In a chaotic world, truly letting go and finding our happy place in the here and now takes practice.
I think everyone is looking for ways to strike a balance that brings true contentment. It’s taken me a while to learn how to say a resounding “NO” to the noise of everyday life, and make time for real relaxation. Nothing’s perfect, but here are a few things that help me tap into down time when I need it most. What’s in your list?
DIVE INTO YOUR HOBBIES
It’s easy for me to tune out the things I love when I’m busy. But I’ve realized, if we have even just a spare few hours, we have time to get out those art supplies that we put away months ago and forgot about. And perhaps get others in on it too! Find camaraderie with people that share your passions. Make a day of it, or meet once a month if your schedule allows! Big things can happen when people who like the same things get together. Maybe for you it’s finding a new book, exercise routine, or a new board game. Find what recharging looks like for you and dive in.
We all know that moving our bodies is good for us. Do what it takes to get yourself up! Walk with a friend, listen to a new album or podcast, or explore your neighborhood. I’ve only just started exploring the local trails and community parks right here in Woodstock, but there are plenty of hiking, biking, and waterways to discover. And a quick trip to the mountains of North Georgia is always worth the breathing room, if you ask me. You can make a day of it, and then refresh and reflect with a pint if you like!
PAUSE AND APPRECIATE
I’m always amazed by the things I see when I turn away from busyness. Sometimes I catch myself reveling in the things that no one else sees. A beautiful scene on the side of the road that I can’t help but stop and take a picture of – even if it means being five minutes late to that meeting. Social media can be a great resource for remembering these moments, but it’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing! Scratch pads and journals are a good concrete way to reminisce, clear your mental cache, or chart things you take in. Recognize the beauty. Find a way to put life on pause, and stop to appreciate the moment.
FIND A HEALTHY ESCAPE
Breaking away from my routine really helps me keep a healthy mindset. I’ve found that watching new films and listening to new music are some of my favorite ways to get away. It’s so nice to let go of a hard day by letting artistry take me into another world for a little while. And while it might seem unconventional, serving others can be an escape from the noise. Volunteering in your community can give you a sense of belonging to something bigger, and that feeling of purpose and meaning can lead to a real, abiding sense of perspective in our lives that keeps us in balance.
MAKE EVERYDAY SPECIAL
Never underestimate the benefit of buying that special beer you’ve been dying to try, getting the best kind of chocolate, or stopping for gelato on the way home from work. Celebrate life with small luxuries that make you happy, and get into the habit of treating yourself! Sharing moments with others can be great, but don’t be afraid to do something special on your own. Build margin for these humble but powerful things. We can all clear our schedules for a little bit to focus on calm, cathartic moments. And maybe, just maybe, life will be just that much more enjoyable.