Do you ever feel like you are just going and going with no end in sight? Whether it be constantly working, limited vacation time, endless errands, a mountain of appointments, or just a high level of commitment to something in your life, we have a tendency to get caught in doing and less in living. When I feel like I’m about to reach the “burnt out” phase of life, I try to break up the Energizer Bunny “going and going” pace with something. So in honor of Marathon Monday (congrats to all those who ran the Boston Marathon today!) I’m going to compile a list of ways I break up the “going and going” feeling.
1) Go For A Walk
Sometimes I’ll just take a lap. Anywhere. If I feel like just the thought of going to the gym will bring death upon me, I try to go for a nature walk outside. I convince myself that this walk is better than nothing and it honestly does help. I work inside, windowless, Monday through Friday so I rarely spend more than an hour or so outside each day. But I’ve noticed that the days where I force myself outside, I feel much better and less “caged.” New Hampshire is home to many, many places to sneak in a nature walk but just about every town / city has a park you could go to. Go outside and smell the roses. Remind yourself of life outside the cube.
2) Actually Make Something Off Pinterest
I. Love. Pinterest. I love it the most for recipes but lately I’ve been getting into the DIY portion of Pinterest. I have these boards filled with hundreds of pins of things I want to make. I’ve challenged myself to start actually making these pins. Whether it’s a new recipe, a craft, or a DIY home decor piece, I try to make something once a month. I’ve made canvas photo collages, beer flowers (long story), a million types of banana bread, various casseroles, and endless “kitchen savers.” It takes my mind off what I feel like I need to be doing and gives me a sense that I’m doing something for myself.
3) Online Window Shop
As you all know, I am ballin’ on a budget. If I feel super constrained by my finances or work, I’ll take an hour to online window shop. I’ll browse websites for stores and brands I’d never be able to afford in real life and mentally check off what I’m going to buy. I never actually buy it but it’s still fun to look and see what is out there. It also gives me inspiration for things to look for when I do find the time / finances to go clothes shopping.
4) Watch Crappy Television
There is no greater escape in this life than reality TV. A few episodes of Hoardes, Honey Boo Boo, and Dance Moms will remind you that you are pretty damn normal compared to those loony bins. Watch some Kardashians or Real Housewives to escape to how the 1% lives. Dabble in some Amazing Race or Chopped to expand your cultural horizons. Sounds super lame but it helps me turn my brain off for an hour.
5) Read A Book
I am so guilty of not doing this. I wish I did read more than I do but for some reason I just fell out of reading. But finding a good book is a great way to take a mental break. Reading also makes you smarter. So you’re really still technically working but it’ll feel like a break.
6) Turn Your Phone Off
Also guilty of not doing this as much as I should. It’s been reported that turning your phone off for an hour a day will help you reconnect with yourself and the physical world. I usually only turn my phone “off off” (not airplane mode) when I
want to hit everyone with my car am tired of society. Sometimes I’ll leave it in the other room while I watch TV because I am way too lazy to get up and grab my phone from the couch if it were to go off in the other room. But I think we all should turn our phones off for a bit once a day. 24/7 constant contact is not only exhausting, but unhealthy. People have to remember how to interact with people in real life and not through a Gchat window or 140 character Tweet.
I wrote this post because I’m finding myself approaching the “burnt out” phase of life. I totally broke the “I won’t buy coffee out” habit but have been doing well with working out. I’m trying to find a healthy balance between what I feel like is an all-consuming career and a personal life. So lately I’ve adopted these practices into day to day life.