Written by Sarah Vasquez, transformational life coach on Collective Gain devoted to empowering people to unlock their fullest potential so that they can live authentically and pursue the life they want.
For most of us, our two week vacation is more than a release from the daily grind. It’s a mental detox, a spiritual cleanse, and a physical break. But anticipating vacation can be torturous when we need to recharge our batteries immediately. Is it Friday already? Sheesh!
It goes without saying, that vacations can be expensive and require lots of planning and preparation. Who’s going to water the plants, feed the dogs, and house sit while you're gone?
And frankly, sometimes, we're just too busy and immersed in our work that we don’t have time for that needed vacation. So how can we unwind from the daily grind without it interfering with our life’s work?
Here are 10 cheap and easy ways to recharge from the daily grind:
1. Unplug: Some of us have professions that overlap into our daily lives. Having your own business requires working odd hours and can impede on your free time. One way to reduce your stress levels is to set some time aside, away from any work related gadgets like your cell phone and laptop.
According to APA, “survey findings suggest that more than eight in 10 Americans are attached to their gadgets on a typical day (86 percent say they constantly or often check their emails, texts and social media accounts). We’re connected more than ever and although this may come in handy for business, and your personal life, allowing yourself to detox from the digital matrix is rejuvenating and healing. For 30 minutes every day, give yourself a break from all social media and emailing accounts. Your mind will thank you for it!
2. Go Hiking: There is something healing about surrounding yourself in nature- the mountains, trees, water, sunshine, and fresh air can significantly reduce your stress levels. “Studies have also found that natural beauty can elicit feelings of awe, which is one of the surest ways to experience a mental boost.” So pick your favorite hiking trail, strap those tennis shoes on, and hit the dirt.
3. Read Fiction: If you’re anything like me, self-improvement books are your muse. But, as the avid learners we are, it’s necessary to spend your time reading genres that stretch the imagination too. So relax, brew your self a cup of chamomile tea, throw those fluffy socks on, and cozy up with a new mystery, romance, or drama, and let your brain venture out into la la land for 30 minutes before bedtime.
4. Exercise: Yah, I know. The oldest tool in the shed, but exercise releases endorphins and dopamine that are responsible for those “high” and “happy" feelings. Not only that, exercise allows us to fully engage at the task at hand and allowing us to be 100% present. And, here’s a tip! If you’re desirer a faster body transformation, I recommend not watching TV or talking on the phone during your workouts. Do your best to stay fully engaged in your exercise routine. This small act will save loads of time at the gym and allow you to properly decompress and unwind. STAY PRESENT and KICK THOSE DISTRACTIONS AWAY!
5. Go Local: Is there a new spot you’ve been dying to check out? A new restaurant or social engagement? Today’s the day to whip out that beautiful dress, and have a glass of wine with your favorite girlfriends. On a weekday you ask? Yes, even better! Weekends are too crowded and sooooo overrated anyway! ;)
6. Take a stroll: I remember one day during summer, I took a walk around my neighborhood and was smothered with so much gratitude. The way the air felt, how the sun was hitting my face, it was just so nice to get out of my apartment and experience a change of scenery. Going for a quick walk around your neighborhood is a great psychological break from our daily routines. Readers Digest agrees, that “moving clears cortisol, the "stress hormone", out of your system and also helps stop the never-ending stream of worries going through your mind, according to a study published in The American Journal of Cardiology.
7. Laugh your ass off: Having a sense of humor, or being around people that do, is THE QUICKEST WAY to recharge after a stressful day. It also reminds us that laughing is always an option when we’re feeling overwhelmed with life's demands. There’s no need to sulk and have conversation about how “miserable” life is, because frankly, no one wants to be around that kind of energy. It’s important to express how we feel, but more important not to indulge in them. Youtube is free and full of hilarious gems, so SEARCH AWAY and enjoy yourself.
8. Watch a sunset: Being present and watching those gorgeous sunset colors change and fade right before your eyes is absolutely breath-taking. This is probably my favorite thing to do because its a reminder of how gorgeous and beautiful our planet is. Sunsets allow you to slow down and drink in the present moment. They’re also a mood lifter and a reminder that there’s new lessons and opportunities to seize the next day. “Studies show that appreciating natural beauty may boost well-being, increase generosity and enhance life satisfaction. The key is to actively engage with the experience.” Don’t have time to watch a sunset? How about laying down and staring up at the stars? Or parking on top of a hill to view the city lights?
9. Music: Have you noticed how music makes a scene more dramatic in a movie? I mute my TV for this reason during a scary movie because the music just gives me the creeps. But, using music in a positive way can be incredibly healing. So put on your favorite song and dance your little tush off! Try this for 20 minutes when you’re feeling overly stress- It’ll take your worries down a few notches.
10. Stretching: Sometimes I see strangers stretching like they’ve seen water in a desert! The moaning, the reaching, the pulling, I mean it’s really satisfying to twist, bend, and fold in ways that get our bodies out of the same ol’ routine. Want to experience an ultimate climatic stretch? Find a local yoga studio around town. Some studios are donation based, so you don’t have to worry about a membership or a $50 session. Namaste. So the next time you’re feel exhausted, burnout, stressed or just need some extra TLC in your life, try one.
Thanks to Sarah Vasquez Collective Gain Coach, who authored this post. Sarah's coaching blends personal development, modern psychology, and ancient wisdom to help you flourish and grow in both your personal and professional life.
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