they’re acceptable in hotels and airports, unlike my next Restore-tactic

A drum as a productivity tool? :)
A drum as a productivity tool? 🙂

My djembe is a thing of audio-beauty. (The neighbours might not agree, but that’s their problem.) There’s something about the combination physical effort needed to play a big ol’ drum properly and rhythmically which is re-energising. As that’s combined with mental effort just high enough to stop me thinking about anything else but not so high as to be taxing in its own right, it’s a perfect combination of fun and effort.

And before anyone asks, no I don’t play it on the table: I just put it there to take the picture. 😉

More seriously, that balance of taking enough brain-space to stop you actively thinking about a problem but leaving enough brain-space for your subconscious mind to mull it over is a well known creativity tool – handy for making productivity progress over the medium term! (Exercise and even driving can work in a similar way.)

Trusted friends

The first word there shouldn’t be necessary but I’m sure you know what I mean. There are some people whose company you enjoy, despite knowing that they’re not reliable. They’re fun, they’re entertaining but they’re not necessarily going to fight there way back for you through the crowd when the zombie apocalypse happens. I’m not talking about them.

Nope. I’m taking about time with the true, deep, trusted friends. The dangerous ones. Dangerous friends are those you have to love,  because they know where the bodies are buried so to speak.

A drink, or even better a meal, with people who you can absolutely trust is such balm for the soul.

Being in the moment

At risk of sounding all new-age and hippy, just taking ten minutes to be aware of the astonishing things around you is a great Restore. It’s not hard, trust me. Let’s take a typical street… on a street are metal boxes wizzing along by exploding the remains of trees that died hundreds of thousands of years ago. Doesn’t that just make you giggle a little and how truly bizarre it sounds?  That same street is illuminated by lamps which are powered by tame lightening! And the miserable puddles?  Well until it fell from the sky that water was floating. Flying water – jus think about that.

Yes, I know it makes me sound like a five year old, but what, I challenge you, is quite so bad about that?! What group of people do you know who are more in the moment than young children 😉


I know there’s an irony about me opening this blog post by complaining about so much travel and then suggesting that moving is a way of getting some Restore – but there it is! Being somewhere else can be good for your soul.

Chances are, that you (like everyone else) associates places with feelings/emotions. I’m not saying that changing where you are will automatically make you feel better, but if you’re in a place where that you’ve associated with being in a bad headplace, the chances are you’ll drop into that headplace.

I did it myself. I actually felt myself feeling tiered as I arrived at an airport.  I got into the taxi full of energy and a twenty minute drive later, I got out of that same taxi shattered – but I’d not done anything! I’d just arrived at a place I associated in my head with not-good headplaces.

So… move… get somewhere else… somewhere with a different atmosphere.

So in summary..?

Like I said, this is my list – your mileage may vary, as they say!  And what do you think?  Am I right to differentiate between being tired (a physical thing) and weary (more of a soul-based thing)?

… and what do you do about the latter?

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