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recovery

Creating a Daily Vacation

mister-rogersIt’s January, and the holidays are officially over. For many, the next months will be dedicated to work without the hope of a vacation and may be the hardest part of the year to enjoy. To stay motivated, some may focus on when the next getaway is, but it’s more beneficial to develop a daily habit of renewal.

In the article, “Recovery, Work Engagement, and Proactive Behavior: A New Look at the Interface Between Nonwork and Work,” the study found that if you practice recovery rituals on a daily basis, your work engagement and productivity levels will increase. Therefore to maintain positive motivation both at work and home, we must create a mini vacation on a daily basis. Forming this habit is a simple exercise that requires three easy steps.

1.)    Evaluate

Recovery will be different for each person, but the first step is to recognize your current pattern when you leave work. Do you have a coming home ritual that allows you to unplug? Do you mentally leave work, or do you instead stay connected to technology and the stress of your job? Do you exercise or plop on the couch with your dinner and remote in hand? Can you talk to those who matter in your life,  or are you distracted and irritable?

2.)    Envision

After you’ve contemplated what your day looks like now, decide what needs to change. One important step is to “bookend” your day. Some call this the Mr. Rogers method because as we all remember, every time he entered his doorway, he put on his cardigan and slippers. Take this a step further, and instead of putting on your old man apparel, put on tennis shoes and go exercise. Yoga is also a great way to engage in recovery because it melds fitness with centering yourself in the present moment while it purges out your stress through breathing. Think of exercise as a stress filtering tool rather than a chore, and remember that it doesn’t have to be intense, it just has to be consistent.

3.)    Engage

After you’ve relieved your stress, then you can enjoy those around you who make your life what it is. Whether it’s your spouse, your child, your dog or your journal, truly participate. I often am greeted by daughters inviting me to dance when I enter the house. This ritual releases me from work and allows me to appreciate my family, my home and my life.

Also, eat your evening meal with intention. I know that every night can’t be a gourmet experience, but you can do better than fast food from a chain restaurant or your microwave every night. The experience of cooking is good for community building, health and happiness, and try sitting at the table rather than your couch. Doing so will support communication much more deeply, and connecting to your food will help you eat the proper amount and be satisfied.

Practicing the habit of gratitude will also increase your motivation. This is because being thankful for the bright spots in your day make it worthwhile. If you take time to reflect and appreciate, your gratitude will reframe your mindset into a positive outlook. Also, rather than worrying about work or dreading going in the next day, contemplate what you actually enjoy about your job. Choose something that you’re thankful for and say it audibly. Attitude is by far the most important factor in maintaining happiness.

In short, figure out what habits make you feel mentally at ease and positive. If you get home and do things that make you feel grateful for the life you’re living, you’ll more motivated and energized on a daily basis. These mini vacations are necessary to recharge your perspective and prepare you for work the next day.

So again, recognize your current status, decide what small habits you can change in your day to develop a pattern of recovery, and practice those changes. Doing so will change your mindset and give you a better sense of balance in both work and life.

 

 

 

Five Tips to Deal with Grief

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Wellbeing, and Peak Human Performance.Good griefDisappointment and grief are some of the hardest things to deal with in life. Even when you work hard and give it your all, bad things can happen to you and you can suffer setbacks. In such cases, you may think life is unfair and feel miserable, but you have to accept that those things are out of your control and you can only control how you react to the situation.

Five tips to deal with grief:

Accept that you’re sad:

Stuff happens. And the first step to dealing with something is to admit that it’s there. You may need days or weeks to sit with your sadness before you can move on. That’s okay. It’s a part of life that everyone has to deal with, and it will take some time to get over.

Don’t numb the pain:

This is part b to the first tip. Yes, you’re going through something difficult, but you’ve got to go through it. You can’t get past your sadness if you ignore it with alcohol, drugs, food, sleep or whatever else your method may be. You honestly might have a few nights where you have too many beers and shed a few tears, but don’t let that become your life. Put your chin up and move on.

Stay busy:

Part of moving on includes being so busy that you don’t dwell on the negative. Work hard at your job. Get some new hobbies. Clean your personal space. Being successful in these realms will motivate you to have a positive perspective.

Focus on the good:

Having a positive perspective is impossible unless you choose to focus on what you’re thankful for on a daily basis. Keep a gratitude journal. Get out in nature. Play with your dog. This grief is only a piece of your life. Put your energy into contemplating what else is making you happy.

Build your community:

Good people make for a good life. If you’re lonely or avoiding others because of your grief, it’s so much harder to get over it. Be intentional with the relationships you have and if you’re lacking people in your life, put yourself out there and meet people. Sometimes you have to choose to make friends. Sometimes your friends come to you. Either way, they are an invaluable part of your recovery process.

It can be hard to remain positive during difficult times but it’s not impossible. There is often a lighter side to things and sometimes when one door is closed, another is opened for you. You should just focus on the good things in your life and appreciate what you still have. You don’t have to go through hardship on your own so don’t be afraid to ask for support from those close to you.

If you keep a positive attitude you will eventually recover from your setbacks and be a stronger person in the end, sometimes you may just need to follow the advice of a motivational speaker who’s been through grief too.

To learn more on Andy’s programs. 

 

Change Your Day, Not Your Life
A realistic guide to sustained motivation, more productivity, and the art of working well
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About Andy Core
Author and speaker on work-life balance, productivity and wellbeing
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