Dear reader, it’s that time of the year once again. New Year’s celebrations are at our doorstep and we’re all looking forward to the holidays. Let’s wait for the magic without being tragic over the weeks to come until the break!
“The killer November” is here. We call it like so because you frequently find yourself in endless meetings and stressful project conclusions during this period, and your spirit gets parked somewhere in your autumnal mind.
In the previous articles of our series Be Well Work Well, we shared with you a set of everyday recommendations that fuel three of the four dimensions of energy. For the physical, emotional and mental dimensions, we filtered a list of individual and team habits that help you relieve stress and re-charge energy.
Now it’s time for the fourth and final part of this series. In this article, we look at the spiritual dimension. “Spiritual” translates into how you serve yourself and others better when you act in alignment with your values.
The list of habits we propose to you grants the spiritual dimension the importance it deserves. In parallel, these virtually stress-free ideas help you manage your professional and personal life.
We trust you will put a few suggestions into practice before the New Year’s celebrations begin. Are you ready to recharge your spiritual centre?
Take a trip to the Spiritual side, we have cookies
By the spiritual dimension, we refer to a mix of personal values and beliefs that give purpose to our lives and make us mindful of the decisions we make. Simply put, it’s about knowing who we are and what values we stand for.
In our busy lives, personal and professional projects, people with whom we interact, our families and even our pets – yes, the furry friends waiting for you every evening – pull us into a world of responsibilities. Duties are life constants, like the “X” in the mathematical equation you always wanted to get right, for Heaven’s sake! Unavoidably, our spiritual centre takes the backseat in our minds, while we ride through the highway of stressful situations and space-free calendars.
Balance. That’s what you need to manage both your professional and personal activities as stress-free as possible. Most of the time, we achieve balance when taking a step back to find a moment for ourselves. “Rediscover your core”, “re-centre yourself” or whatever expression suits you better, that’s the first and most important step to take before putting in practice the five habits we propose to you down below.
Habit 1. Put it in your calendar
Setting events in your calendar has a positive psychological impact. By defining dedicated times, we commit to them and we’re more likely to do them on time. It also fights distraction, and allows you to filter out less important tasks. However, while booking time for professional tasks is routine, here are other activities you should block time for:
- Learning a new topic
- Organising a lunch with your close friends or colleagues or, even simpler, writing an “I’m still here” email to them.
- Learning more about a colleague’s activities that interest you
- Dedicating yourself to personal activities and hobbies (or exploring new ones)
- Reflecting on your personal and professional accomplishments and goals and thinking about what’s next.
Habit 2. Learn to say no, and mean it
Rather than saying ‘yes’ to every project presented to you, consider your values and purpose to make a conscious decision about what you do and don’t need to do or be a part of. We invite you to watch what matters to you so you can distill opportunities and tasks. Prioritise them, hone in on, and seek out those that truly connect with you. To the rest, say no as much as possible.
Habit 3. Revive activities gone with the digital wind
Replace 15 to 20 minutes of TV, social media, or other similar activities with something that recharges your batteries. Taking a break from digital gadgets is essential – yes, it might be quite a challenge too – as they have become unavoidable in our daily lives. See these healthy replacing ideas:
- Practicing yoga or meditation
- Reading an article or a book (you can go “old-fashion” here. Why not tchoose a paper-based book?
- Listening to a podcast of personal interest! (NOTE: This requires a device!)
- Going on a walk to appreciate nature
- Doing something creative with your friends or loved ones
- Calling a long-distance friend to catch up
- Baking a cake for your team or, even better, with your team
Re-engaging with your favourite hobby, buried somewhere in the wardrobe of old times, will make you think twice before opening up that social app that dangerously knows your deepest secrets.
Habit 4. Make an inventory of your obligations and assess if they are worth
Each quarter, make a list of your current activities and involvement – both at work and in your personal life. Think of which ones are meaningful and enriching to your personal background and personal story, and which ones drain/stress you. For those that don’t fall into the first category, consider a transition strategy as soon as possible, to switch to activities that contribute to your purpose.
Habit 5. Spice up your relationships (Battery status: always charging!)
Mind the relationships you’ve developed at work. Mentoring, advising, teaming up, befriending or arguing… no matter the type of connection you established with your colleagues, find the best way to nurture them. Each relationship is an opportunity to learn from the others and from ourselves. Show appreciation to the person or the people with whom you interact.
Think of this: if your job-based relationships were a battery, you’d want them to be powered by solar energy: they constantly search for the best ray of light to keep functioning.
Stop, take a deep breath and relax
The New Year is about celebrating new beginnings and resetting goals for the months to come. Ancient monks used to say that we achieve happiness when we are at peace with ourselves; then, there is no earthquake or bomb capable of disturbing us. That goes for the hateful XXI-century stress, too.
We’ve added some more ideas to the list of the above-listed habits inspired by our HabitBank. They can definitely give you an additional hand when searching for a balanced spiritual centre before the New Year’s celebrations are here:
- Pack your bags and travel. It’s simple by definition but finding the time to do it can be tricky, especially during the work period. Add a weekend trip to your calendar. Taking time for yourself to travel to some place does wonders for the mind. When you’re in a place where your mind is at peace – the beach, a forest, a mountain – you find your way to release stress, take a well-deserved rest and reconnect with yourself.
- Meditate, it’s free! While managing your time and daily tasks can be hard, it’s important to find an intimate moment with yourself. Whether in the morning after getting up, or in the evening before bed, take five to 10 minutes to meditate each day. Fitting a moment of relaxation into your busy life costs nothing and can free your mind from stress. It helps you puts things into perspective.
- Music = Health. Listening to music can be a quick route for better humour but brings other benefits than just a quick boost for your day. Music can help slow down your breathing and heart rate reducing emotional stress (well, you know, unless it’s that reggaeton hit your feet cannot resist to dance). Sounds of nature or that feels-so-right melody after a stressful day at the office might be just what you need to relax on your couch. Music can also bring a more positive state of mind, keeps the levels of creativity and optimism high.