With so many people working such crazy hours how do we get inspiration? Here are ten ways you can get some inspiration this weekend.
1 Learn Something New
I’ve become a big fan of podcasts lately, partly because I can listen while I do domestic tasks. Here are a few of my favourites;
- The Infinite Monkey Cage; a witty take on big science questions, the panel includes experts in the theme of the programme.
- Click; ranging widely over topics in the digital world, including social and ethical issues.
- Hidden Brain; more science, more on the human or psychological side.
- The Broad Experience; women in business, partly discussion on the realities of the gender divide in business and some coaching style advice.
2 Break from Digital
Do something, anything, that doesn’t involve a screen. No TV, computer, phone, or kindle for at least an hour. Leave your phone at home and go out. Read a book, one made with paper. Bake a cake – get the recipe from a book not a website.
It’s easy to get so absorbed online, there are always more posts to read, more videos to watch, more photos to see. But it is a time sink and it can be bad for our health.
If you struggle to stay off the screen try “gamifying” it, either give yourself a real life reward or try the Forest app, it’s designed as a productivity aid to monitor the time you’re not checking your phone and reward you with virtual trees. But you can also use it to break your phone-checking habit.
3 Be Creative
And that’s Creative, with a capital C. Take a pottery class, write poetry, paint a portrait, write, paint, pottery, play music, photography find a creative hobby. It does our brains good to use them for something creative and it’s a stress reducer.
One easy way for me to feel a little bit creative is to go for a walk and take photos for Instagram, I love this city and have fun finding new views of it. Plus the walking is exercise. And you can be surprisingly bad at taking photos and it’s all OK on Instagram.
You knew this was coming! It doesn’t really matter what form the exercise takes, but exercise has benefits beyond physical health. It improves your immunity, lowers your stress, improves your sleep. You know all this. What you might not know is that regular exercise improves your thinking.
Years ago I had a neighbour who played the piano after work, somehow it was always Beethoven when he’d had a really tough day. It was Beethoven quite often. Music can be a de-stressor and it’s good for us in multiple ways. Listening to some music outside your usual collection – search on YouTube for “classical music for exercise” for playlists of energetic tracks for example.
6 Change Your Surroundings
Best option is a city break; one of the joys of living in Amsterdam is that I’m a train trip away from Cologne, Brussels and Paris, and a short flight from any European city. A couple of days exploring a new city can give you a mental boost. I love Budapest for this – it’s a surprising city, lots to do but somehow not too touristy.
If going away is not an option trying changing up where you do things, take a book to a cafe, take your lap top to the library. Change it up for a new view on your world.
Every day. Every day.
Laughing can relieve stress, among other health benefits.
For me there are four options;
- Saving me from the political insanity; satirists such as Samantha Bee, The News Quiz and Stephen Colbert
- Familiar sitcoms; Vicar of Dibley, Only Fools and Horses, or Friends.
- Comedy quizzes; Ask Me Another, Global Pillage and the brilliant QI
- Laughing with friends; for laughs that rock me, this is the best option.
What’s your “restart” button for new inspiration this weekend?
Image: Idea | Daniele Marlenek | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0