In our careers, we give up a lot of our best selves at the promise of there being a light at the end of the tunnel. But it doesn’t need to be this way. Believe it or not, so much of it simply comes down to how we choose to think about our work life and show up to it.
We never know where our path is going. Where it is taking us and why; the trick is believing that is it taking us where we’re supposed to be going. Trusting in this truth is one thing but having the tools is also crucial. We need both.
Wherever you are in your career journey – be it starting out, settling into a role, seeking a promotion, expanding, or managing, it is how we mentally approach our careers and physically show up to them that will absolutely determine how we perceive this aspect of our lives to be.
I’ve learned a lot from both my business and wellness journey. Below I’ll share with you tested, research-validated, and honestly, pretty-easy tools that you can take in your lives upon reading this short article. If you’re ready to dive, let’s begin …
Here we go:
Own your thoughts
Let’s get this out of the way: The quickest way to find freedom in life is to stop telling yourself that you’re not free. Freedom exists in the thoughts that we allow to be the loudest in the internal conversations of the mind. It is these conversations inside our minds that then become the conversations we have outside. The same holds true when it comes to the vacation conversation: The quickest way to stop thinking there’s an impending rocket explosion waiting to set off if you don’t take a vacation is to shift that conversation.
Personally, I find shifting the conversation happens with trading grief for gratitude. Going from a place of grieving and feeling sorry for myself and my career situation to gratitude for having a livelihood that provides and supports the life I want to have (more or less) fuels me right up and gets me pumped, energized, and rejuvenated.
Breathing to rejuvenate
Believe it or not, what already exists within you has the power to almost immediately change how you feel. In our breath, we hold the keys to the vehicle that is our bodies. Many people who feel worked up, stressed, and anxious most of the time are breathing in a way that only perpetuates these states not to mention can actually create them! Crazy right?
The way we breathe can make us feel more exhausted then we actually are, sending physiological messages from the body to the brain that shows up to us as all the stuff we don’t want.
So how do we fix this? Easy.
Start doing what I call “NTB” Nose-to-Belly Breathing. Breathe in through your nose for 3-4 seconds, directing the air to your belly. Let your belly expand. Pause here for 1-2 seconds. Let the air out through your nose as your belly deflates for 3-4 seconds.
Here’s to breathing with intention!
Get up, stand up!
Part of the issue we face when feeling trapped and in need of an escape from work is as simple as how and where we’re working.
How you’re sitting and/or what you’re looking at might be a bigger cause for concern than how many vacay days a year you’re taking. Think about this: Even after the most exhilarating 2-hour movie, how good does it feel to get up and stretch your legs? Why would it be any different when we sit at our desks? If anything, unless you’re a super hyped up stock trader, there’s way less action at your desk than there is on the big screen. It only stands to reason that this would lead to a lethargic, less than engaged, and generally lifeless you!
When I started to change up the desk I was sitting at and environments I was working from everything, especially my work, got way better, more interesting and exciting. If you’re sitting a lot, try a stand-up desk or counter. If you’re starting at the wall, can you possibly change that for a window? No window? No problem! What about spending an hour at a cool cafe as you whiz through and create awesome-ness?
They say Sitting is the new smoking so make sure to keep moving as best you can.
Try these three tips wholeheartedly and see if that internal doomsday vacay counter is still ringing and begging for the beach or the slopes. If it is, and you’re truly feeling like its not healthy, honor that, but in my case, I’ve seen that rejuvenation was usually just an intentional thought, new breath, or movement away.
Julian Brass is the founder and former CEO of award-winning Canadian media company Notable.ca (Notable Life), a front-running online brand dedicated to driven young professionals. His first battle with anxiety began when starting a new endeavor that dramatically affected his life professionally, personally and geographically, which fueled his passion to embrace his mental health challenges rather than hide behind it. Learn more about Brass on his website, and connect on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Own Your Anxiety is available for pre-sale on Amazon and through other major booksellers.