I gathered inspiration from "Big Magic", written by Elizabeth Gilbert...
And got up close and personal with the wildlife!
In other words, it was INCREDIBLY rejuvenating.
As difficult as it may be in our daily grind, I want to keep this feeling going as long as possible. I love being motivated and working hard and I never want to stop achieving things. However, this vacation was a solid reminder that I also love to unplug and just BE. And it's incredibly important! Allergies and eczema are autoimmune issues and that means my body works hard at attacking itself... taking a breather HAS to be a priority for people like us. With a compromised immune system, we need more rest than the average person.
Give yourself a break and choose at least one of these things to start doing ASAP:
1. Black / White Time
There is time for work and time to just BE. Whether "just being" means cooking dinner for your family, reading a book or cheering on your kid at soccer... resist the urge to answer that work email. Set office hours even if you don't technically go to an office every day. Let your mind step away from work so that you can enjoy your REAL life as much as possible.
2. Stop Filling The Empty Moments With Your Phone
We all do it... we get bored during a tv show or while standing in line at the store and we check our phones... scrolling and scrolling in an effort to find something interesting to look at. Our Facebook feeds aren't all that interesting, let's just admit it. We miss so many moments of inspiration and peace by gluing our eyes to our phone screens. Leave the phone in your purse, take a deep breathe and take in your surroundings instead. Inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places!
3. Pick up a Book
Staring at various screens all day long is a strain on our eyes. Cracking open a book gives our eyes a break and also provides an avenue for meditation! Grab a cozy blanket and a pillow to make the moment extra indulgent.
4. Plan Your Days Off Like a Vacation
When you're on vacation, what do you choose to do? Sleep in a little? Go out to eat? Do something fun like dressing up and going dancing? Treat next week like that! This Sunday, I plan to give my alarm clock a break, enjoy a lazy morning and treat myself to a mini spa day at home... I'm going to do a hair mask, steam my pores and give myself a pedicure. My evening will be full of cooking dinner and prepping my outfits for the work week, but the rest of the day is all about relaxation! Maybe I'll even throw in some yoga...
5. Say No to Negativity
It's all about mindset. Life is going to have it's aggravating moments no matter what you do or who you are. Even Beyonce has bad days. No matter what, somebody is still going to be a complete asshole on the road, something is going to break and somebody won't give a crap about our feelings. It's just a matter of who / why / when will it happen. The only thing we can do is try not to let it set our minds into a tizzy. Recognize that what's happening is just one of "those things", feel the frustration for a moment, breathe through it and let it go. Sing a little song in your head, if that helps. Try to squash that negativity as much as you can.
6. Try Something New
One of the most redeeming parts of going on vacation is trying something new and making memories because of it. Not to mention, it's also incredibly distracting! It takes us out of our daily grind for a moment and sets things into perspective a little bit. Haven't been to that museum in the city? Never been hiking in that forest preserve? Pencil it in! Picture yourself trying out that new thing, get excited and then GO DO IT.
7. Be Easy On Yourself
One of the most stressful things can be the voice in our own head. Whether you're running through your to-do list, wishing you had done something better or are stressing about the future... remember that it's all in your head. Live in the NOW. Are you sitting in your cubicle, bored as can be? Use that as time to breathe and enjoy the fact that you aren't racing around like a crazy person who has too many errands to do.
8. Fifteen Minutes Every Single Day
Take at least fifteen minutes for yourself every day. It doesn't sound like much, but I promise that it accumulates and makes a HUGE difference. I started doing cardio yoga for 20 minutes every day and felt like a new person, no joke. I promise, it's worth it!