Take vacations more often.
As I am writing this I am also planning a vacation in the fall with Jasmine. Taking vacations regularly is something we have failed to do often in the past, but we believe that vacationing is a great way to rejuvenate, see the world, and spark creativity. Vacationing moves you out of your daily routine and allows for enjoyment in the rest that comes from spending more downtime away from home. I understand if you haven’t vacationed much in the past. I mean, if you work for a company in the United States, you get the least amount of paid vacation in the world according to recent research. This is due to the world placing heightened expectations on others, but you don’t have to be the norm in this. Break from the status quo and learn to get creative with taking time off. Even if it’s more weekend getaways that you can do right now to make time for relaxation, it is important to implement this in your life right away.
Unplug more often.
Studies show that people spend 1.72 hours per day on social media networks. This is only for social network sites, so it doesn’t include all internet activity – blog reading, catching up on news sites, shopping online, etc. I think it is safe to say then that most people will spend roughly 3 hours per day online. Whether you think this statistic is on the low end or the high end, the main point I want to make here is that our dependency for social media and the internet in general is increasing every year. We could live a much more restful life by taking back these 3 hours of our day and devote at least some of it to rest. Sure social media can be part of our overall goals to get us where we want to be if we are using it for business purposes, but when something like social media becomes our first reaction to any spare moment of our time, my concern is more about what we are considering as our highest priority in 2015. You may be spending this much time between social media, email, and the internet in general, but are you reading, meditating, and spending time with people in real life? If you evaluate this and see that your life is out of balance in the area of rest, then it’s time for something to change.
The habit we have created can look something like this – Don’t have anything to do? Check social media. Waiting for someone? Check social media. What is everyone else doing? Check social media. We can either feed the habit repeatedly or we can break this norm that society has created by unplugging from it all for some time. Take more time to rest by looking at nature, reading a book, talking to other people, taking in the bright sunshine and enjoying the calming breeze.
Can you remember what life was like without having a phone in your hand every second of the day? Can you remember what life was like away from your computer screen? It was a life full of glorious rest, wasn’t it? Getting lost in bad routines has created the mediocrity we must all fight against. The top 1% of people in this world tell their life what they want to do with it and get what they want from it. The other 99% lets life happen to them and easily “zone out” from what’s important. Stop saying you don’t have enough time to rest when you spend too much time on social media, and begin doing something about it by unplugging. Sometimes we just need to walk away from a fast-paced life and find rest. Your mind will thank you for the clarity you find and the people around you will appreciate you being present in conversations rather than checking social media and mentally being somewhere else. When you do this you spend less time with the unnecessary and will have more time to find rest.
Saying “no” to those things that tend to bring more stress than you can handle is okay. The truth of the matter is that you can’t do everything and you can’t be in all places at once, so at some point you will need to make choices in order to find more rest. People who say “yes” to everything like to treat busyness as an accomplishment. Refuse to buy into this lie. If there’s anything I have learned about getting more rest is that you will have to fight for it, and saying no to what is not important is a great way to bring focus to your priorities.
Saying no will of course free up time to impact more people, which is a great benefit of learning to speak up. People like to make impacting others into a big ordeal, but you don’t have to sign up for a new commitment in order to make a difference in the lives of others. You can look around you where you are at and reach the people that you already spend time with. Saying no so that you can give a better you to other people is more than okay. Actually, it’s perfect. Take the permission to say no and find rest. You’ll be better for it.