As soon as we open our eyes, our first glance in the morning is usually at our smartphone. Checking e-mails, answering text messages, listening to voicemails and reading the latest news – that’s often how the daily routine of many German employees begins.
In the afternoon, quickly photographing lunch and chasing it through all the usual social media channels, and in the evening, before, during and after dinner, working intensively on the project for the next day. Is this what an ideal working day looks like?
Is it really that hard to replace the occupation with a smartphone by reading a good book or …?
Yes, it probably is, because we often don’t perceive the stress level that comes with ever-increasing media consumption as being as high as it actually is. I like to be “connected” myself and share my thoughts and experiences with others via the World Wide Web, but media consumption is often creepy for me, too. The smartphone on the bedside table, the TV in the bedroom and the laptop on my lap and that after I just came home from a long day at work, which I mostly spent in front of the computer screen. The most common consequence of such media consumption and the associated workload is a diagnosis of “burnout.”
Seeking the “movement within us
In order to retreat from the stress that studies, work and also my social commitment bring with them, I have been trying to find my “inner center” through yoga for a few months now. For this topic I will go into more detail within the
Topic of the month
I will go into more detail about the healing and transforming effects of yoga. This much, however, should be said: relaxation and calm are processes that we must awaken and develop within ourselves, not as a gift, but with much effort and patience. Just like getting out of bed and to work in the morning with lots of motivation, energy and probably a caffeinated drink, “moving within ourselves” is a difficult endeavor. Accordingly, we can rarely open ourselves to such relaxation sessions for fear of wasting precious time.
And exactly at this point we lose ourselves!
Time oases as the key to health and happiness
The time factor is very crucial, not only because we are mortal, but because time is a component that is directly related to our health.
Of course, the job is important. Money is not everything, but it gives us a strange sense of security and independence, which we in turn associate with personal freedom. Accordingly, it is understandable that we invest a lot of time in our education, training and professional development. What we often neglect, however, are the “time oases” we need to create in order to maintain our inner peace.
These “time oases” are determined by feelings such as relaxation, reflection, carelessness, love and security. Whether we find this in a good yoga session, a wellness day or a walk is not decisive here.
It is only important to integrate a continuity of relaxation within our daily lives. Not, “I’ll relax sometime this weekend,” and then unfortunately a project does come up. “Starting at 6:00 p.m., my cell phone stays off because I’m spending time with my family” – this is a clearly defined time with a fixed goal. The reward you get here is not financial, but emotional, which will ultimately pay off physically and psychologically. Of course, many of you will now think “I know that, everyone knows that”, but that is not the case. Why not ask yourself from time to time as a test?
- When was the last time I talked at length with my partner over a glass of wine or a home-cooked dinner? This does not mean a conversation about the job or the children, but about one’s own feelings, wishes and dreams.
- When was the last time I went for a walk in the park or followed it up with an intense jog after work to take a pleasant bath, exhausted and relaxed?
- When was the last time I went to a concert with my best friend, had a warm cocoa at a great coffee shop with her, or went on an intense shopping spree with her?
- And the most important one: When have I ever done a real “digital detox” and focused only on myself?
These are just a few questions of countless that can be asked. But the important background always remains the same: When have I done something that was just for me, that was real and emotional and didn’t involve a screen?
Schedule your moments of happiness
I’ll give you a tip: spend your
Invest time wisely
time for things that are good for your soul. You can have a career and still be mentally and physically balanced.
Make a list of things they want to do just for themselves on a short-term (but regular) basis. Then they write a medium-term list and set challenges like, “I’m going to try to practice yoga once a week, thinking only of myself and the moment of relaxation.” Last is the long-term list, which can also involve some planning, such as the annual vacation.
No matter what you write down, do it, because if you just say things in front of you but don’t schedule them, it’s just empty talk that rarely gets put into action. Think of your childhood when you do this. Children are mostly carefree, they are spontaneous and honest with themselves. You don’t have to look to others to know what you want. Just look at yourself and be your own teacher.
And remember, “Be yourself. All others are already taken.” (Oscar Wilde)
About the author
Kinga Bartczak berät, coacht und schreibt zu Female Empowerment, neuer Arbeitskultur, Organisationsentwicklung systemischen Coaching, und Personal Branding.
Zudem ist sie Geschäftsführerin der UnternehmerRebellen GmbH und Herausgeberin des FemalExperts Magazins.