By The Extol Team
WE ALL KNOW physical fitnessis imperative, beneficial, can stave off some diseases and medical issues and contributes to our emotional and mental well-being. But, so does taking the occasional break.
All too often, we’re being bombarded with negativity from a variety of fronts, which can affect our physical health. So, what to do if you’re in need of a mental reprieve? We found a number of ways to give yourself that break you deserve, even if it’s only for a moment.
SAY SAYONARA TO SOCIAL MEDIA
A study from the University of Pittsburgh found a correlation between the amount of time we spend on social media and our risk for depression. Other studies have shown excessive social media usage to increase loneliness, competitiveness with others and the constant comparing of your life to others. Do you wake up in the morning and immediately log on to Twitter or Facebook (ahem, guilty here)? Do you lay in bed at night scrolling through status updates and political posts?
Vow to spend more time appreciating what’s happening right now in your offline life. Enjoy a moment and make it a memory, not an Instagram/Facebook/Snapchat/Twitter post. In our office, we have a sign with the words “Look at faces, not devices,” on it as a reminder to take the time and make the commitment to unplug every once in awhile, and when we do, we feel better for it.
LEAVE WORK ON TIME
Sure, bosses love people who say nothing about being given more work and responsibilities. And, yes, good things come to those who work hard. But, good things also come to those who employ balance in their lives. When the work day is over, don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for leaving. If you have a manager who attempts to instill that in you, perhaps it’s time to start seeking new job opportunities.
Show us someone whose head is “in the clouds” and we’ll show you someone who is envisioning their life as they want it to be. Take the time to dream, even if it’s about something silly or most likely never to happen (like winning the Powerball jackpot). Then, take those dreams, determine what parts would be most useful in your current life and go for it!
There is no such thing as perfection, and not everything you try is going to work. But, some of the greatest failures can lead to the most incredible discoveries. When you screw up and it affects someone else, apologize. Then, remind yourself you are not the sum of your mistakes. That’s part of the beauty of being human: we err. Acknowledge that and move on.
GIVE SOMEONE ELSE A BREAK
We live in a society where people are so quick to point out others’ failures and even think nothing of public shaming (again, guilty). Have you ever given someone the benefit of the doubt instead of reacting with anger? How did that feel? So, you got cut off during your morning commute. Instead of thinking that the act was intentionally directed toward you and responding by blaring your horn or worse, what if you gave your fellow driver a break? You never know what someone else is dealing with.
Volunteering for a cause you care about can be gratifying. It’s also beneficial in myriad other ways, including reducing stress, potentially lowering blood pressure – according to a Carnegie Mellon University study – and reaching out to aid others allows us to see beyond our own heads and hearts. It’s amazing how focusing on others gives us a reprieve from ourselves.
Do yourself a favor and give yourself a break. You and everyone in your world will thank you for it.