“I need to be good to myself, creatively, and refill my own creative well
before I can be any less than a brain-dead zombie.”
It starts with each of us individually. Setting some personal boundaries and putting our own oxygen mask on first will create a chain reaction that will have a positive impact on those around us as the ripple effect is set in motion.
Here are a few ideas for giving your brain a chance to restore and rejuvenate on a daily basis:
- Set your personal and work email address up so they don’t feed through the same email provider on your devices. That way you can still receive personal emails without being distracted by work email during non-working hours.
- Stop checking emails first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed. Establish “working” hours that are reasonable for your work situation and add them to your email signature, if necessary, to set expectations.
- If you need to check in while on vacation, schedule a time once daily and state that in your out-of-office message. Then stick to it.
- If you need to work on weekends, establish a timeframe and stick to it. Then go do something else.
- Take more frequent, shorter vacations from work – the benefits may outweigh a longer, less frequent vacation schedule.
- Establish a time daily to practice quieting the mind. Even a 10-minute meditation practice in the morning and/or throughout the day will be beneficial. If all you can do is sit in silence and focus on breathing you will feel refreshed and your brain will thank you.
- Get some exercise without loud noise – spend some time outside in a natural setting.
- Take your headphones off and notice the world around you.
- Take a class in something you’re interested in that is unrelated to work.
- Schedule game night regularly with family or friends.
- Read a book or magazine.
- If traveling isn’t an option for you, expand your local experience by trying new kinds of foods, join a club and explore your local community as if you were a tourist.
These are just ideas to get you started. Get creative and think of ways that will work for your life. Then put them into practice. It might take some getting used to, so the keyword here is practice. So for now, just start. Pick one thing and start. You can do this!