I have read a couple of articles recently in our local newspaper. One was about how many American workers do not use their paid vacation days. At best, people use a few days but very few take an extended holiday of say, two weeks or more.
This morning in the life section of our paper there was an article about eating healthy meals in your cubicle at work. The premise is that due to lay offs, many workers have more work to do, less time to do it in, and so are choosing to skip their lunch breaks and scarf down something to eat while sitting at their desks in front of their computers.
I don’t know about you, but these stories strike me as rather sad. Are we that stressed and overworked that we can’t take a little time out for ourselves?
Our brains need time to recharge. I know that if I sit here at my computer too long my creative energy wanes and I just don’t feel well. I have to stretch, get outside, and move about a bit or just feel the fresh air and gaze at the natural outside world. It doesn’t even take much really. A half hour just does wonders for me. Ironically, often when I am taking that break I have great ideas that come into my mind for my work.
What are ways that we can pamper ourselves a bit for much needed relaxation in our hectic lives?
I will offer a few ideas. Then perhaps you can think of some on your own during some quiet reflective time with your journal.
- Take that lunch break! You will actually be much more productive if you take that break.
- Use your benefits and take those vacation days! Studies show that even just the planning for and anticipation of a vacation is a wonderful stress reliever and produces feel-good happy chemicals in your body.
- Take a walk.
- Do some tension exercises. You can do these even while you are sitting at your desk.
- Close your office door (if you are lucky enough to have one) and lie down or close your eyes for a quick power nap.
- When you come home from work give yourself time to unwind first before family chores of cleaning, kids, making dinner etc. consume you. Perhaps family members can be “trained” to leave you alone for that first half hour.
- Eat a little chocolate : )
- Get outside if you can.
- Smile (even if you don’t feel like it)
- Get together with a friend for coffee and have a laugh together.
- Do something creative: write in your journal, draw, paint,etc.
- Do something purely mindless but pleasurable such as reading a chapter in a trashy beach novel or gossip magazine or listening to music.
- Get a professional massage.
- Get your nails done. Don’t skip the pedicure!
- Get a facial.
- Try a new herbal tea or coffee or type of wine that you have never had before.
- Make a date with your sweetie for a relaxing and romantic time together: having that x on your calendar will put a smile on your face and give you something to look forward to when you are stressed at work.
- Do something nice for someone else. Helping others is a great stress reducer.
- Treat yourself to a nice bubble bath
Debra : )