Guest contributor Melissa Mel
Productivity anxiety: the belief that your value is measured by what you produce, create or contribute to the world. It can make breaks feel like a crime, sleep feel like the enemy and — a day off? Unheard of … until the pandemic. When the world was forced into stillness and uncertainty, more folks became aware of the effects that overworking and the idea of the underserving self have had on their wellbeing.
One thing I hope we’re all integrating into the new normal is prioritizing input over output. Leaving burnout behind starts with reframing states of being like rest, joy, play and love from lazy inaction to really the best actions we can take for ourselves. Taking time to recharge, find your joy, prioritize play and lead with love are the new States of Doing that we should be activating at least once a day for optimal wellness.
From entrepreneurs being twice as likely to suffer from depression, to women being substantially more at risk for diabetes the more hours they work per week, lack of rest effects all aspects of our health. This obsession with always being on was the inspiration behind National Day of Rest: a call to action to put ourselves first, before our productivity. Know that you don’t have to earn a break, a nap, a getaway or reset. You are allowed to to rest as much as your body calls for it, because a restless mind, body and spirit should never be the ideal. Take the pledge to put yourself first everyday here.
Ever heard of the feel-good hormone, Dopamine? It’s a neurotransmitter (aka the nervous system’s chemical messenger) that’s associated with all pleasurable experiences, from laughter to achieving goals big and small. Dopamine deficiency can show up in physical & mental misalignments, from inability to focus & fatigue to trouble sleeping & balancing. So when you’re feeling low energy, lift yourself time for whatever it is that lifts you up in boundless joy, laughter & light. Your body will thank you for it.
In a world of rigidity and schedules, deadlines and deliverables, keeping our inner child alive becomes less of a priority. For children, it’s well known that learning happens through playing and we’re encouraged to foster that behavior – why do we give that up so easily as adults? Play is imperative to creativity, problem solving & building connections – all of which we can utilize in our grown jobs & adult lives. Leave room in your schedule for surprises, fun, fantasy & all the things you’d encourage a blossoming little one to partake in. Be the little one for at least 5 minutes a day.
Here’s another happy hormone you should get to know: Oxytocin, otherwise known as the love hormone. And while it’s heavily linked to sexual pleasure, it also enhances relaxation, communication, trust and overall mental stability. The best part: it doesn’t require romantic partnerships to channel. We spend a ton of time talking about and looking for love from external sources, when we have everything we need right within us. Take time to love on yourself, appreciate all that you are, all that you’ve overcome and are working through. Lead with love and compassion and empathy before jumping to conclusions or judgement. Love always wins.
The Beat Creative Director, Greg Chinn of The Local Brand Co.