Taking time out for yourself is probably the last thing on your mind. With school, family, and possibly work to think about, it may seem selfish and careless to start squeezing in a few minutes of down time for YOU. Plus, where are you supposed to get those extra minutes in your day?
But according to many entrepreneurs and health professionals, this could be your best decision yet.
“Taking time for yourself gives your brain a chance to reboot, improves concentration, increases productivity, helps you discover (or rediscover) your own voice, gives you a chance to think deeply, and helps you problem solve more effectively,” says Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D. and author of High Octane Women: How Superachievers Can Avoid Burnout on Psychology Today . “Just start off small,” she encourages, “and see what happens.”
In other words, “purposeful” down time is an investment in your long-term wellbeing, your creative mind, your compassionate heart. It’s providing your brain with rest so that it can rejuvenate your passion. It’s increasing your motivation so that you can continue to be there for others.
Notice though, the key word, “Purposeful.” This means carving out minutes or half an hour in your schedule to think, reflect, or pursue a hobby or other interest. It’s purposeful time to work on YOU.
Here are a few ideas NCE students can include “purposeful” down time into their busy schedules:
- Turn off your gadgets:
Think that spending your “purposeful” down time means uploading that newest selfie to Instagram? Oops! Think again. Instead, disconnect from the distractions and start learning a new language or reading that book you’ve been dying to read. Just a few pages a day can help reactivate your mind and prepare you for your next task at hand.
- Allow your mind to drift:
Maybe you start doing yoga. Maybe you go on a bike ride. Whatever the hobby you wish to pursue, open your mind and let yourself think while you do it. Contemplate your goals and how they can be pursued, your dreams and how they can be reached. Some of the best inventions were conjured up during down time so take advantage of it!
- Write it down:
Taking note of your ideas during “purposeful” down time – whatever they may be – makes them tangible. It may help you realize the idea is ridiculous, or it will help you begin working out the possibilities. Whatever the result, writing it down makes the idea real. Verbalizing the idea is the next step. Together, these techniques hold you accountable to making it a reality.
At NCE, we are committed to investing in YOU. Start today to invest in YOU, too!
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