1. Get Outside. The outdoors has always been my first love. I find that spending time outdoors with nature reboots my brain. Even a short 15-minute walk around the yard will do wonders for my attitude. Just imagine what this 5-mile hike at Silver Creek in Summit County did for me!
Have you tried Sweatworking? It’s meeting to network over exercise – such as a walk, run, or group fitness class – instead of grabbing drinks or dinner. The shared experience creates a trusting bond without happy hour’s calories (or verbal slip-ups). (Prevention.com, December 2013)
Why not make your next meeting a Walking Meeting? “Sitting has become the smoking of our generation,” claims Nilofer Merchant. Instead of meeting in conference rooms, she asks people to go on walking meetings — 20 to 30 miles’ worth a week. “It’s changed my life,” she says.
Walking meetings are best done outside but if the weather is bad you may need to get creative. Try walking at the mall or a fitness center, and if your office is in a large building that will allow for it, try walking the corridors.
2. A Relaxing Hobby. I was lured into going birdwatching with the promise that there would be donuts after the early morning hike. Now 100’s of donuts later — I’m hooked on one of the fastest growing recreational activities in the United States.
February is National Bird Feeding Month. Why not buy a birdfeeder to go outside your office window? It’ll provide computer eye strain relief and help to build better interpersonal relationships in the office. (Photo by Zayne Watson).
3. Sunshine. Sometimes I take a break from my work and drive to a nearby garden center. Nothing lifts the spirit like walking through the greenhouse and soaking up some rays in the middle of winter. The colorful plants, warm sunshine on my face and the smell of the soil melts any creative block I may have had. It’s no Cancun but will do in a pinch. I wonder if they’d mind if I brought my lunch?
4. A Good Book. I read paperback romance novels to relax, but this week the author of Green Graphic Design had me hooked once I read this line in the books description: “Can a graphic designer be a catalyst for positive change?” I had to have it!
5. Peaceful Solitude. Everyone needs a special place outdoors where they can go to be alone to reflect, cry or pray. This is my special place and I’ve done all three here. Don’t be afraid to let it all out. You’ll feel better and it’s good for your health.
6. The Right Tools. I’ve been to advertising departments that couldn’t specify color accurately because the didn’t have Pantone color swatch books. I know of offices that try to create professional quality brochures using Microsoft Publisher and Word instead of InDesign, the industry standard. Replace your stress with creativity by using the right tools.