Don’t you just love those long holiday weekends? Especially when you can turn those three days into a week-long vacation. What could be better… you get a few days off work to spend on your own time, doing what you like to do with family and friends.
These times are good for the soul… taking you out of your usual routine and shifting your mind away, albeit just for a bit, from the daily grind and stress of your to-do list and seemingly never-ending problems at work.
When you return to work, you’re usually more refreshed, in a better mood, and have a renewed energy to face everything coming at you.
Think about those last few days off, though. You know the end of your vacation is near. You often dread going back to work because you know this ‘goodness’ will soon fade.
But, it doesn’t have to. How can you realize the benefits of a ‘few days off’ more often? How can you incorporate some of this vacation routine into your everyday?
Here are 5 practical, easy tips that can change how the rest of this week, and the next week, and the next week go for you.
Tip 1. Show yourself some love (yes, you’re worthy!)
In the hustle and bustle of life, you usually find yourself taking care of everybody else. My mom used to remind us that you have to take care of yourself before you can help anyone else. You need the capacity to take on everyday life and minimize the stress that can come from just trying to keep up with it all. Here are three basics for taking care of you.
- Sleep – Shoot for at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
- Activity and exercise – Move your body. 30 minutes four to five days per week is recommended. I’ve started a home exercise program with Obe’ fitness that I can fit into my schedule.
- Nutrition – Try to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein foods, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Though I love a delicious brownie or ice cream treat, I find that the sugar zaps my energy. (I’m still working on getting better at this one!)
Tip 2. Change the scenery
Feeling the pressure or stress from an issue, conflict, or problem you’re dealing with? Step away, either mentally, physically, or both, for a few moments.
- Breathe – Close your eyes and take 60 seconds to do some deep breathing. If you’re talking with someone or in a meeting, you can still pause and take a deep breath or two without closing your eyes. This gives you a moment to think, sends some much-needed oxygen to your brain, and helps you to relax.
- Take a walk – Sometimes you just have to remove yourself physically from a situation to create some space. Taking a walk also gets the blood flowing to all parts of your body. The fresh air helps to clear your mind.
Tip 3. Use the creative side of your brain
When you’re at work and dealing with issues, you’re focused on solving problems with an often heavy lift on the left hemisphere of your brain. Your brain needs a mental break. Take just a few minutes for a quick art creation using an app like Cupixel. You don’t have to be an artist (even I can do it!). Moments of creativity help reduce stress, bring greater clarity, and inspire more innovative ideas into your work.
Tip 4. Don’t go it alone
You spend so much time trying to juggle work and everyday life, it’s easy to lose touch with people in your circle. Grab a coffee with a friend. Go to lunch with your co-workers. Binge watch a tv-series with your family. Make sure you connect and invest energy into cultivating the relationships with people who care about you.
Tip 5. Have some fun!
All work and no play makes you a dull person to be around! It’s ok to have some fun. What brings you joy? Do more of that. Schedule time into your calendar for activities you enjoy. Fun and laughter are often the best medicine!
Are you Resilience Ready?
How you set the stage for your personal wellbeing and resilience is up to you. These 5 tips might be simple, but their benefits in your life can be huge!
Let me know what you try and how it helps.
Here are some other resources that might be helpful: