TAKING TIME ‘OFF’, IS THE KEY TO MAXIMISING YOUR TIME ‘ON’
This weekend i’ve escaped the city for a weekend back home in the south of England. I love taking weekends out of London, especially when it’s to head home for a serious break. There’s something about being home that immediately relaxes me and adjusts my pace of life, in fact so much so that a Friday night post dinner snooze on the sofa is always guaranteed when I get home.
A few years ago I used to work, work and work some more. In many days I still do that now, but what I’ve learnt (the hard way) is that actually sometimes you need some serious time off to be able to be more productive, more efficient and more enthusiastic when you’re ‘on’. Good work is best done when you’re physically and mentally in a good place.
When we’re stressed and busy, we tend to just put our heads down, skip breaks, work late and simply don’t stop to breathe for a minute. Whilst at the time we feel it’s the only way, it’s actually the worst way. Taking breaks is more important than we all care to accept (find our why here), whether it’s a 5 minute tea break, an hour out at lunch or even a weekend or week away.
In the last 6 months I’ve been making a real effort to live more mindfully, to focus on my wellness and most important to create some serious balance. And so I thought today I’d share my favourite ways to destress, unwind and be more mindful, perhaps they’ll inspire you to take a proper break this weekend. And to be #NotSorry about it.
MY FAVOURITE WAYS TO DESTRESS, UNWIND & BE MORE MINDFUL
As I mentioned, one of my favourite ways to really give my mind a break is to escape for the weekend, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to head home, to visit Jase’s family, or if we’re feeling a little more plush a spa weekend or a city break. Physically getting away from your day to day routine is a really simple but effective way to clear your mind of the day to day pressures and a real excuse just to stop, put your feet up and enjoy some time doing, well, not that much.
For me, there’s nothing more tranquil and relaxing than the seaside. If I need to destress or get a little more mindful, then a trip to the seaside is the easiest way to do this. A walk along the beach with a nice tea and cake at the other end (just like I did today) or even a day spent soaking up the sunshine, just takes me away to another place immediately. The fresh sea air, the relaxing tones of the sea splashing against the shore and just the happy buzz of people playing or pottering around. It slows you down & brings you back.
Taking a lunch break is a really good way of ensuring you get a chance to clear your mind, re-energise and reinvigorate yourself during a working day. A lunch break is easy to sacrifice, but I really find that taking the time out to do a 45 minute pilates class is unbelievably good for my stress levels and my productivity too. Not to mention it’s exercise & it properly helps relieve any muscle tension I have from sitting at a desk all day. And of course it doesn’t need to be at lunch time (although it’s a good way to force yourself to take a break), signing up to an evening class, or finding another way to feed some exercise into your day (cycling to work, a morning jog, taking the stairs etc) is just as effective.
Running my blog
My most asked question when it comes to my blog is ‘how on earth do you blog daily and have a career’ … hard work and passion is the honest answer, but it also comes down to the fact that for me, my blog is super therapeutic, I find it relaxing, fun, and it really helps shift my mind from work and into a more creative place. And it’s not just writing my blog each day, it’s the creativity and planning my features, it’s the photography and shooting concepts, its the community and engaging with other bloggers. The whole blogging world for me is an effective way of relaxing, distressing and feeling a little more mindful.
Sometimes you just need to physically switch off to be able to mentally switch off. I have found turning off all my mobile notifications such a simple but effective way of helping me relax a little (it’s surprising how stressful a constantly buzzing phone is), more than that trying to leave your emails alone after 8pm in the week (when work allows), and even just turning your phone off at night. We live an ‘always on’ life these days, restaurants, work and people are on 24/7, and whilst there’s definitely positives to this, it does make turning off that little bit harder. Making a concerted effort to live in ‘reality’ rather than through your tech is a really good way of relaxing your mind but also being far more mindful. For me sitting down to a good magazine or committing to a new novel, cooking up a delicious meal, going to the movies or catching up on my favourite new series (this is my latest way to switch off after work – i’m addicted to ‘Orange is the New Black’) are really simple ‘tech’ free ways to unwind.
SHOP MY #OOTD
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If you enjoyed today’s post & fancy getting a little more relaxed & mindful you should also check out these features i’ve written: how to make your daily commute more mindful, how to be more mindful in 2016, 5 inspiring quotes to help you lead a happy and successful life, 5 everyday escapisms, how to have a digital detox, 5 tips to help you have a positive day, 5 times when you know its time to take a break, why you need a break.
How do you unwind, destress and live a little more mindful? Do you have any simple tricks that help switch off?