MONDAY BYTES — May 31, 2016
Summer starts today and I have a seasonal confession to make. I’m hoping I’m not the only one who has this issue . . .
Every summer I get overly ambitious about what I can accomplish. The days are longer, I feel more energized, and I want to wring everything I can from each day.
There are all the books I plan to read, the catching up with friends and colleagues, and then there are all the projects: both career-related and home improvement—aarrgghh.
No matter how much I get done on my “impossible list,” I end the summer feeling exhausted and disappointed—because I can’t complete everything!
Let’s get real: work/life balance is a myth. Nobody takes real vacations any more because we’re all plugged in 24/7. And especially musicians, freelancers, entrepreneurs, educators, and anyone employed by a non-profit (that’s almost everyone I know!) — we’re all especially prone to overwork. We neglect key aspects of our wellbeing, whether it’s our social or family lives, or our physical, emotional, or intellectual health.
So this summer I’ve got a new plan.
Wellbeing is the quality of life that comes from tending to the full spectrum of what matters. It’s not just about our physical health, but our social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and occupational wellbeing. If one or more dimension in our lives is being neglected, we feel out of sorts. Wellbeing comes from balancing these dimensions.
My latest wellbeing wake up call: several months ago, I had a stretch of feeling particularly burned out, and I noticed that I’d stopped reading books—anything long form, fiction or non-. I was reading plenty of articles and posts, but this was mainly skimming and quick “surface” reading.
It was as though my attention span had been drastically shortened, and I found that both my patience and imagination felt reduced—it was awful.
That is what working all the time and being addicted to social media and email does (at least to me).
It was this wake up call and today being the start of summer that got me wanting a summer wellness plan.
How do you want your summer to turn out?
Look at each of the six life dimensions listed below, and if in any of these categories you want to make a change in, write down one small practical thing you will change in your daily or weekly routine to improve your wellbeing.
Perhaps it’s going to bed at a certain time, taking walks, meditating, or bringing a book on your commute instead of reading your phone.
To improve your wellbeing this summer . . .
What positive actions will you take each day (or week) to tend to your wellbeing? Choose just one per category if you’re already doing well in a particular category, great, no need to make a change—but if there IS something you’d like to work in to your routine, write it down.
To further stretch your imagination about how to shape a meaningful existence, here are my 3 favorite TED talks on Life Balance:
Stefan Stagmeister on the Power of Time Off (17:40 minutes)
As always, I’d love to get your feedback on any of this—and to know how your summer wellbeing is going!
Info on working with me HERE.
Dream Big, Plan Smart, Live Well