Most of us have now spent half a year re-wiring our patterns, our lifestyles, and most deeply of all, our thoughts – so that we can continue to thrive in a world that was hard to imagine six months ago. I know we typically center our focus on topics related to hiring and interviewing, but today we are going to take a slightly different approach and touch on ways to feel like our best selves more often, through all areas of our lives. Hope you enjoy it!
When June feels like two years ago and you’re not sure if it’s Wednesday or Friday, it’s no surprise this is, without doubt, an anti-climactic Labor Day. We barely feel like we can put a pin in the boat rides and bonfires, which only seem to fade into the background of 2020.
Along with celebrating workers (who are, honestly, everyone) this Monday, we’ve got a few ideas for how you can seal in great memories as summer comes to a close and set yourself up for a balanced, healthy, and fun second half of the year. Here’s how to find your best self this Labor Day:
All those thoughts in that beautiful brain of yours, good and bad, define your reality. So, how can we shift our thoughts at the core? It’s easy to express negative emotions toward the pandemic – shame, disdain, grief (for what we feel we lost to ”yesterday’s normal”) – but, what if we simply start with expressing gratitude for one thing, even if it’s little?
First, consider everything as an experience to be grateful for, and less as a menacing thing that “happened to you.” One great example affects many of us who shifted to a fully remote, work-from-home environment pretty much overnight. Initial reactions might have been shock, upset, dismay, fear – to cope, we can consider shifting our mindset to that of appreciation of our cozy home office, no more long coffee lines, having the chance to enjoy co-workers’ background decor … you get the idea.
If we isolate our initial emotional reactions for just a small amount of time to appreciate the things we experience, we progress to unimaginable heights, and consequently feel like we know what day it is again. 📆
Road trip to an apple orchard in the country and pick a bushel or two. Eat a pumpkin donut for the first time. Find a socially-distanced craft fair where you can shop local artists. That was easy, right? Also — spoken like a true Midwesterner 🌾 😉
Now, take that quick list and call your sister (or brother, or cousin, you get my drift). Maybe mention it on your next Zoom call with a colleague, instead. Once you’re able to visualize yourself doing these things, it’s that much easier to transfer that energy into telling others and pretty soon, everyone is pumped for you (yourself included). Creating this lighthearted accountability makes it easier to not erase the plan you penciled in. ✏️
Can you name one or even a few times during quarantine when a good intention to stick to a plan got derailed? Science claims only about 8% of people actually achieve their goals.
I mean, that sounds staggering, but be honest: can you imagine a time when even the smallest of goals were difficult to check off, like meal prepping for the week or getting your 10K steps a day?
Whether you take a half-day of PTO for a little fresh air and a nature hike, or you book a quick Airbnb for a few days, absolutely nothing should come in the way of focusing on yourself. When we back out or cancel on ourselves, we aren’t honoring the time we need to recharge, so it’s impossible to come back in a better place – mentally, emotionally, and physically – than when we left.
Self-care has really come to mean something in 2020. No longer is it painting on a face mask and soaking it up in a tie-dye bath bomb. We’ve come to realize the value of serious awareness of our mental wellbeing, and how it gets along with other facets of our health.
Try yoga – I mean this with the most sincere gravity. Whether you try it out via YouTube at home or find a local outdoor yoga session, get ready to feel amazing. The after-effects of practicing yoga encourages production of an acid in the thalamus that mimics the brain patterns associated with enjoying your favorite cocktail.
Self-care can be an afternoon at the spa, talk therapy sessions, or even just taking a moment to breathe in the morning with a warm cup of coffee, letting your thoughts float freely (cue the hygge). It’s extra important to consciously start your WFH days with your chosen self-care ritual, and reconsider rolling out of bed a few minutes before your Tuesday morning conference call. The mental benefits will help you to feel focused, productive, and present.
Ultimately — your goal this holiday weekend is to simply take time. Write that fall bucket list (and put a plan together to stick to it!). Choose an activity to relish in nature – grounding happens not only within your mind, but also with your body. Whether you walk barefoot in the grass, do a sun salutation, or look out the window – this weekend is yours to celebrate, to find your best self, and to honor your wellbeing.
Amanda Palczynski is the Brand Program Manager at interviewstream. She is a perfectionist for accuracy; loves getting crafty with hand lettering and typography; and can speak strictly in quotes from The Office for any occasion.