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Ah, summertime is here and the living is easy.
Memorial Day marks the traditional start of summer is the US, and its my favorite season. Of course, I live in Texas where its summer nine months out of the year, which is why I live in Texas… But I digress.
We yearn for time away feeling so worn down and consumed by our challenging careers. But should we wait 50 weeks a year to get our cool on?
Let’s try some Staycation tips so we won’t hunger for Vacation so much. Put on your swim trunks and dive in.
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- First, let’s be honest with ourselves. Recently I talked with a client rationalizing poor team performance because “so much change is going on!” After a five minute Q&A he realized there really isn’t “so much” going on, its simply become a convenient excuse to lean on. We are not so much “busy” as we are “inefficient” and it makes us feel tired. Speak the truth to yourselves and others.
- Eat a good breakfast. Bam. Microphone drop. I am not a nutritionist (and likely neither are you) but I can read: multiple sources out there tell us what “good” is, and a zillion (I counted) resources explain why – if you don’t fuel your body within a half hour of waking – bad things begin to happen. Stop dragging around the office looking for leftover donuts. Eat a healthy breakfast and start the day right.
- Manage your digital devices. Every tool you have has an off button. Find it and use it. Yes, I know its exhilarating to get notifications every time something urgent happens on FB (yawn) or there’s a must-read tweet (bigger yawn) or any of the hundred or so other things that turn out to be not that important. Use your devices to suit your purposes and try something really risky when you’re ready: go to dinner without your phone. Take these baby steps to begin to cut the digital umbilical cord. Breathe…
- Step away from your desk. Rather than scheduling your life in 15 min increments give yourself a break every now and then. Research suggests standing and flexing for a few minutes each hour is a good way to help alleviate the numbness of sitting all day long. Go a step further by walking around the office, use the stairs for at least a flight or two and maybe even walking out for some fresh air periodically. These simple acts will recharge you. And oh yeah, your desk is not a restaurant. Go eat somewhere else even if its just on a park bench.
- Remember the weekend. There used to be this thing called “weekends”. We looked forward to it, made plans for it, and sometimes even left work early on Friday for it. Now tethered electronically to the office (see: previous bullet point) we check our email, txts and phone calls constantly. Here’s the deal: People treat you the way you teach them to (than you Maya Angelou). If you are “always on” people will expect you to be there all weekend. Make plans, go somewhere, lie in your hammock, read a book, cycle or for God’s sake just take a nap. But recharge yourself on the weekend. That’s what they’re there for.
I enjoy a good vacation as much as you: we can trade vacation stories later. The point is rather than thirst for them because we’ve starved ourselves of good work life balance throughout the year we can actually savor them if we get into the habit of taking better care of ourselves routinely.
Follow these handy tips for happier living, and don’t forget the sun block.