Too Much Working, Not Enough Living?
In today’s modern world, many people feel more connected than ever. Sometimes this is a good thing, such as when you can keep in touch easily with long-distance friends and family. However, it is not a good thing when being connected keeps you working seven days a week without any time to recharge and relax.
Summer is one of the best times to re-evaluate your life and bring back the balance you are missing. Summertime, for many people, is a perfect time to be more casual and laid-back. But for people consumed with stress from a never-ending work week, summer typically passes by without a second thought, like the rest of year. This summer, you can change all that. This summer you can re-capture your true self and live your life the way you are meant to with a few changes to your routine and your thinking.
This one seems hard, but make it a goal to unplug from your computer during the weekend. If an entire weekend seems too daunting at first, unplug for a single day and work up to the entire weekend. It seems counter intuitive, but by actually taking time away from working on the weekends to recharge your batteries, you set yourself up for being more productive during the work week. You’ll be surprised at how you can get the same amount of work done in less time when you are properly rested.
Simply spending time outside, preferably in nature, has many physical and mental benefits. Whether you prefer to go outside with a loved one or want to use the time for some much-needed solitude, you really can’t beat the great outdoors. Harvard Health Publications notes that some of the benefits from spending more time outside include:
- Increased vitamin D levels
- More exercise
- Increased happiness
- Improved concentration
- Quicker healing
Walking outdoors is one of the best exercises you can do for your body and mind. Ditch the headphones and use the time to really notice the amazing world around you. Reflect on how you are currently spending your time and living your life and whether change might be in order.
The currently popular slow food movement is all about pushing back against the rise of fast food and fast living. Too often, making and consuming a meal is something that is a chore, something to be completed quickly in order to get back to work. That line of thinking is harmful to our health and our minds. Eating should be about nourishing your body and soul.
Preparing a meal for yourself doesn’t have to be elaborate or complicated. Some of the best, most nourishing meals, are ones that are simply made with fresh, quality ingredients and enjoyed at a leisurely pace. Take it a step further and savor your meal alfresco. Lingering outdoors over a meal you made yourself is the ultimate in self-care.
Many times, the best way to escape the grind of constant working and the anxiety it invokes is to literally get away from it all. Even a quick weekend getaway does much to renew your energy. The key to a relaxing vacation is to avoid stress and to resist the temptation to cram your days with activities.
If finances are a concern, try a staycation where you stay in your own city but view the area with the new eyes of a tourist. Don’t run errands, do household chores, or work during your staycation. Unplug, disconnect, and take time to rediscover who you are and what goals are important to you.
Get Adequate Rest
All of the above suggestions will not help you restore balance in your life if you are exhausted. Being well-rested is essential to your mood and well-being. The Mayo Clinic notes that, “Sleep provides the foundation for all your daily habits and decisions.” Getting adequate sleep, at least 7 hours per night, will help you be productive in all of the other areas of your life, leaving you with more down time.
To get a good night’s sleep, turn off all electronics at least an hour before bed to give yourself time to wind down. You will sleep better in a cool, dark room. Experiment with leaving a fan on for white noise to see if it improves your quality of sleep. A comfortable mattress and a high-quality pillow are also essential for good sleep. Try a customizable pillow based on your preferred sleeping position, such as one from Headleveler, to ensure you have the head and neck support you need for a good night’s rest.
Don’t let the years fly by in a fog of work, stress, and anxiety. Take time this summer to examine your life, identify your priorities, and re-balance the areas of your life that need it. To really live, you need to enjoy your life, not just make a living.