Do less … so you can experience more

I’m noticing that many mornings–even after a good night’s sleep–I’m waking up feeling exhausted. My take is that with all the chaos, uncertainty and unrest we’re facing both near and far — many of us are not getting the deep, nourishing rest we need to fully replenish.

work-life balance

One thing I’m clear about is when we’re processing a lot, it’s more important than ever to put self-care front and center and to do less. 

Overdoing taxes our adrenals and keeps us from experiencing life in the moment. Our modern 24/7 digital world has expanded what we can accomplish (and how quickly we receive news and information). Things move faster than ever before, we have more options available at our fingertips, and our reach extends around the globe. Yet on a day-to-day level, this hyper-stimulation and constant busy-ness comes at a cost to our well-being. When we do too much, we find:

• We are more distracted. Even when we’re together, we aren’t present and focused on each other, and we don’t feel fed by our time together.
• We are overly focused on activities, goals and outcomes, which sends the powerful, subconscious message to our kids — and ourselves— that we are only worthy if we’re “doing.”
• Since we live in constant motion and rarely rest, we are perpetually overextended, and so we become resentful and even angry, at both ourselves and others.
• Physically, we feel chronically tired and exhausted. Our poor bodies, overworked and overstimulated, rarely have time to truly rejuvenate (and this chronic stress can lead to depression and acute anxiety).
• Over time, the ongoing stress from our relentless pace affects our bodies’ immune, endocrine and hormone systems, which are frequently out of balance. Living in “fight or flight” around the clock has become the norm, and this stress is the root cause of 90% of all disease.

We’re living in the era of the unknown — a whole new frontier — that I believe requires us to have more space to breathe, think, dream and digest. We’re craving more time to just be — so we can actually integrate into our hearts and souls what’s happening moment to moment.

This week I’m asking, “Is this the best use of my energy?” and moving more slowly. I’m making the conscious choice to bring my expectations down a notch and to give myself full permission to “do less,” so I can properly care for my emotional well-being and my family’s, too.

One of my favorite yoga teachers often asks her class, “Are we here to be productive or to give and receive love?”, which kind of puts everything in perspective.

P.S. After observing how untethered my clients felt, I created some beautiful 4×6 postcards offering my 5 favorite self-care practices for uncertain times (below). I’d be happy to send you a small stack of these for your workplace, yoga class, school group or book club. Just email info at reneetrudeau dot com letting us know your address and if you’d like a packet of 10, 15 or 25. We just ask that you first pay for postage–then we’ll handle the rest. These are great to tape up in your car, on your refrigerator or bulletin board or in your office.

work-life balance

I created these little postcards offering my top 5 Self-Care Practices for Uncertain Times for you to share at your workplaces, yoga studios, schools or community centers. Number one is Do Less.


  • Hire me to plan/facilitate a custom workshop or retreat for your company, team or organization on work-life balance, resiliency or self-renewal. I’ve been speaking professionally for 25+ years on work-life balance and my clients include Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit agencies, national conferences and women’s organizations. Learn more and email me at workshops at reneetrudeau dot com to explore how I can help you.
  • Retreats are ideal if you’re in transition and exploring, “What’s next?”  Join me this fall for a deeply restorative women’s self-renewal retreat; I’ll be at Kripalu in MA Sept. 21-23, at 1440 in CA Oct. 26-28 and back at Kripalu in MA Jan. 27-29: learn more.
  • Craving authentic community and want to find (or create) your tribe? Learn more about our global sisterhood of RTA-Certified Facilitators  and empower/support women in your community!  More here on how to become a RTA-Certified Facilitator and join our inner circle  ($100 off through 7/31; includes private coaching with me).

Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by work-life balance coach/author/speaker Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women experience balance through the art/science of self-care, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, Spirituality & Health and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining self-renewal groups based on her award-winning self-care curriculum.  She is the author of three books on life balance and mindfulness including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 16-year-old son. More on her background here.