Following along on the topic of the last few posts, we’ve been exploring burnout and avoiding distress. Here are ten things that I do to keep myself together. Perhaps there is something new that will help you out too. These are from Live Inspired.
Take a break! Plan for healthy breaks around vacations and long weekends or just set aside fifteen minutes now and again to meditate; you know what your body and spirit need and you must respect that. While you are at it, take your breaks at work. I am amazed at the number of tired and dragged out faces at the end of the day, many of them from folks who have not managed to extract themselves from their desks long enough to catch some air. Come on, you can do it!
Do something that you love each week, for as much time as you can spare. I love music but had little time for my piano or flute. Now I also own a drum and I am back to playing my ukulele which keeps me connected to music and gets my adrenaline thumping too!
Make plenty of time for the important people in your life; kids, spouse and family or whomever is important to you. It doesn’t mean you cook gourmet every night in order to get them all to the table. You can walk the dog together, wash dishes together or have a games night. Stay connected and make special times into mini celebrations that they want to be a part of.
Eat properly most of the time. Believe it or not, fruit and vegetables, complex carbohydrates and protein do have a huge impact on how we feel. Learn about nutrition and make the most of it. You don’t have to become a fanatic or anything; just know what’s going in your body and how long it takes to come out.
Maintain a regular sleeping schedule; get up and go to bed at about the same time each day to keep your body conditioned to when down time is, and when you are going to need some energy.
Work on your spiritual side. You don’t have to get religious if that’s not you, but there are huge benefits to spending time with yourself and working on your spiritual development or meditation.
Laugh out loud and often. If you just can’t muster the energy to laugh, rent a comedy or pull up some videos on YouTube. I love Robin Williams’ Live on Broadway, Ellen DeGeneres, and Russell Peters. Find some funny folks that you enjoy and you will soon find yourself laughing. No matter what you do to create laughter for yourself, your body will release those feel good endorphins, and we can all use some of those!
Say ‘no’. I am sometimes surprised that I still have to remind people to do this, but I include it because it is vitally important. If you are someone with too many things on the go, too many demands, it is okay to say ‘no’. People will respect you for identifying your limits.
Breathe deeply. When pressure starts building or you just feel the need to relax, deep breathing exercises can calm you quite quickly (see below for directions). Once you get really good at this, you can actually do it while walking around or listening to someone at work. This is a very effective way to “unclutter” what’s going on in your head.Visualize things that make you feel good. Let things that are pleasant come into your mind and enjoy them for a moment before you move onto other things. Visualizing is powerful because your brain does not really know where your body is. This means that if you are feeling tense and want to relax, you can think your way to an pleasant state. If your moment of joy comes from whooshing down Marble Mountain on a pair of brand new skis, then close your eyes for a moment and picture yourself at the top of the mountain; feel the skis move over the fresh powder, the cool air against your face as you begin to head down the slope. Your brain will think that your body is there, you will feel the same feelings within your body that you would if you were at the place you imagine.
Do you have things that you do to de-stress? Share them here with us, and we'll create a list of how to get through life that everyone can benefit from.