So many times I catch myself saying, “I would love to do XYZ more but I’m just so busy.” Sometimes I get creative and switch it up with “I am so tired, I just need to rest.” Either way, most of the time I am just being lazy or looking for some sort of justification as to why I am not doing said action.
Yeah, I am busy. But in all actuality, I have much more time than I lead myself to believe and I feel that this is the case with most of my peers as well. It’s easy to say “Well I need to relax,” or “My brain needs a break,” but who said those times of relaxation and brain breaks can’t be something constructive.
Of course I am not saying that is not okay to relax.
I’ll be dammed if I don’t watch #TGIT every week and not LIVE TWEET!
But in the same breath I think, “Mia, did you have to watch the ENTIRE season of [insert latest Nexflix obsession] in one day.”
No Mia, you did not.
So what are some alternative ways to spend down time while also still working to grow physically, mentally, and spiritually? These are just a few alternatives I have come up with and have been actively working into my life.
I know lots of people don’t enjoy reading, but I firmly believe it is one of the best ways to unwind while expanding your imagination and vocabulary. Don’t give me the typical “it makes me sleepy” excuse either. That just means you are reading the wrong genre of books.
Anything you want to know can be found in a book, so search for titles and topics that interest you. Make Google your friend! I enjoy books that I find inspirational, informative, and teach me something. You won’t catch me reading The Hunger Games, but you will catch me reading titles like:
“The Wait: A Powerful Practice for Finding the Love of Your Life and the Life You Love” by Devon and Meagan Franklin
“Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person” by Shonda Rhimes
“Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
If those aren’t your style, check out obsessivecompulsivereads.com. She has tons of books reviews spanning all kinds of genres!
This is when I recognize that I am being a complete hypocrite because I have fell off my fitness…heavily. But I’m working to get back to it so I have some sort of authority, right? I know working out doesn’t sound nearly as appealing as lying in bed all Saturday watching Law and Order SVU, but it does do your mind and body well. Half the battle in working out is literally getting dressed and starting.
When do you hear people regret working out? It release tension in your body, helps boost your energy, improves your mood and combats all kinds of health issues!
When I feel like I need to get my ass in shape, I consult FitnessDani for some hardcore yet doable in home workouts, but for my relaxation and clarity purposes, I’m a fan of yoga.
Check out DoYogaWithMe.com for free online yoga practices or check out my two favorite YouTube yogis, Yoga with Adriene and Boho Beautiful, for yoga practices you can do I the comfort of your own home for all levels! If that fails, do squats while you watch binge your shows at least.
One of the best ways to decompress from the day and collect your thoughts is to take 15 minutes and write it all down. Now I admit, as a writer, this probably sounds more appealing to me than it might to others, but journaling helps to provide clarity on your current situation and allows you to explore the hundreds of thoughts running through your head. I know is a hard habit to get into, but it’s both beneficial and rewarding to see your progress. Of course some days will be overflowing with positivity while others might be full of pain and angst, but months from now, all of those journal entries will help to fuel you in your next steps.
Personal story that no one asked for but I’m going to share anyway time!
When packing to leave St. Louis in February, I found a journal entry from June 2015, one month after my graduation and one month into my post grad depression. It was amazing to see exactly how I was thinking and what was going on in my mind at that time. It was the perfect push I needed in solidifying my leap to move to New York. Now, I journal all the time! Anyway, back to the point…
Don’t be a couch potato.
Successful people use their time wisely, so think about that the next time you watch 4 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy in a week.