2011 has been a tough year for everyone across the world. Nearly five million people around the world have lost lives because of Covid-19, hundreds of thousands more have lost their jobs. Personally, while I did not get covid, I have been stuck inside, working from home, for what seems like a long time. After a turbulent years, it’s very important that you take the time to relax and recharge your batteries, to make sure you can perform at your best in 2022.
Unplug And Recharge
Stress is important in our everyday lives as it helps to deal with difficult situations and perform. What’s not good, is to be under constant stress as this can be damaging to our health. If you find yourself stressed for long periods of time, it’s likely that you’ll face symptoms such as headaches, tension in the neck and shoulders, dizziness, fatigue and poor sleep. Stress can also effect your mental health given stress elevates the levels of cortisol in your body which in turn affects the function of the brain.
It’s important to realise the symptoms, but also to realise that studies show that a simple thirty minutes of relaxation per day can drastically reduce stress with your body. Below are ten ways to unplug and relax this holiday season.
The research on this is very conclusive. Getting outside for between 30 minutes and an hour every day will significantly reduce your stress levels. With more daylight to work with, try to schedule a walk every evening after work or during your lunch break.
Heading outdoors can help break feelings of monotony, not to mention the added physical exercise will help improve your concentration and give you an endorphin boost. Green spaces have been shown to improve our mental health by giving you a sense of calm, which is an essential part of recharging.
Unplugging means removing yourself from situations that demand your time or attention. Even if it’s for a few short minutes every day, try to give yourself time to be alone. For some, this may be sitting outside in the morning with a coffee for ten minutes to think about the day.
For others, it may be running a bath at the end of the day to soak and decompress. Carving out personal time within your day is vital. It can improve your perspective on life problems and give you time to reflect.
Take Some Holiday Time
Even if you don’t have time for a week off, a long weekend can leave you feeling very refreshed. Getting a change of scenery can help you detach from the stresses associated with work. The key here is if you are limited on time, don’t try to travel too far.
If you have Friday to Monday off work, don’t spend 6-8 hours driving or flying somewhere as that can be exhausting. Instead, look for a getaway that is only a couple of hours drive away. That way you can spend more time relaxing and having fun.
I am guilty of this because it’s so easy to grab your phone and start looking at emails or work messages, particularly now that a lot of office work is remote and takes place on a phone or laptop.
You need to make sure you have clear time boundaries between work time and home time. When you start checking emails late at night, you can easily get worked up or stressed about things happening at work. This can directly impact how well you sleep, which in turn affects every aspect of your life.
Socialise with Family and Friends
It is so important to give yourself time to see family and friends. Life can get busy, and time passes in the blink of an eye. Give yourself time this summer to reconnect with family and friends who you may not have spoken to in a while.
Family and friends are great to talk to about successes in life, and taking stock can help you appreciate what you have achieved. If you can’t go and physically see them, then a phone call or video chat will work just as well.
Meditation and Controlled Breathing
Meditation and breathwork has been shown to reduce significantly the level of stress-inducing cytokines found within your body. Taking time to do repetitive breathing and meditation exercises is an effective combative for anxiety and depression.
While I’m not saying it will make these issues go entirely away, it can undoubtedly have a significant positive benefit on your body. There are great apps that you can use to get into meditation, breathwork, Box Breathing and Calm, to name a few.
Get More Rest
Fully recharging will require you to get good quality sleep. Focus on establishing healthy bedtime routines this summer that will help you get better sleep, boosting your energy levels during the day.
For example, avoid blue light, the light emitted from computers and phones, at night as it can confuse your bodies natural rhythms. Try to go to sleep and get up at regular times each week, as this helps your body fall into a good sleeping pattern. Finally, make sure you get enough exercise during the day, enabling you to sleep more deeply at night.
Take Control of Your Food
Summer brings with it fresh produce. Head to a local market on a Saturday to pick up fresh ingredients for dinner or lunch that day. Taking control of your diet is a vital part of feeling recharged.
Cooking is also a creative and rewarding hobby that will give you a break from sitting and staring at screens all evening. Instead of oven pizzas and microwave meals, try to make a balanced healthy dish loaded with vegetables and energy-providing carbohydrates.
Try a New Hobby
Your brain is wired to enjoy new challenges and stimulation. Learning a new skill or taking part in a new sport can be a great way to provide new types of mental stimulation.
Aside from that, you may also stand to gain a new group of friends providing social stimulation. Hobbies and sports can be a great way to increase your overall satisfaction with life, particularly if they involve teamwork or producing a gratifying end result. Summer can offer you the potential for fun outdoor activities like rock climbing, photography and gardening, all great ways to unplug.
Change Your Routine
A monotonous and boring routine can quickly kill a lot of the fun in life. Try to mix up your routine to give you something new to look forward to. It can be as easy as going out with a friend or partner to see a movie on a weeknight.
Alternatively, rather than staying at home on Saturday, wake up early, drive to the beach or a lake, and spend the day in a new environment. Changing your routine can help to add excitement to your life which will leave you feeling refreshed. Summer is the perfect time to do this while the weather is kind.
There you go, ten tips to help you unplug and recharge this summer. We hope you find this list helpful. Hopefully, this holiday season, you can recharge and get energised for the future.
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