Sorry – did not do this last week. Started yesterday. Will keep you posted. Did you do it? Please tell me about your experience.
- Work out.
I get up early most mornings and head to a free, outside workout. Aside from obvious health benefits, it clears my mind and gets me in touch with the outdoors and in the company of good friends to start the day.
- Get enough ZZZs.
The scientific benefits of sleep are innumerable. More sleep equates to more happiness, better health and improved decision-making. Not to mention that it detoxes the brain. In order to do your best work, it’s critical to consistently recharge your batteries.
- Write a poem.
It sounds silly, random even, but this is something I’ve done every day that has dramatically reduced my stress while simultaneously opening my mind to many details in the world and opportunities that I would not have otherwise noticed. Start your day by writing a poem-even something as simple as a haiku.
- Keep a journal.
Life is very busy. My journal is in bullet-form so I can jot down things I did, people I met, how I felt, etc. It’s been a great outlet to help me be present, remember the little moments and sort out challenges in both my personal and professional life.
- Talk to friends and family.
Your friends and family are your biggest supporters. Even if you are having a very stressful and busy day, pick up the phone for a few minutes just to say hi to Mom or your best friend, and just talk about the good things that are happening in their lives. It will keep you grounded.
- Wake up slowly.
It’s not unusual for me to answer 10 to 15 emails before even getting out of bed in the morning. But starting the day off like this often sets a negative tone for the day, and truthfully most issues can wait. I’m learning that I’m much happier when I take 30 to 45 minutes to wake up slowly and shower before checking email.
- Read something fictional.
Refresh your mind by taking an afternoon break from your workflow and escaping to another world. Reading fictional stories stimulates the right side of your brain, sparking creative thought. That stimulation can make your day go a little smoother by thinking differently, solving problems in abstract ways and, most importantly, rejuvenating your soul.
- Do yoga.
I have always been a very active person. I played water polo, swam, surfed, tried every sport out there. But in the last few years I started doing yoga a few days a week and it has changed my life. It’s the only place my phone is completely off and my mind is focused on myself only-no clients, employees or projects. It’s the easiest way to reset your mind and body in 60 minutes.
- Listen to a podcast.
I find that one of the best practices to get fresh air and stimulate my brain is simply to take a walk and listen to a podcast with the podcast app that now comes standard on the iPhone. Do yourself a favor and listen to something non-business-related. For a little health or mindfulness, my favorites are Bulletproof Radio and Buddhist Geeks.
- Put yourself on your schedule.
When you put yourself on your schedule, you won’t have meetings and appointments that prevent you from taking care of yourself. I prefer to put myself as my first appointment of the day to make sure I don’t get caught up in the day and decide to skip out on important things that keep me grounded, like exercise and meditation.
- Make time for play.
Before becoming a mother, I would have given an answer like many others: workout, meditate, yoga, etc. These are all exceptional ways to nurture yourself. After becoming a mother, the greatest joy I can experience is playing with my children. It’s like taking that deep refreshing breath of sea air after a hard workout, but better.