My daughter’s bedtime is 8:30pm.  She is 6 so she requires about 10 hours of sleep.  Strike that… she requires 10 hours of sleep because she is her mother’s daughter… not a morning person.

Well last night it was later than normal and we started our bedtime routine at 9:15pm.  We were losing precious night time and she turned into a Chatty Patty… telling stories that had no endings!

I finally said “Honey… it’s time to shut your motor off…”

“You mean like when you hit the switch on your motorcycle and the engine goes off?”

“Yes, honey… you need to hit the switch…”

Do you know when you need to hit the switch?  Are you able to recognize when it’s time to turn your motor off and power down?  Better yet… do you know how to shut down and claim a little down time?

I can recognize when I’ve been revving my engine at too high RPMs and need to take a little break.  I start to get moody… I start to get uptight… I can’t get up in the morning…  and sometimes I get down-right sick.

Here are 5 ways I “hit the switch”:

Turn off the TV – Literally hit the switch.  It’s simple… just hit the power button and turn it off.  On average, we spend 2.7 hours a day watching TV.  What could you do with an extra 2 hours a day?  Instead… I spend this time talking with my spouse, playing games with my kids, or catching up on my writing.

Unplug – I usually take one evening a week and turn off my computer… and definitely no work emails on my Blackberry over the weekend.  If you need to, toss your computer and smart phone in the closet.  All my emails and Facebook updates will be there in the morning.  Challenge yourself to connect with your friends without going online.

Curl up with a good book – When the little ones are in bed, I like to pour a glass of wine, grab a blanket, and read the latest suspense novel or inspirational book.  So with the TV off and my computer/phone off, I have time to get lost in a book.  I believe you can tell a lot about a person by the book they’re reading… what’s the last book you read?

Get out – Whether it be putting a couple miles on my sneakers or riding a few more miles on my Harley, sometimes a girl just has to let loose.  I find that I can unwind and let my thoughts wander when I’m racking up the miles.  I solve the world’s problems and think of impossible new ideas with the rhythm of the road.

Get horizontal – I love sleep!  Sometimes I just crawl in bed at 9pm and catch up on my zzzz’s.  I also don’t feel guilty anymore for taking a nap on Sunday afternoon!  Another horizontal way I shut my brain off is a full body massage.  <And you were thinking something else!>  Massage is such a guilty pleasure but it’s health benefits are amazing!

When was the last time you took a self-proclaimed “it’s-all-about-me” day?  If your motor has been running non-stop, it’s time to kill the switch and do something to recharge your soul.  Start by shutting off the TV one hour earlier tonight and grab a good book… you’ll thank me in the morning!