The 21st century is characterized by the lack of free time for a lot of us working people. To make ends meet, have any chance at being independent and afford to have fun all while juggling an increasingly tough work place expectation, it gives us very little to go off.
While it is great to fill our time up with as many useful activities as possible, you have to know when to stop for a second. You might not want to do this if you’re so used to working constantly as it gives you a sense of purpose.
Without being able to stop yourself for a second, you will miss out on some very important opportunities in your life. That moment of pause could be the most valuable and authentic few moments between all the madness.
Plan Your Next Long-Term Aim
No one can predict the future, what it will bring or what it’ll be like. But what we can decide is what we want to do with it. When you figure out a general plan of what kinds of things you’d like to aim for, you’ll find it easier when you get back to the grind to move toward what it is you’re after.
Say you want to travel in a year’s time, you’ll probably want to save some money. So you could plan around this by making sure a little bit goes into a savings pot every month that you can’t touch, so when the year comes around, you’ll have the money you need for your new pursuit.
I’m not saying that you have to plan a future to the absolutely tee, in all the detail, because inevitably you will be disappointed by the amount of things you won’t achieve. And at the same time you may see something new that sparks your interest, and want something new instead.
Switch Off for a Bit
Know when you need to stop yourself to do something completely different for a while, something that is not hard work on your brain for a while. Or something that is the opposite of your long day job.
For me, since my job surrounds me with people, socializing and paperwork, I like my spare time to be more peaceful. Going for a walk in nice weather, doing a bit of window shopping, or sitting outside for a while helps me switch off for a while and just be me in the present.
It can be pretty hard for me to do this sometimes as I have work messages constantly popping up on my phone, and my brain doesn’t always switch off easily.
But if you can really sit down, try to name all the things you see around you that are nice, and recognize how lucky you are to have this time to do what you want, you will be feeding a positive mental health.
The worst thing about working long hours is my poor eating habits. I will either by ready meals from work, for snacks to eat for lunch. Since its become a gut reaction to do this, I’ve had to stop in my tracks especially when I’m on my day off.
If I keep up those habits at home, I become more lethargic and unprepared when I’m back at work.
Its key that you find the time to cook something healthy for yourself on your day off, and definitely make sure you’re eating vegetables.
As I get pretty tired, I usually opt for frozen vegetables as its easier to sustain for longer than fresh veg. It takes me 10-15 minutes to either boil or fry them, and they make a great accompaniment to any dish.
Good foods will do so much more to boost your energy after your working days have drained you of your power. And if you keep any leftovers, use them for lunch at work the next day instead of buying your lunch out!
Make No Priorities
The whole point of having time off work is to give yourself a reason to do nothing and enjoy it. Try not to make any to-do lists for that day where you get to chill out and think of nothing but whatever you like.
If you can keep your day free of any jobs, or keep them limited if you must, then you can reduce the amount of stress for that day, which you really don’t need on top of forgetting your work stresses.
Because these are the moments that truly signify the choices you get to make in life, make them as free from guilt as possible. In fact, just don’t let anything be taken seriously on these days.
Your life needs to have that balance of work hard and play hard. So if you’re going to take on a lot of responsibility at work that isn’t necessarily fun, then you must be willing to treat yourself as a way of saying thank you to yourself, for what you do to give yourself a great life. Because we’ve all got something that we can celebrate outside of our jobs that make us who we are. Life is just too short not to enjoy.