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In our culture, it is clearly understood that in order to embark on a cross country journey by car, it is imperative to attend to all that the car requires in order to run effectively. We need to pause and pull over in order to refuel, and we need to monitor the oil, temperature, tires and overall mechanics. If something is going wrong we need to address it OR we will be stuck on the side of the road. It’s astounding to me how we don’t embrace and understand the wisdom in doing the same things for ourselves and our bodies.

What if we had our own internal energy gage that monitored our physical energy, our emotional energy, our mental energy and even our spiritual energy? What if we really understood how much energy was required from each of these realms for the challenges and tasks we face throughout our day?  What if we understood and practiced ways to effectively refuel and nourish ourselves in order to prevent an empty tank? To use a well-known cliché, ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup.’ 

Good self-care is one of the best ways you can set yourself up for success.  Self-care helps us respond with skillful communication and develop healthy respectful relationships.   Self-care helps prevent burnout. Knowing what nourishes and refuels you is powerful wisdom especially if you incorporate daily practices to rest and refuel even as you attend to your other responsibilities. 

In today’s fast paced world, we recognize this is not always easily accomplished.  So many of our valued team members expend energy at their full time job and return home to additional responsibilities. Effective refueling may require some creative problem solving, but we encourage you not to give up on attending to your own needs and ensuring YOU have a place at the TOP of your to do list.

Dean Becker of the Hay Group defines resiliency as “A wise deployment of limited resources”.  With this definition in mind, this section on stress explores strategies to wisely attend to your own mental, physical and emotional energy resources in the midst of challenging situations.


Focusing on what is out of your control is like using a bucket

with a hole in the bottom to carry precious limited drinking water.                                    

This is clearly not a wise deployment of limited resources.

 Focusing on what is within your control to make the most out of your opportunities to rest and refuel as well as choosing optimal responses and utilizing skillful strategies when facing challenges IS a wise deployment of your limited energy resourcesFEAP, in conjunction with many resources at UVA, and within our community offer resources and additional information to help you develop strategies to rest and refuel.  


 Make sleep your top priority

Pause every 90 seconds to briefly stretch and take deep, noticed breaths.  While you are breathing in, know you are breathing in and while you are breathing out, know you are breathing out

Pause work for your lunch break

  • Make time for activities that nourish you and help you refuel regularly
  • Get a massage
  • Play a game
  • Dance
  • Yoga, meditation, mind/body actives
  • Write in a journal
  • Volunteer for a cause that is meaningful to you
  • Rest by water
  • Take a weekend away to a place you love
  • Spend time in nature
  • Join a support group
  • Lay in the grass and watch the clouds
  • Enjoy a favorite hobby
  • Playful exercise
  • Socialize with people who encourage and support you
  • Express yourself creatively, (Draw, paint, sing, bake, sew, build something, write poetry
  • Cuddle with pets
  • Listen to music