No matter what they’ve been telling you, know this: you matter. Everything about you matters – so, act like it.
The world’s become a bitter place; it appears that things have gone extreme and that we, ourselves were the ones to have made it that way. Everything’s perfect but nobody’s happy. Too many long hours at the office, lack of social life due to impossible deadlines, emotional imbalance and overall lack of stability in anything and everything around is often making us unhappy. The culture of burnout has become our reality, with unhealthy feelings and habits overpowering all segments of our lives.
It is not uncommon to find professionals everywhere suffer the extremes: to avoid having their work compromised, some will trade everything in their private lives (or, even, fail to have a private life altogether) for the office success. Others will give up all that they’ve worked for throughout their entire professional lives and start a life from scratch elsewhere, far from the office robotized culture. It’s unsettling, all of it. But, what would you say if we told a healthy balance is possible, even without dropping a single thing from your life? Hey, don’t grin! It’s manageable, we promise: you are better than the infinite pressure you are under – you just need to remember what it was like before you stopped working against yourself.
In psychology, rewards matter a lot, regardless of them being small or big. Why? Rewards are an essential segment for both your conscious and unconscious mind to get happy about: on one hand, your conscious self recognizes the reward as the reason to get excited about in the “real world” while your unconscious mind (which drives 90% of our thoughts and choices) reads the reward as a trigger to do well. Just remember, how many times have you “rewarded” yourself with a candy bar, an extra hour of sleep, a nice meal or another glass of wine after being proud of yourself for doing something well? Do you remember feeling even better about your accomplishments after “receiving the reward”? Sure you do. It’s the mechanism we all operate on, and that’s the one we should adopt for proper, long-term functioning in both our offices and at home. TREAT YOURSELF! Whenever possible, as much as possible. Put yourself first, and the rest will follow.
Here are a few reminders of what you can do to make yourself happy and keep on thriving both at the office and at home:
Drop the Networking
FACT: Social networks may be one of the top toxic influences these days: although they may be a good source of information, they are likely to trigger negative feelings as well, feelings like envy, sadness, resentment, bitterness, etc. Everyone can be anyone online, and that’s the secret. Plenty of lives we see online are staged, faked and filtered options of the truth, causing the viewers to cultivate negative feelings for not having the lives they scroll through.
TIP: Instead of scrolling through Instagram/Facebook/Twitter or any other social network on your break, go out or do something good for yourself. Define things that instantly make you happy and do them: treat yourself to your favorite cup of coffee and muffin, dance to your favorite song, browse through the latest books and movies you should add to your list, call a dear friend/your parents/spouse, stretch, talk to your colleagues, etc. All these seemingly irrelevant actions trigger happy, fulfilling feelings that inspire good health and positive attitude. Once you adopt them, you’ll see how different you’ll feel.
Eat Good Food
FACT: Heavy foods make us feel groggy, uneasy, they slow down our metabolic and brain processes, and they tend to result in heavy mood swings, stress increase and loss of productivity. Added, your physical body gets affected as well, your skin loses its healthy glow and your health gets in jeopardy.
TIP: Try replacing all the instant sugar boosters with healthy options: they’ll help your brain work faster, you’ll feel lighter and better, you’ll achieve better results at work and work faster, and your overall life quality will majorly increase. In helping your body detoxicate from junk food, greasy elements, too much processed sugar etc. you are helping it develop, i.e. go back to its biologically wired ways. Treating yourself to quality, healthy food is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind.
Go for an Occasional Splash
FACT: Being committed to your profession isn’t equivalent to exhausting yourself. Working a lot without rewarding yourself for the good work you’ve been doing (or without getting external validation), you’ll get frustrated, unhappy and feel unappreciated.
TIP: Occasional luxuries are essential for everyone’s increased life quality; they remind you how awesome you are! Since not many people have the budget to go wild with the splash, there are luckily plenty of options you can do these days and have an awesome thrill without breaking the bank. Here are just a few suggestions:
A weekend getaway – Gather a few friends and go away for the weekend; you don’t have to go anywhere expensive, really. The important thing to do is challenge your brain to process new sceneries, experiences, people and surroundings. You’ll not only get to enrich your experience but help your mind and body function better. If you prefer going away alone, do that too.
Rent a luxurious limousine – No, a personal driver and a limo service aren’t reserved for Hollywood only! Renting an amazing cheap limo service with a black car and everything has never been more affordable than today, and you deserve it!
If you’ve got an important business meeting and want to impress your potential business partner, rent a Mercedes for a day with a private driver and feel like royalty. Or, surprise your beloved spouse/parents/friends and pick them up from the airport by hiring amazing airport car service that looks and feels incredible! It’s a small expense and a big pleasure. We bet you’ll instantly get a life boost!
Get pampered – Enjoy having someone take care of YOU for a change. Treat yourself to a massage, facial, hairdresser, mani-padi… whatever you know will make you feel good and look great. Once your body recharges and you love the way you look and feel afterward, you’ll get a boost of energy, you’ll be in a better mood and you’ll be a thousand times more productive at work, later.
Reconnect and Spread Love
Burdened with the lives we live, we often tend to forget to love ourselves and love others. Make it your mission to see the people you love at least once a week and spend some quality time with them. If you are overworked and your schedules overlap, even a quick hug will do. Your brain and body need to know that you are loved for you to function properly.
We push ourselves way more than we should. The result? A complete burnout. Remember the words of Arianna Huffington: “Burnout is not the price we must pay for success”. You can be just as equally successful if you lazy it out from time to time. If anything, occasional procrastinating is a way for your body and mind to recharge, rest and come back even more creative and powerful than before. Shut off your phone on weekends, indulge in healthy activities, and let yourself enjoy. Rest and leisure are the luxuries you must immediately start practicing.
See? It’s simple. The key to balancing things out is finding all the good things that make you happy and relaxed and actually doing them. Eliminate the negative triggers (toxic people, bad habits, bad food, etc) and you’ll see your body and mind flourish. Treating yourself well is necessary and healthy – not optional and frivolous – remember that!