School’s out for the summer! How are you going to make sure you take some me-time and relax?
Even if you still have a million things to do, places to go, and people to see, it’s important to find some quiet time to veg out and recharge. Here are some simple ways to put yourself back into the equation.
Master a worry blaster. Worried about what tomorrow will bring? Maybe you have an entrance exam to study for, a presentation due at work, or a dance recital to rehearse for. Your mind is racing with anxious thoughts about whether you’ll do well, remember what you have to say, or get into a highly recognized program. Regardless of what may be on your radar, you’ll need to practice some techniques to minimize worry as much as possible. Practice mindfulness, centering your thoughts on the present, accepting them for what they are, whether good or bad, and actively choosing contentment at any given moment. Turn on your favorite tunes as you sit with your thoughts or pop in a yoga DVD and start stretching.
Try journaling. This is an excellent way to bring forth your internal narrator. You can even write down a to-do plan, while spending the needed time to reconnect with yourself. You can journal about how you’re feeling, what you want to accomplish or what you’re hoping to overcome. The key is to focus on your thoughts rather than the views and opinions of everyone else in your environment that are all too often instilled in us on a daily basis. Try to release any negativity and doubt in your writing and shut the book when you’re finished with your entry, to signify you’ve got it all out and are closing the door on your fears, determined to move forward.
Take a warm weather walk. As the weather heats up, heat up your workout routine. Hit the gym or your treadmill, or try out some aerobics, or start small by committing to an early morning or late evening walk to clear your head. Walking during these quieter times is an excellent way to start or review the day and recharge for what’s to come.
Start a book club. This is a great way to keep at the academics—sort of—when school lets out, or, at least, keep in touch with close friends you wouldn’t otherwise see every day. Reading stimulates the thinking process, improving your memory while reducing stress. You may even learn something new as you’re flipping through the pages. Then, sharing what you’ve read stimulates the mind again and opens the door to an engaging conversation. Choosing the material you share makes for even more fun. Who doesn’t want to sit down with an intriguing read at the end of a long day, then have the ability to talk about it later?
Create a masterpiece. Do you like to paint, draw, write, doodle, or dig in the dirt? Try taking on a craft, writing a book or spending some time outside in the garden. Working on a work of art will keep your mind from wandering back to your to-do list, thus easing tension and stress. And, in the end, you’ll have a beautiful piece of art to showcase, inducing feelings of confidence and self-assuredness.
Just breathe. Honing deep breathing techniques can help you to significantly reduce feelings of negativity. Practice breathing in deeply through your nose, holding, and exhaling forcibly through your mouth. Do this for several minutes as often as you can throughout the day, in the morning or at night. Deep breathing exercises have proven to be beneficial health-wise and will make your muscles feel more relaxed in no time at all.
People watch. Sitting on your front porch and watching the world pass by is one of the best ways to refocus your thoughts, relieving feelings of worry that inevitably surface whenever we focus too much on the trials and tribulations of our own lives. Sit for a few. Make up stories in your mind about the people who pass or the situations you observe. Writers often get their best material simply by being observant and creating from the world around them. Consider opening up your journal and taking a few notes. Don’t be too anxious to get on with your day, either. This stillness is just as important as any task on your list.
Make a commitment to yourself to focus on your health and well-being while the weather’s warm so you can re-emerge from the summer months rested and recharged, ready to take on anything!