In the United States this weekend, we celebrate Memorial Day. An extra day or half day of time off. For those in the upper Midwest, it's the official start of summer – boats go in the water, campers come out of storage and the goal is to relax and have fun. My wife and I are going camping in Door County, Wisconsin, and we've agreed not to even turn on our computers. We are unplugging.
Source: Jeff Schmidt, SVP of Professional Development, RAB
This week on a coaching call, we were discussing the breakneck pace of our business these days. "I don't think it ever slows down anymore," one person said. Kids have the summer off from school in most parts of the country – a three-month period to relax, recharge and refocus to get ready for another year of learning. When do we get a break?
Because our schedules are so busy, often we push noncritical tasks to the weekends. This means that we never stop working. Our advice today is stop. This weekend, take some time to unplug, relax and refresh. Psychology Today recently had an article about the long-term effects of all this constant stress and busy-ness is having on our mental health. People are more on edge, more stressed and quicker to inappropriate reactions and hostility because of the pace of the world we live in.
So this weekend, unplug. Whatever it is, it can wait until Tuesday. There are plenty of things that you can do to unplug and recharge. The key is to do something you truly enjoy. Here are some suggestions:
Sleep in – If you normally get up at 5:30 a.m. every day, turn off the alarm and see if you can sleep in until 8 a.m.
Read a book for fun – Hobbies, fiction, art, culture, etc. Pick a book that you wouldn't normally use for business.
Visit an art gallery or a museum –Admiring the creativity of others can be mind-expanding.
Take a walk – Exercise has well-documented benefits. You don't have to go nuts, just take a walk or a bike ride. Get outside and enjoy some fresh air.
Appreciation journal – Spend some time thinking about and making a list of all the things you have in your life for which you are thankful. Often, we take our current situation for granted and only focus on the problems or the things we don't have.
Surround yourself with people who make you happy and give you joy.
Our business isn't slowing down, and that's not a bad thing. There is always something more to do, something more to learn, more clients to help and more promotions to dream up.
Psychologists say we have a chronic preoccupation with what we aren't doing. Meaning that we are so worried about what we are not doing, that we can't focus on what we are doing and do it effectively. This weekend, I can worry about all the things I'll have to do next week and the things I didn't get done last week or I can enjoy a camping trip and adventures with my wife. We're going to choose to enjoy the journey. This weekend, we encourage you to forget about where you've been or where you're headed from a work perspective and choose to take some time to relax, recharge, and refresh. If you have some ideas about nonwork activities that bring you joy, we'd love to hear about them.
Happy Friday and have a relaxing weekend! Jeff Schmidt is SVP-Professional Development at the Radio Advertising Bureau. You can reach Jeff at jeff.Schmidt@Rab.com or follow him on social media: Twitter, LinkedIn.