Feeling tired and disconnected from yourself or your community? Do you want to give back or get involved? Do you need time out?
Here is some food for thought!
1) Put the phone down, step away from the laptop, hide your ipad (but not before you watch this video clip)… http://elitedaily.com/news/world/this-is-one-of-the-most-vital-messages-gen-y-needs-to-hear-video/
If you’re not yet up to that stage of talking to strangers on a train, how about just taking in the message of ‘Looking up’ and disconnecting from the smart phone for a few minutes? Even if its just to check out the latest fashion for winter on the train (or for some who are wildly connected to their phone it may be becoming aware that yes, it is now winter).
2) Volunteer! Volunteer work has long been known to benefit not only the people being helped but also the person doing the volunteering. Doing some good in the world by volunteering may reduce social isolation- a risk factor for depression and lending a hand can provide career experience and teach workplace skills. Research by the London School of Economics has even shown that volunteer work can increase your odds of being ‘very happy’. You might feel fulfilled, connected to a community, experience new things, have fun and improve your social network and social skills. Volunteering costs nothing but your time and there are so many places that offer this in local communities. Here are some places to get started:
3) Try out some mindfulness… seek the mental and physical health benefits of mindfulness by taking some time out to smell the roses, connect, accept and be aware of your surroundings. Mindfulness is a moment-by-moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, it leaves judgement behind, just focusing on being present. If you can’t get some quiet time in the house? Maybe try a mindful walk, here is a link to the RMIT University instructions for a mindful walk http://mams.rmit.edu.au/qdqjdwrpw3wm1.pdf
4) Garden. I have a friend who lives in a fancy studio apartment in the hipster part of Sydney who insisted that she could grow a herb garden in her place… she did. This is someone whose bedroom is also her kitchen. Gardening doesn’t mean having a backyard with four veggie patches, covered in enough cow manure and hay to stop anyone robbing your home. It can be on your balcony or a windowsill, growing something in a jar even, maybe try planting some of those fancy chia seeds or head to your local market and pick up a little pot plant, and be proud of being productive and connecting with nature!
(Side note- I have killed basil on every attempt to grow it, if your gardening doesn’t work, try again, and in my case, try a third or fourth time… I’ve produced one strawberry in 12 months of gardening, however it’s the most exciting strawberry I’ve ever eaten).