In yesterday’s post, I offered up some tips for motivating yourself when you don’t feel like starting a project. But what if motivation’s not enough? What if you really need a mental break instead?
It’s not all that uncommon that people need a break from the daily routine of hurry and stress. While it would be best if we could avoid the stress altogether, that’s not always possible. The fact that stress management is a billion-dollar business speaks to the reality that stress is so much a part of our lives that we need to find ways to manage it because it’s not going away any time soon.
This can really play havoc with your mind and your work when your business is based around your creativity. Stress is not a great friend to creativity so if you’re feeling stressed, it’s likely that you’re also lacking the motivation you need to get things done.
Fortunately, there are ways to give yourself that mental break you need to recharge your batteries. Here are five of my favorites:
Do something creative…
…that’s not related to your work!
Just because you use one aspect of your creativity for your business, it doesn’t mean that you’re not creative in other areas. Pick one of those and spend some time doing something that’s not related to work. You might also try something new that you’ve always wanted to do, but never found the time for.
For me, that’s playing my piano… something I don’t do enough of, but when my mind says, ‘not another word’ that’s when I head for an hour or two of pounding the keyboard. There’s a feeling of accomplishment that I still remember how to play, and a physical and emotional release of the stress that’s built up over the time since I last played.
Spend some time away
If you can, take a day off and get completely away from everything. It might seem obvious, but this can give your mind a complete break in a way nothing else really can. Spend time relaxing with your family, going to the beach or even spending the night in a hotel where you can relax and order room service.
Get reacquainted with nature
Yes, I know everyone says this when you’re stressed: “You need to get outside and spend more time in nature.” It really is a good idea though. You can’t help but slow down if you’re walking through the woods and breathing in reasonably unpolluted air. There’s just something about trees and rivers that calm the mind and send it in a completely different direction than what you get when you’re working.
Meditation can give you the mental break you need, without you having to physically do anything. Not only does meditation allow you to set aside some time for yourself, but it gives your mind a break from the thoughts and feelings which may be stressing you out. It can also help you see your problems from a different perspective. Don’t worry if you don’t think you’re good at meditating. You can start with as little as five minutes a day, and download an app like Headspace to help you out if need be.
Get Blog Updates Direct to Your Inbox
Never miss another post. Enter your details below to get blog updates sent directly to you whenever there's a new post added to this site.
Get some exercise
That pesky exercise seems to pop up everywhere! That's because it can do so much good for both body and mind. And it’s true that exercise a really great form of stress relief, and so can give you the mental break you need.
Whether you run, walk, swim, lift weights, or do some other form of exercise moving your body takes you out of your head because you’re more focused on the physical sensations in your body. Exercise also releases endorphins, which can make you feel happier and relaxed during your exercise session and afterwards.
These are just a few of the ways you can unwind your mind when stress blocks your creative flow. Why not choose one and make it a habit, so that you always have a way to relax when stress starts creeping up on your and affecting your work.
How do you relax when you need a break? Share in the comments below or join the conversation in the group.