This year has been a doozy. Economic unrest, political unrest, and scientific uncertainty pummeled us throughout the year and each of us struggled in our own fashion. We found ways to adjust to the constantly shifting circumstances of 2020 and we have now made it almost to the end, more or less in one piece.
If you are having trouble finding your center in all of this, well, you’re not alone. Taking breaks from our daily routines to be compassionate with ourselves is more important now than ever before. Here are a few things you can do to be kind to yourself.
We live in a vast sea of information. There’s news, crazy conspiracies, scientific information, and scientific disinformation all at our fingertips—all the time. While the ability to discover which movies use the Wilhelm Scream, the price of tea in China, or when and how to use a tourniquet is a valuable asset, the sheer volume of data can lead to information overload, making us anxious and irritable.
Whether you choose to occasionally unplug for a day or two, participate in Screen-Free Saturdays, or choose to take a break from your devices for a few hours every night, it’s sure to have a positive effect.
2. Get Physical
Many of us spend much of our time sitting—at our desks, on the couch, even in the car. Spending long periods in a sitting position can have adverse effects on your posture, your joint health, and your circulation. Over the long term, it can lead to obesity, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
Physical exercise is not only essential for your physical health, but it also boosts creativity, productivity, and mental clarity. Whether it is a leisurely stroll for a cup of coffee at the end of the hall or a half-hour run in the park, give yourself a break from sitting and move your body.
3. Learn Something New
While routines can often be comforting during times of stress, they can also lead to dissatisfaction and boredom. This type of mental stagnation not only makes it more difficult to be creative and come up with new ideas, but it also leads to restlessness and frustration.
Another way to prevent burn-out is to learn something new. Whether you gain your new knowledge or skill through a formal class or books and videos, learning something new can shake up your routine, break you out of monotony, and provide a great confidence booster.
4. Engage your imagination
As adults, we use our imaginations in our everyday lives more than most of us realize. Our imagination is active when we visualize a positive outcome to a situation, when we worry about our friends and family, and when we plan the steps we will take to reach a complicated goal.
Deliberately engaging your imagination helps to alleviate stress, improve emotional and mental well-being, and enhance problem-solving skills. You can engage your imagination for relaxation in many ways, including creating art projects, taking part in guided meditation, or simply envisioning yourself in a safe and comforting space.
5. Connect with others
Humans are a social species—it’s in our biology. We have an abundance of mirror neurons in our brains, cells that are only triggered by watching someone else take an action. Although in-person interactions are still stifled, we are lucky enough to live in an age where open communication is only a wi-fi signal away.
Introverts and extraverts alike crave some level of communication and human connection. Join a meetup group, start an online book club, or jump in on an UltraCoworking day with Cohere. You may just find that come away with an improved outlook and renewed vigor.
New Year’s is right around the corner, the first day of not just a new year, but also a new decade. There are new people, places, and things for each of us to discover in 2021. Giving yourself the breaks you need to stay emotionally balanced will help to improve your mental clarity, productivity, and resilience for the year ahead.
Ready to connect with us? Sign up for a virtual or in-person tour of Cohere Coworking today in Old Town Fort Collins!
About the Author: Cohere member Penny Leigh Sebring is an experienced freelance writer, neophyte speculative fiction author, and a gatherer of information and imaginary friends.