Christmas means different things for all of us, but for most people it does offer a few days off work and away from the demands of our busy careers. I love Christmas but not for the religious associations or the food or drink, but because it’s a chance to rest, recover and disconnect completely from the things that occupy my mind for the rest of the year.
Now, I appreciate not all of you will be having as much time to yourself as I will this year, but I would urge you to curve out time for yourself and your mind, even if that’s just ten minutes a day. I call this idea disconnect and reconnect; disconnect from thoughts of work, goals and targets, and reconnect with yourself, your family, loved ones, the outdoors, nature and with things you used to love. Last year I immersed myself in my music collection, reminiscing about old times. I also read several books, reminding myself why I loved reading and managing to lose myself in a book again. Think about this idea of disconnect and reconnect, and about what it means to you. Carve out some time every day to put it into practice and this will help set a habit for the rest of the year.
Getting lost in our busy lives
Our to-do’s lists are getting longer, our inboxes getting fuller, meeting invites increasing and never has our attention been in such demand. Our lives are getting busier and busier, but doing what? Is this productive and enjoyable work or is it toil? I think we’ve started to blur the boundaries between busy and productive and lot in ourselves in ‘doing’. Busy means out of control. Consider that you spend your time doing and then filter out what is essential and what isn’t. Of the essential list, what on there could be outsourced to someone else or is there an app for that?
Finding purpose and meaning
All this busyness is taking its toll on our mental health. Disconnecting and reconnecting is vital for staying well, but making sure we have things in our lives that give us purpose and meaning is also vitally important. Even if it’s a hobby, your life should contain things you love and enjoy, and that make you happy. This will help balance out the things you currently do that do not have meaning and purpose. That said, let’s say you don’t love your job, in fact you hate it. It has meaning and purpose in a sense – it pays you a salary. If the rest of your life is spent doing things you enjoy, you can apply meaning to the other areas at least in the short term.
Do less to get more
This is one of my mantras for 2018. I’ve already been applying it to my life, and after a stressful week before Christmas having lost a cat to kidney disease and a house move a few days later, I went into my calendar and stripped out everything that was non-essential. That gave me back a few hours during which I will disconnect and reconnect, wind things down a bit and recover. My greatest learning of 2017 is that doing less can get you more. This applies to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, but also to productivity and accomplishment.
I’ll be sharing my goals and aspirations for 2018 in my first post of the new year on Weds 3rd January. I’d love to hear what your goals are for 2018, so feel free to share them. Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll come back to you.
What’s your Health IQ?
If you’re reading this, you’re are probably in a reasonably senior position, running your own business or have a busy life running the home and juggling other responsibilities. Either way, you’re busy. The convergent pressures of work and family life have probably meant that the time you did have to spend on health and fitness has disappeared. Why not talk to us and see how we can help.
Leanne Spencer is an entrepreneur, coach, TEDx Speaker, author of Remove the Guesswork, and founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. Bodyshot is a health and fitness consultancy that helps busy professionals get more energy by removing the guesswork around their health, fitness and nutrition. Visit www.bodyshotperformance.com or email email@example.com to register your interest in our services and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.