For today's Blog post we have the privilege of hearing from local Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach Cyndi Chizek. Cyndi will be sharing her expertise and ideas regarding rest and stress management. Enjoy!
Just the sound of the word brings to mind images of sunshine, relaxation and fun. When I was younger, everything seemed to slow down. Summer meant running barefoot in the grass, having a lemonade stand, playing outside all day with neighborhood friends, catching fireflies as the sun went down, and, of course, getting home before the streetlights came on! As children we really know how to use the summer to recharge. Have you noticed how things seem a little more relaxed at work in the summer as well? Co-workers leave early and take vacations, and for some the workload even seems to lighten.
Taking time for activities that have nothing to do with your daily work are important for reducing stress and fatigue. It can even help re-ignite your creativity and improve your productivity as well. To help get you started here are 5 Ideas for Recharging this Summer:
Get outside! This time of year is perfect for immersing yourself in nature and getting some natural Vitamin D production going at the same time. Get out of the office and go to a park for lunch; instead of meeting friends for coffee, meet for a walk; explore a local park; find a place away from the lights of the city where you can observe the stars at night. Grab a good book and find a shady tree to read under. Grow something--plant a garden or just a couple of pots and watch them grow. Enjoy a sunset over the lake.
Unplug. When’s the last time you really, truly unplugged? Turn off your electronics for at least an hour a day. Yes, this means your phone, tablet and computer. Don’t check social media, don’t peek at your email, and resist looking at the latest news headlines. Challenge yourself to increase the time a few minutes each week. Use this time for some self care or to simply do nothing (see number 3). Exercise, get a massage, visit a friend, play a board game or talk to your family.
Do nothing. That’s right, nothing. What is your first thought when you have free time? It’s usually about what you can do or where you can go. The problem with this is it doesn’t actually give us a break. Self care is not a luxury; it is a necessity. We need more than our sleep each night to clear our brain of daily stresses and worries. Try to find a few minutes of quiet time each day this summer. You might try meditation, sitting outside watching the birds, or listening to the sounds of nature. Or, simply spend time in reflection reviewing your day and creating new ideas.
Do something fun. Make a summertime “bucket list” of the little things you enjoy. Things as simple as walking the dog, reading a good book in your favorite chair, jumping into a lake, listening to live music, or enjoying conversation around a bonfire. Put some joy into your days by making sure to do the things on your list.
Do something new! Getting out of your “normal” routine is stimulating to your brain and can be energizing for your entire being. It can be something simple like taking your daily walk in a different part of town, or getting up 10 minutes earlier to enjoy a cup of tea on your porch before leaving for work. Or, you can go for more adventure. Try a new restaurant, visit a museum, engage in a new activity such as paddle boarding, or sharpen your skills by enrolling in a class or seminar.
When we fly, the crew instructs us on safety procedures including putting on our mask first if the plane loses pressure. The reason for this is simple. If we can't breathe, we are not much help to others and could cause a bigger problem. The same is true in life. Self-care is all about making sure you are well-equipped to handle whatever life throws your way. It's a daily intention to care for yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Self care is different for everyone....find what works for you. I hope you will try one or more of these ideas, or perhaps they have inspired some ideas of your own! And, if you need some additional help getting a stress management plan implemented, or would like help with any other area of holistic wellness, I'd love to hear from you. Visit my website to learn more or to set up a time to connect.