Recently, I was interviewed for a magazine about, how to use our down time more effectively. We had an incredible conversation, and it was so interesting, because most achievers, and most driven people, focus on how to get more done, how to be more effective and efficient during their working hours.
And that’s all great and fine. But, very few people are just as intentional about their down time. And if you think about it, you probably work 8, 10, maybe even 12 hours in your day. And, how many hours do you dedicate to relaxing? Maybe one or two. So, the ratio itself, 10 to 1, is pointing out that you should probably treat your down time with much more respect and appreciation.
What do most people do to relax? After a long day of work, they come home, sit down, maybe switch on TV and watch it for a couple of hours. Or, they go to a bar to hang out and have a few drinks.
The problem with this is that, even though they are hoping it will help them sort of decompress and unwind a little bit, it usually makes them even more tired. Think about it, when you go out with your friends, do you feel more refreshed? Do you feel more energized? Probably not. And after sitting in front of TV, you probably feel even more tired.
So, here are a few tips that I want to share with you on how to be more intentional with the way you relax.
The first step, as with anything else, is awareness. For the next seven days, I would like you to become more aware about how you relax after your long day at work. How do you decompress? What is it that you do? Don’t change anything. Just, observe. Just become more aware. What is it that you do?
More importantly, pay attention to, how do you feel afterwards? Do you feel refreshed? Do you feel re-energized? Or, do you feel sluggish? Do you feel more tired? Do you feel even more exhausted?
Identify what’s making you more tired
The second step is, that if you identify that some of these ways you are relaxing now are actually not making you any more relaxed, they’re actually taking energy out of you, or making you even more tired.
I’d like you to think about, what could you replace them with? What do you know that works for you, which will be a good way to relax? It could be active or passive relaxation, something that you’ve done in the past, and that you know that works. I’d like you to for one to three days a week to replace some of these negative relaxations. Replace them with something that’s much more positive.
Tips to recharge
Now, in the next step, I actually have a few suggestions for you, it will definitely help you get a little bit more head space to recharge, re-energize, decompress. These ways work for most people, so there’s a very good chance it will work for you as well.
So the first one is meditation. And, funny enough, most people freak out when I suggest meditation because they think they have to meditate for an hour. And that’s not the case at all. If you need to meditation, start with five minutes. And, slowly build your way up to 10, 15, maybe even 20. I personally meditate every day between 10 and 15 minutes. And it’s the perfect duration for me.
Another great way to decompress, one of my favourite ones, is actually just going for a walk. Leave your phone at home, so no one is bugging you with messages and phone calls. This is YOU time. Just go for a walk, for 15, 20 minutes. That’s one of my favourite ways after a long day of coaching to just go around here for, maybe 20 minutes and just let everything sink in, think through my day. I can totally see and feel the difference at the end of 20-minute walk.
Next is journaling. What a great way to decompress your mind. Sit down for five or 10 minutes at the end of the day with a pen and paper, ideally a notepad, that you have ideally dedicated to the journaling and do a little reflection on your day. Maybe write down some ideas, breakthrough lessons that you’ve learned. You will be amazed how much more relaxed you’ll feel at the end of that because it sort of sums up the day, and it will help you see it in a different perspective.
And finally, of course, exercise. It depends on you whether you prefer more high-intensity, or just, more low-key type of exercise. Running is fantastic, or gym. I love running because you can go for a run and forget everything. I always feel my mind is much clearer after that.
Another great way is yoga. Yoga is very personal. Yoga is very peaceful. And, it will help you get to know yourself, and it will help you re-connect with your body, with your breath, with your muscles, with your physiology. So, exercising is a fantastic way to relax, and to make the most out of your down time.
Okay, that’s it for today. If you find it useful or have any questions, please leave me a comment below. I’ll make sure that I find time to reply and help you out. Thanks for watching, and I will see you again in the next few days, in another video.