Let’s be real here -- life is very hectic today. Productivity is sliding off the rails as once being associated with inspiration to now being a stress-formation. I used to frantically rush to pick up my iced coffee at Starbucks, write all of my papers for the week within three hours, and psychotically (the only appropriate word to describe it, truthfully) clean my room, all while plugging into one of those “live your best life” podcasts. A tweet below truly opened my eyes to the way our society is geared nowadays:
Photo: Jose Antonio Gallego Vázquez on Unsplash
Just recently, the World Health Organization classified burnout as an official medical diagnosis. Yes, being too productive is in the same class for doctors as anxiety, asthma, and obesity. Putting a label on it can be *very* alarming, so here are three ways to reset, recharge, and refresh your life.
1. Gratitude, Then Goals
I always start my day with gratitude. It sounds cliche for sure, but expressing comfort and joy in your heart the second that you wake up sets the mood for the entire day. You don’t have to write them down -- just mentally list or pray about what you are blessed with. From a loving family to the beautiful weather outside, being mindful in the mornings sets the stage for an intentional day.
Once you are in the right headspace (not in reference to the holy grail meditation platform, which is amazing), you can start listing some goals. You may ask, “aren’t I supposed to be relaxing, not being productive?” Well, yes. But setting a few short, realistic hopes and dreams may be just what you need to recharge your all-over-the-place engine.
I typically write both long- and short-term goals, with a slight plan of how to get there (you can’t have everything completely planned out- living is a word for a reason!) One of my goals after I made a pact to focus on being still was to land my dream internship this summer. I slowly decided to dwindle down in writing only articles that I was passionate about with the hope of making a difference to at least one reader, instead of firing article after article on a cannonball (otherwise known as Google Docs). I truly learned how to be more intentional and in the present, and it was all because of this swift and heartwarming decision that I can say I was offered the internship!
By having a clean slate, you can decompress all your worries and little anxieties and have some great motivations to work toward -- just remember gratitude before goals.
2. Declutter Your Space and Mind
The secret to a clean mind is a clean space. You don’t have to be Marie Kondo-level clean, but going the minimalist route has extreme benefits like being more financially responsible, more humble, and more appreciative, to name a few.
Start with your bedroom (that means first, getting out of bed and then second, making it). I love to clean my closets and have a pile for clothes to donate. I tossed some shirts that I had since the beginning of high school that I knew I was never going to wear again. Owning a small number of items that you will find a great use for is a better investment than hoarding pieces because you “may” wear them.
I purchased new felt hangers to give everything uniformity in my wardrobe. All of my clothes are organized by color, then style, making it super easy to find during those dreaded mornings running late. I also recommend organizing your shoes in a floor shoe rack like this one to avoid that nasty mountain of sneakers and sandals at the corner of your closet- gross!
Next, peruse through all of your shelves and drawers and refold. Taking the time to do this makes sure your clothes remain fresh and hey, you may even find things you have been looking for during the past year.
Once your room is in tip-top shape (guaranteed by almost finishing a tub of cleaning wipes), declutter the space on your phone. Finally clear your email inbox, delete some text messages and photos (back-up on a hard drive if necessary), and even unfollow some social media pages that are not making you feel positive and seem to bring you down. You will be ready to *breathe in, then breathe out* truly refresh once, essentially, absolutely everything in your life is refreshed.
3. Let The Sound of Negativity Leave Your Ears
Everyone says it: “think positive.” But what happens when bad things happen?
Whether it is bumper-to-bumper traffic on an already-long commute home from work, a competition you did not win, or a not-so-nice comment you received, always know your self-worth and you are the only person who can truly live your life. Once you have that in check, you can then be a positive example to others.
I always make it a goal to extend three genuine compliments to people a day. Do you know why? Those nice words that take less than half a second to say could be the only nice things that person hears in the entire day. When that person then gives a compliment to someone else, it will be a chain of positivity -- all started with you!
Yes, we all want to “live our best lives,” but what society really needs is to offer assurance that everyone lives their lives differently. As a nation that pridefully rests on diversity -- diversity of cultures, religions, beliefs, customs, and daily routines -- let’s share these 3 ways to definitively reset our minds and hearts in order to live a wonderfully-created, beautiful life.
Victoria Giardina is an 18 student at The College of New Jersey pursuing a Major in Journalism and Professional Writing with a Minor in Communication Studies. Victoria's favorite movie is The Greatest Showman and you can never find her without her planner! As the founder of Kick It Cancer (www.kickitcancer.org) and a news anchor for her campus-wide news station- LTV News, Victoria steps up for community outreach, leadership, and creative storytelling. In the future, Victoria hopes to work in the broadcasting industry in New York City.