by Beth Benatti Kennedy, MS, LMFT
After the last couple of years, many of us are feeling weighed down in different ways. With spring finally here (in the northern hemisphere, at least), take some time to revitalize your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being so you are ready for whatever lies ahead.
To restore your mind, try these three suggestions:
- Stop over-anticipating
I have noticed some of my leadership coaching clients stuck in a rut, spinning their wheels as they try to anticipate the future. That’s natural, but give yourself a break and limit how much of it you do. Instead, accept uncertainty and focus on what you are doing in the present.
- Stay connected
Sometimes when stressed, it’s tempting to avoid people, but connection is crucial. Take time for those who recharge you, whether you connect remotely or in person. When you are with someone, remind yourself to be fully present and listen to the other person.
- Pause and reflect
A great way to restore your mind is to pause and reflect. Note what triggers stress and anxiety for you and try a pause breath. Deep breathing, or abdominal breathing, lowers stress by increasing oxygen levels in the brain and bloodstream and clearing out carbon dioxide in the lungs. As you breathe, hold a hand over your belly. Watch it rise with every deep in-breath and fall with every extended out-breath. Try breathing in to a count of four and breathing out to a count of six.
Recharge your physical well-being:
- Renew your energy
- Are you fueling your body with the right foods? A healthy diet is essential to wellness, while a poor diet with too much sugar or too many processed foods can make you low in energy.
- Stay well-hydrated. It’s easy to forget to drink a glass of water, but try filling a carafe with water in the morning and keeping it in your workspace so you’re reminded to drink.
- Exercise is important, but you don’t have to spend hours at the gym every day. Take a short walk in the middle of the day and if you can, walk where you have exposure to nature, such as a park.
- Sleep is essential for physical and mental recovery. Are you regularly getting enough sleep at night? If not, a quick online search will yield sleep hygiene tips.
- Manage your energy ‘leaks’
Are you treating your energy like the valuable, renewable resource it is? An important part of restoring your energy is addressing your energy ‘leaks’. Some examples of energy leaks include toxic relationships, technology addiction, and unclear boundaries. When you recognize your energy leaks, you can take steps to address them. Sometimes, that means saying no. Believe it or not, saying no can often lead to amazing recharge and work impact!
Renew your spirit with these three techniques:
- Be honest about your feelings
This has been a challenging time and it is okay to share these feelings, whether it’s with a trusted friend or in a journal. Some people find meditation a great way to create ‘space’ and let go of what is weighing them down.
- Make time for yourself
Take time for your spiritual practice, whatever that means to you. It could be being more mindful, going on more walks, or enjoying nature, yoga, or anything that connects you to your values and purpose. When you take time for yourself, it can help you focus on what your purpose is and feel more centered.
- Mix things up
Explore life by venturing outside of your comfort zone or doing things a little differently. Go to an art gallery, explore a museum, or try something creative like finger painting! Make an occasion out of a meal at home, whether it's a leisurely Sunday brunch or a candlelight dinner (even if it's leftovers!) Add some new weekend activities that are enjoyable and bring more excitement into your everyday life.
Try these tactics to recharge your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being and boost your resilience.
For more on this topic, check out Beth's book Career Recharge: Five Strategies to Boost Resilience and Beat Burnout
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