It’s time to set new habits and routines. Summer bring about a warmer mindset that from colleagues as we work together to adapt work schedules and responsibilities as we take time off. Not taking time off? Please reconsider. Work will be there when you get back.
Slowing down our minds and allowing the opportunity for mental white space allows us to be our best selves at work and at home. Our work brains can become overrun with decision fatigue that in today’s culture we often counteract with a solid dopamine hit in checking social media feeds, messages, and emails. Creating the conditions for white space starts with scheduling, yes schedule that time and preplan how you are going to resist the urge to grab a device to scroll through whatever your metaphorical lizard brain is calling for.
As a society we have developed socially accepted habits that allow us to frequently repeat picking up our devices for a variety of reasons. Frequent repetition creates habits that result in automaticity and the dopamine response plays a powerful role in the choices we make.
Set some time aside each day that you can set boundaries around when the work pace picks up again. Give yourself permission to be the best you by taking this time. Think back to times when life felt balanced or you were “bored.” What were the conditions that allowed for that? Are there things from your teen years or your 20s that you really enjoyed that you’re now “too busy” to do. Think back to something that you have loved doing that has fallen out of your routine and add it back in.
Here are some ideas:
-Grab a book that is written for pure pleasure reading -Join an adult sport’s league -Go swimming -Get a group together on a weekly basis to watch a specific show or ballgame -Go for regular hikes or walks and explore the outdoors -Go bike riding for pleasure
Whatever you choose to do:
-Schedule it -Set boundaries around the time -Set a mental plan to counteract any distractors that may come up -Set a mental plan to not give in to the urge to check your device -Communicate what you’re doing