Are you “Down for Maintenance”? Maybe you should be

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

Earlier today when I went to check in on Twitter, here’s the message I saw:

Twitter is currently down for maintenance.

We expect to be back in about an hour. Thanks for your patience.

( 3:35 pm EST May 13, 2009

It’s understandable that Twitter needs a little TLC.  Twitter–once an obscure toy for social networking insiders, but suddenly a way millions of regular people are communicating online–probably needs a break.  With so many Tweets zinging around the globe faster than the speed of light, it only makes sense that Twitter needs some down time.

It got me thinking: What if I put an “away” message on my e-mails that said, “Barbara is currently down for maintenance.  I expect to be back in about an hour.  Thanks for your patience.”  I wonder what the reaction would be.

After all, I could use a little “maintenance” during the daily rush.

If it’s not a day I’m on duty in the hospital, I’m working feverishly producing radio shows, replying to e-mails, participating in conference calls, writing blog posts, etc. I could use that hour of “maintenance” to bask in the sanctuary of peace and quiet, recharge and rejuvenate.

Couldn’t we all?

Really, there’s not much difference between maintenance for your computer, car, or home–and yourself. Without frequent maintenance, anything or anybody can get unbalanced and lose the ability to function.

Just like Twitter, if we don’t pay attention to regular maintenance, our foundations can crumble. So how can you maintain that strong foundation?

4 Easy Tips to Keep Your Foundation Strong

1. Use quality fuel. Choose snack foods with nutrients that maintain your body’s health. Great choices include:

  • Walnuts
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Pomegranates
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables of all types

2. Recharge at night. Yes, your body and mind both need time to rejuvenate.  Average sleep is about eight hours and  turns out to be right for most people. [But not all people. If you have any question, be sure to talk to your health care professional about the right amount of sleep for you.]

3. Keep the machine running. Get moderate exercise  30 minutes a day, 5 days a week to keep yourself in tune.

4. Identify stress points and fix them. When you know you’re under stress and need some down time, go for a leisurely walk, take a warm bath, or go for a massage.  Whatever you enjoy that relaxes you, find time to do it. If you don’t take care of stresses when they’re small, you could wind up with big problems to fix later on.

So maybe we should all use this message in our e-mails regularly.  “[YOUR NAME] is currently down for maintenance.  I expect to be back in about an hour.  Thanks for your patience.”

You’ll be fresher and stronger as soon as you’re back in operation.

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  1. 1

    Barbara; fantastic blog. It sounds so simple but people generally don’t take time for themselves to recharge the battery. I am booking my hour of downtime now. Thanks for the advice.

  2. 2

    I love the idea, sure it sounds a little silly – but the message is right. We are so busy that we need to make more time for ourselves. Whether it be to just relax, or to get more exercise, make time for you!

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