Whether you are a 9-to-5 workaholic, an overworked millenial thirsty for new experiences or you’re just being too lazy to get out of your chair (aka comfort zone), there are ways that you can help yourself get that heart pumping faster and your eyes shine brighter at the end of the day – without having to spend a lot of money or having to go too far from your hometown.
Make some time for yourself
„Put gaps in your life: moments to reflect, prepare, meditate and breathe.”- Jody Adams.
We are often so busy that we forget the fact that, by neglecting the need to stop and reflect, we are taking ourselves and our precious time for granted. However, despite the importance of having time to relax and unwind and spend some quality “me time”, it is often much easier said than done. In order to pack up your working hours with one hour of walking, one hour of exercising, one hour of bathing in flowery essential oils and a couple more hours to prepare your own (gluten-free!) meals and socialize with friends, we would need a minimum 48-hours-long day. Which we cannot do, can we?
But what we can do in order to get some rest from the daily hustle and really enjoy that “me time”?
After working hours, we need to make ourselves a priority. After finishing all the important daily tasks, you need to leave the office anxieties right there – at the office. Don’t check emails, memos, social media etc. Take a rest from all the electronics and just spend some time with yourself and your thoughts. Some would call it meditation, others creative thinking… Whichever you prefer – the only important thing is that every day you give yourself some time to settle with yourself and your own thoughts. That way, you will find it easier to decide what are the things that really make you happy and peaceful and what you actually want to make time for. After that, you will be much more comfortable with slotting it into your schedule.
Either you want to visit that fancy restaurant at the sea side or you would prefer to win that mountain top that you’ve been thinking about since the autumn, you need to plan it and put it on your bucket list. Several studies have shown that even just thinking about the new experience and the anticipation itself helps releasing happy hormones – endorphin, serotonin and dopamine. In fact, the anticipation of the experience is shown to be much more pleasurable than anticipating material possessions. You can be excited about getting those new heels or a new car, but chances are you are much more excited about the places you’ll go and the way people will look at you with your new stuff.
Do what you want
We make choices in our lives every day. One way or another, what happens way too often is that we make certain decisions because someone else thinks it’s the best thing to do and not because we want it. What is much more important is that, in order to make our lives OURS and to make every day better, is to do what we want. Sometimes it means making simple decisions and other times it means making difficult choices. Often it will mean making sacrifices. Either way, when you accept that every single thing you do – sacrifice, mistake or an amazing move, is your own choice, then you will feel much more in control and a lot more happier.
Have a social life
If you use hashtag #tgif too often, this is for you! We all usually reserve fun and social activities for the weekend, while we don’t realize that by doing so, we are actually condemning ourselves for a lousy, sterile and anxious working week. What we should do is to plan at least one enjoyable activity during the week. That way you will have something to look forward after work and it will help you develop that “enjoy the moment” way of thinking.
Leave the trainings for SEO, leadership and business planning in your office and go outside whenever you have the time. You will get amazed what nature can do for your career.
Studies have shown that being in wilderness can replenish your mental energy, help you with decision making and improve your ability to remain calm in stressful situations. Besides, spending time in nature helps us to adapt much faster and to develop resilience. Maybe one of the most important traits is the fact that wilderness is the best playground for practicing leadership and relationship management. Communicating face to face in a natural environment will get our interpersonal skills grow, which can be invaluable in the workplace. Maybe that is the main reason why so many team building activities are being held in wilderness!
Openness to new experiences is one of the most important personality traits. It is a characteristic of creative, flexible, curious and adventurous people.
By spending more time exploring the environment, our brains will literally work better – our focus, concentration and productivity will improve. Also, by setting aside artificial stimulation and immersing ourselves in nature will make us more aware of the surroundings and particular details that we take for granted every day, such as leaves creaking, birds singing, the smell of the soil and grass, etc. It is a simple and easy way to practice mindfulness.
Even if you can do these things just once in a while, it can improve your health and life in countless ways. So, what are you waiting for?
Photo credits: Nature Lovers Montenegro