How to get refueled.

I'm a hustler by nature. I'm one of the lucky ones, thankful I am able to say, "I love what I do."

No matter if you love the work you do, we all need to shut down sometimes. We need a chance to get away or even just plan a well-deserved stay-cation. For Lane and I, we love to take a weekend and get out of the city. Atlanta is beautiful but there's something that happens when you leave the city for a little while-- some kind of restoration and joy I cannot fully explain.

Last month, we got the chance to visit our favorite spot in Athens, Georgia for a much-needed recharge weekend. The Graduate Hotel. I discovered this boutique hotel back in March when Lane and I were in Athens for a concert. Too tired to drive the nearly 2-hour trip back into the city, I stumbled upon the Graduate in a Google search and then I immediately planned our next trip back.

To know me is to know I am a sucker for boutique hotels. I like places with character and style and I wish I could say we have more of these options by us. This particular collection of hotels are planted around the country in university towns and they're perfect for a study nerd like me. I am so excited they're building one in New Haven, CT in 2019!

But back to last month...

We packed our bags, bought some concert tickets, made a few dinner reservations and drove off to the Graduate for some much-needed rest and time away from the city.

Refueling tips I scribbled down for the ones who need a break:

Read... for pleasure.

Lane and I are pretty big on this. You can find us, on any given trip, reading some good fiction. I hear from a lot of people that they have a hard time reading fiction. I feel you on that but I made the leap back towards fiction last year and I do not regret the switch. Most nonfiction books are geared with the mission of making you a better ___________________. There's something about a good fiction book I can get lost in, without any agenda, that now feeds my soul.

Fiction I am currently digging:

Find you a coffee shop.

Maybe you can't get away for the weekend but you have an afternoon to spare. The world is bustling with cool coffee shops. Bring a notebook. Order a latte. Write with your phone on airplane mode.

That was my biggest draw to the Graduate- I absolutely fell in love with their coffee shop. It's what I like to imagine my brain probably looks like. Lane and I spent Saturday morning camped out with our Bibles, newspapers, and journals.

You'd be surprised how quickly your brain moves from the terror of a blank journal page to all sorts of scribbles of inspirations. I think we all need time to power down and dream a little.

Turn off the phone.

Or at least put it on airplane mode so you can take some pictures. It's all too easy to slip into the habit of being alone together-- especially when you're married. Lane and I have to work hard to be with one another, not just sit next to one another while scrolling through our phones.

The art of presence is hard but worth it. Start by silencing your phone for an hour or leave the phone in the car while you head to the restaurant.

Go your own way.

Before Lane and I got hitched, I remember everyone telling me it was going to be all about the marriage now. The TV and movie culture always make it seem as though your freedom is going down the drain. I can proudly say it now, "You can still do things solo even when you're married."

You don't have to spend every waking moment together. The marriage is important, YES, but so is refueling your tank however you see fit so you can better contribute to the relationship. On that Saturday night, Lane headed for a concert and I stayed back, deciding to return to the hotel after dinner to watch my reality TV shows, drink a glass of wine, and enjoy the comfort of a big bed.

The art of presence is hard but worth it. Start by silencing your phone for an hour or leave the phone in the car while you head to the restaurant.

Spending time apart only makes it sweeter when you guys get back together at the end of the day.

Big night in.

You don't have to hit the town or get dressed up to have a perfect evening. In fact, my favorite nights revolve around cozying up in bed or playing a game of Spades or Catan with friends.

Again (because it is worth repeating), challenge yourself to put your phones in another room so you can really be with the people you love. It's so easy to become distracted with smartphones and time is the most precious resource we're bound to waste.

You need a break.

Okay... so this last one isn't a pro-tip. It's a simple reminder I often need to hear myself: you need a break every once in a while. The world won't fall apart when you put that autoresponder up. It will all still be here when you get back. Make steps and enforce boundaries to shut off every once in a while and refuel your body, mind, and soul. I used to think self-care was selfish but now I see it's a priority and the only way I can guarantee that I give the rest of my responsibilities everything I have.

I wrote this piece after visiting the Graduate Athens. I can't say enough good things about this business and I'm thankful to share about it here.

I want to hear from you! What are your favorite tips + tricks for resting and refueling yourself? Let's dialogue in the comments below!