We live in a time where we’re all so “busy” that it gets hard to find time in our schedule to slow down and recharge. Weekends used to be designed for that, but now we fill them up with hobbies and side hustles and unfortunately, burnout is a very real thing that happens a lot quicker (and more frequently) than it should. We’re ambitious, but we’re TIRED, and I, for one, am trying to change that. What’s the point of reaching all of our goals if we’re too exhausted to celebrate?
A big lesson that I’ve learned over the last year is that you can’t pour into others if you don’t take time to pour into yourself, so I’ve been trying to find little ways to recharge so that I can take care of what I need to without feeling like I’m flaking out on work or people. They’re super simple, but I’ve found that they’re necessary in helping to create balance and actually enjoy this thing called life.
Take lunch outside from time to time.
Being in nature, even if just for 30 minutes, is such a quick and easy way to reset for the rest of the day. Sometimes I work through lunch because #deadlines but when I can, I like to go outside to a park or patio and enjoy lunch al fresco. Now, the weather needs to be pleasant, but breathing in fresh air and getting in some good ole Vitamin D can do wonders for your attitude. If you’re in the park, taking your shoes off and running your feet through the grass is a bonus.
Get a sweet pick me up
Now, I may be a little biased because I work so close to a patisserie, but I love taking a quick 5 minute break to go and get an iced coffee or macaron. I get to talk to the owner for a bit, see new faces and stretch my legs by walking around. Stopping to get ice-cream and enjoying it in a cone vs a cup always brings back memories of my childhood and instantly lifts my spirits too. I wouldn’t recommend doing this all the time (your waistline and wallet will begin to resent you), but if there is a special treat that you enjoy, treat yourself to it once in a while.
Read for pleasure not for work
As a kid, going to the bookstore for new books was one of my favorite activities, but I don’t get to read for pleasure as much as I used to. I would sit for hours devouring books and using my imagination to place myself wherever the characters were, so reading for pleasure vs. always absorbing more information is something that I’m working on. When I can just sit and read I’m able to relax so much.
Take a bath with your favorite soaks
“Self-care” has become such a buzzword that it’s almost annoying at this point, but it really is important to incorporate little things into your life to help you take care of yourself. Last week I had a conversation with blogger Shavonda (@sgardnerstyle) about making a ritual out of taking a relaxing bath at least once a week to help decompress. It will do wonders for your mind, especially if you have some bath bombs, oils or bubble bath, and a good playlist, and your skin will thank you as well.
Keep it fresh
With flowers I mean. I have a black thumb so I don’t keep real plants in my apartment, but for the week that I had fresh hydrangeas (the only flower I know how to keep alive, ha!) I LOVED IT. Every morning when I got up to open the blinds in my living room, seeing them brought a little smile to my face. You can get a $5 bouquet from your grocery store and split it up into smaller ones if needed to spread through your home so that you can enjoy them while still staying on budget.
Take a drive
One of my all-time favorite things to do when I need a break from working is to go for a drive in one of the historical neighborhoods in the city while listening to some of my favorite tunes. I go through phases, so sometimes it’s french jazz or afrobeats, and sometimes it’s 90s R&B, but no matter what I listen to, getting lost in the music with nowhere to go in my car helps me to reset my brain and push through whatever mental fatigue I have at the moment.