Get up when the alarm goes off, roll into the shower, try to scrub the sleep from your eyes as you scrub the plaque from your teeth, and on you go. Traffic jams, stale coffee, stressful deadlines, confusing meetings and grumpy bosses.
Every day can be such a busy succession of events and activities that you get back to bed – usually far too late – and don’t feel you’ve had any time to yourself at all. Read on to find out a few quick and easy ways to grab some relaxation time during your day, allowing you to have a few minutes to yourself here and there.
Take your work breaks seriously. If you determine them yourself, make sure you take them – don’t let them go by. If you’re self-employed or work unsupervised, again, make sure you take them. Every two hours or so, you need to take ten minutes to get a snack, make a brew, and stretch your legs. But don’t let your breaks go by unnoticed, and don’t eat your snacks or lunch at your desk as the temptation to keep working will be too great.
You need to leave your work aside for those ten minutes (or longer, during your lunch break). Don’t bring any emails to read, or printouts, or job specs. That time is only for you, to spend alone with your snack, your cuppa, yourself.
Taking a brief walk is an excellent way to get some variation from sitting in front of a desk, but when you’re always in the same office or home, it’s difficult to get some variety. Don’t let that put you off; some fresh air and the chance to stretch your legs never go amiss, and you may find the wind outside blows some of the cobwebs out of your head.
If you drive to and from work, use the time you spend sitting in the car to do relaxing breathing exercises, listen to an audio book or simply let your thoughts wander. One of the biggest, most common problems people face today is the inability to let go of their work even when they’re not actively working, but learning to do that during your sparse moments of free time can make a truly astonishing difference to the way you experience your career and your life.
If you’re a public transportation commuter, bring an mp3 player. It will allow you to shut yourself off to the world a little. As long as you keep an eye on the stations or stops you’re passing, you can bury yourself in a book or an audiobook and take that time to enrich yourself despite the general lack of relaxation on public transportation.
And when you’re showering before bed, why not take a bit of extra time and take a nice relaxing bath?
The bottom line is, you need to take time out just to be yourself and listen to your thoughts about life, rather than your thoughts about work. You can find your little moments and make a habit of focussing on your own thoughts, and insert some relaxation into your daily routine. It could help you and, by extension, help your professional achievements!