During last week’s Monday Mojo I talked about battling burnout, the necessity to “cut ourselves some slack,” and steps to take to keep burnout at bay.
Many of us are so busy these days that we don’t even know the true meaning of the concept. But, when referred to by most people, the answer involves making an escape from everyday life, taking the time to stand back from our hurried existence and getting a look at the “big picture.”
The truth is, most of us don’t know how to relax. When we are not engaged in any activities, our lives come to a screeching halt. Nervousness sets in because we are not texting on our Smartphone phone, tweeting to our business partners, driving the kids to a rehearsal or sports practice, or scheduling car repairs or carpet cleanings. Life has kept us in high gear for so long that slowing down is a foreign concept.
If all this sounds familiar, read on. It’s time to give yourself a break.
Mentally “Taking a Break”
It can be pretty darn hard to know how to relax mentally. We think that if we are okay physically then the mind will follow. In fact, it is the other way around. Often our thoughts dictate our actions and if we can’t get on board mentally, nothing else will get done. The unconscious thoughts are the most harmful and we silently sabotage ourselves without even knowing it.
But, getting in touch with your thoughts takes time and focus. Taking regular breaks can help out with that.
Meditate – You don’t have to sit and hum a mantra. It could be time spent listening to the sounds of nature on your front porch. Practice your breathing so slow down your heart rate and blood pressure. Make sure you are comfortable, unplug from everything, and let your mind just be for awhile.
Read a book – When you are reading, you are transported to another place and time far away from your current surroundings. Let your mind take a back seat as you let the words take you away. Books and reading make a great escape as well as a way to learn new things.
Listen to music – Music has the power to conjure up long-forgotten happy times, like when you first heard the song. Revel in your memories and sing yourself into a good mood.
Engage in your favorite hobby – Hobbies have a place in our lives. They make us well-rounded and offer a release from the daily grind. Letting the creative side of your brain loose creates new synapses and enhances your life on the whole. So find something that interests you and pursue it passionately.
Spend time alone – People can expect too much from us at times. If you are a person who can’t resist helping someone when they ask, get away by yourself and just sit. Let your mind wonder wherever it chooses as long as it’s not towards work or your next scheduled event.
Keep a journal – What are your thoughts? What goes through your mind? Write it down. Give voice to your fears, hopes, dreams, sorrows and joys and write down what you need to in order to free your mind from the clutter.
Concentrate on one thing at a time – Women are master jugglers and are often guilty of multitasking everything in their lives. So much in fact our brain has no time to slow down. Learn to focus on one project only for a day or part of a day.
Leave the house “as is” for a day – Sure, clothes need to be picked up or the dishes need to be washed, but they can wait one day. Give yourself permission to be a person of leisure for once. Dust is not mold, people!
Play a game – Family game night is one way to get the gang all together for a well-deserved mental respite. Have fun, laugh and engage in healthy competition.
Practice positive thinking – We are all guilty of falling into “stinkin thinkin.” Recognize those negative thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations. Stop sabotaging your life with undermining self-talk and start being nice to YOU.
Do you like these “battling burnout” tips? Any of these ideas or suggestion striking a cord with you? Be sure and check back next Monday for Part 3 of this Battling Burnout series!