>Let’s make February “Enjoy Your Lunch” month! When was the last time you actually sat in a comfortable space and enjoyed your lunch without multi-tasking? Find a place that you will enjoy and take pleasure in your noon time meal. This brief respite will help energize you for the afternoons activities. Try to do this two times this month. If you can do this more then twice, great. The ritual of creating a space where you savor your lunch will begin to create a sense of balance and happiness and actually renew your energy. You’ll find yourself much more able to sustain your energy for the rest of your day.
Every 60-90 minutes take an Energy Break. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. You don’t have to force it-just breathe normally. You might say to yourself, “Breathing in. Breathing out.” When thoughts or feelings enter your mind, just watch them go by. You don’t need to do anything with them-fix them, change them, suppress them. Just watch them pass and bring your focus back to your breathing. “Breathe in. Breathe out.” Just a few minutes of focused breathing to allow your energy to build back up will increase your ability to sustain your productivity. You’ll find yourself much more able to sustain your energy throughout your day.
>At the close of your day, write down three things that went right. Reflect. Then, write three things you’re grateful for. Reflect. Do this every day for a month. You may want to keep these in a notebook. I like the Moleskin Notebooks which come in varying sizes and colors.
Think of aspects of your job that you enjoy; areas in which you can apply your strengths; facets of your job you find meaningful.What can you do to engage in these activities more often? List specific steps you will take to spend more time in these areas.
>What are your interests? Make a list of activities that you enjoy and bring a smile to your face. For example, take a bike ride with family, play cards, go to a concert or play, take a photography class, make a special dessert and have friends over to share. Intentionally schedule one thing in your life that makes you feel really good each week. Activities that we enjoy create energy and also are a good way to renew our energy.
When was the last time you gave yourself permission to daydream? When you take a walk, doodle, or daydream, you access your right hemisphere-the part of your bran geared for creativity and innovation. Schedule a work development hour-once a week slate time to brainstorm or strategize around an issue at work that calls for a solution beyond the tactical.
>Engage mindful living. Two times each day, stop and listen to your body. Focus on your breathing. Simply observe what’s coming up for you and let it pass. You may become aware of physical sensations, emotions, or thoughts. What ever you notice, see it as a passing event without doing anything with it. Learning to observe yourself is the first step to becoming your self-coach. Simple observation frees you from the compulsion to act on every emotion or thought that arises. It gives you choices.
Do you feel a vocation to be fully human? Pema Chodron said “we don’t set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people’s hearts.” Throughout your interactions today ask yourself how you affected other people’s hearts. Did you inspire them? Did you ennoble them? When you did, how did you feel? What does it feel like to be fully human?