Take more breaks during the day. Research has suggested that there is a 90-minute rhythm, or cycle, during the daytime hours during which energy fluctuates. We can keep our energy more level if we take a stretch or movement break every 90 minutes. If you are working on home projects or gardening on Sunday, work on it for 90 minutes and take a break, get some lemonade, stretch out on the grass, and watch the clouds go by for a few moments. You will find yourself refreshed and ready for the next task or activity.
Create a healthy boundary between work and home. Define clear stopping points at the end of your work day to go home and recharge with family or friends and be fully present with them. If you must work at home, set a specific timeframe to do so. Be attentive to the importance of the power of play as a means of improving productivity and performance when you get back to work next week.
Get going on a favorite hobby or interest. This helps to recharge and re-create your energy and provides some cross-training for the brain. Incorporate activities that you enjoy that are health-oriented. This builds energy; it is an investment into your storehouse. Simply put, it means, HAVE MORE FUN!
Slide toward sleep. Give yourself 30-60 minutes to “power off” from technology or other stimulants, such as Internet, TV, or intense conversations. Start relaxing and quieting yourself with some light reading, soothing herbal Sleepytime, chamomile tea, or music.
Practice mindfulness. In the morning, upon waking and around mid-day, take a few moments to focus on your breathing. Breathe more slowly, more deeply, and more rhythmically. Notice your physical sensations, emotions, or thoughts. Treat yourself with a bit of compassion. Do this while sitting in the sun on Sunday for a 10-minute session as a routine practice. Read more about creating a meditation practice.
Slow yourself down on purpose. Take a long, slow walk. Do everything today at a slower pace and really pay attention and notice how it feels to go slow. You could take an easy hike on a trail or in the woods and lose yourself in slow motion and exploration of your surroundings.
Evy Smith, MA LCMHC, CTTS-M, is an EFAP Counselor & Tobacco Treatment Specialist at the University of Vermont Medical Center.