We’ve all been there. Over-committed and stretched way too thin, we can sometimes lose sight of what’s important and what brings us joy. Caught up in our to-dos, work, and being ALL THAT to everyone else in our lives (husband, parents, children, employers, etc.) can find us depleted.
And that’s not living.
Without realizing it, we’re on Auto Pilot mode; virtual slaves to our schedules and chores! We know you can’t run away from responsibilities, but you can implement a few tactics to help bring you back to your happy place and get you back in the driver’s seat of your life.
Disconnect from Your Phones
We understand that you can’t just break up with your phone entirely. However, you can clean it up from all unnecessary distractions. Do you really need your phone to beep at you every time you receive a new update on Facebook or Twitter? How about instead, you set aside time to proactively check your social media instead of having your phone beep at you? The same can be said for emails and most other apps that reside on your phone. This little trick can trigger a huge mind-shift from being at the mercy of your day to YOU taking control back. The power of how you manage your time is shifted back into your hands.
Connect with Nature
Lush greenery, birds chirping, a lingering sunset – can all gently lull us out of “must-do” mode into the present moment and appreciating the beauty that exists all around us.
A simple walk on a nature trail will do. If time does not allow for that, try kicking off your shoes and walking barefoot on the grass for a bit. Feeling the earth beneath your feet is grounding and reminds us what is REAL and IMPORTANT. Pressures and deadlines are URGENT – not necessarily important. This beautiful world we live in? Real. Enjoying our lives? Important.
Dread your morning commute? Turn up the radio, roll down those windows and sing your heart out. Can’t carry a tune? WHO CARES?
Singing releases endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in the brain. Because the deep breathing needed to sing draws more oxygen into your blood and stimulates circulation, it's also an aerobic activity and a natural stress-reducer.
That’s right. Adults need playtime too. And we do not mean Candy Crush on your phone! We are talking silly, social, smile-inducing, laughter-filled and simply for-the-hell-of-it-fun. We all need a break from our routines. Dr. Stuart Brown of the National Institute for Play sheds some light on this: "Play is something done for its own sake. It's voluntary, it's pleasurable, it offers a sense of engagement, it takes you out of time. And the act itself is more important than the outcome."
So the next time your child asks you to play Mario Kart, just do it! Your horrible speed-driving skills will illicit peals of laughter from your child. I know nothing makes me happier than hearing my children laugh. The laundry can wait.
Play hooky (aka a take a mental health day) and meet up with girlfriends for lunch and cocktails. We are all about our Herd at Inspired Elephant. It’s critical to keep those connections alive. This is therapy you will actually enjoy.
Not everyone can hop on a plane and jet-set across the globe. We get that. However, you can jump in a car or take a bus or train to someplace new. Getting away for a few days will open your eyes to a fresh perspective and will show you there’s more to life than just your to-do list.
Even if it’s just 45 minutes away, you won’t have Mt. Laundry daring you to conquer it or anything else that needs fixing or doing at your house. Stay with a friend or Air BnB it. It’s not your home to fix and maintain. Just get outside and explore your new surroundings. Turn off your GPS and see where the road takes you. You physically cannot be on auto-pilot while in a new environment.
Friends, summer is not over yet. Don’t let these last few weeks pass you by while you mindlessly knock off tasks. Meet up with friends. Be silly with your kids. Watch a sunset with your sweetheart.
Inspired Elephant is our beloved community and that means we want to hear from you! Feedback helps our Herd grow and thrive. Please let us know if this post resonates with you, has helped you or if there is something you are doing to help bring the happy back into your life.