Everyone needs a vacation, time away from work, school, university, and just the daily stresses modern day life can bring. We pack our suitcases, scramble to the airport and check we have our boarding passes one last time. But should we really need to check-in, just to check-out for a while?
We live in an age where information is thrown at us from all angles. With social media contributing to increased levels of depression,
anxiety sleep deprivation, it’s time we put our devices down and took a tech break. Take our minds on a vacay any time of the day! Research has shown that daydreaming and zoning out can actually increase creativity and productivity in employees. Our brains are still hard at work during these moments, which is why it’s not uncommon for inspiration to strike during these times of mind-wandering. and
One of the best ways to clear your mind from stress is to practice mindfulness. There are countless varieties of mindfulness and you may find some suit you better than others. Practicing mindfulness isn’t as easy as it may seem when you first start, tuning out your peripheral environment and focussing on one thought can be difficult. That thought, is often to consciously think of nothing but appreciating the moment you are in.
But instead of sitting at your desk in work, why not breathe in some crisp, cold January air and take a walk into the great outdoors. Focus on the environment around you and bring awareness into your movements, taking a long stroll helps to clear the mind and can help you tune into yourself a little better.
Listen to your breath and the rhythm of your steps as you wander along, concentrating only on yourself in that moment. Any thoughts, emotions, or day dreams that might enter your mind, allow them to come in then bring yourself back to focussing on the present. Known as ‘walking meditation’, this technique can help to re-focus all your energy on yourself.
If walking meditation isn’t your thing, try taking a dream walk! Allow those day dreams to take you on a journey out in the open, get lost in your thoughts for a while, you never know what you’ll conjure. Apparently Albert Einstein daydreamed of light waves, which led to his relativity theory.
Mindfulness in the workplace is becoming hugely popular with employers too. Recognising that employees face longer hours and a heavier
work load, managers are encouraging their staff to practice mindfulness to increase efficiency, decision making, cooperation and manage stress levels.
But not everyone’s stresses are work-oriented. Family struggles, money woes, society pressures; finding a job (with the potential for job security), getting your foot on the property ladder, settling down, having children, attempting to achieve an Instagram lifestyle. Keeping up appearances is harder than it’s ever been. Taking a break from life doesn’t always mean two weeks all-inclusive trip somewhere in Europe, because let’s face it, once we’ve mastered mindfulness we can pretty much transport ourselves anywhere, without any added luggage fees.