Ten Sources of Inspiration
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The summer and Eid holidays are over and many may find themselves in the doldrums with colder weather setting in and stressful year-end preparations already underway for everything from budgets to appraisals and annual strategies. Don’t let those post-holiday blues get to you. Here are a few ways to get a quick inspirational pick-up from the career experts at the Middle East’s #1 jobsite, Bayt.com.
1. A Good Book
As per a recent Bayt.com poll, 70% of professionals think reading is essential to advance their careers and 78% read their industry related literature regularly. Reading doesn’t have to be only vocational; recreational reading can also enrich you by transporting you across geographic and temporal terrains and allowing you to visit lives and places and explore narratives that broaden your horizons and can dramatically alter and lift your state of mind. A good book is a window onto limitless new possibilities and will leave you motivated and empowered to improve your mind frame and life.
Just the thought of a walk in the park, a jog, brisk sprint or swim in the neighborhood pool or ocean should start relaxing these stress muscles and bringing an adrenalin rush to your brain. There is nothing like exercise to jolt the senses into vigilance and help buffer any feelings of negativity or stress.
3. A Talk With a Mentor
Find someone you admire and respect and want to be like and think like and use them as a sounding board for your ideas and a reference point for your personal growth plans. Talk with them about your dreams and listen and learn from their own success stories and pointers. If you have chosen your counterpart well these sessions should be refreshing, uplifting and inspirational.
The magic of music and its power as a stress reliever and motivator is widely recognized. Turn on the volume and breathe in to whatever genre and tempo clears your brain and relaxes you. Don’t stop experimenting with new genres and tunes and don’t underestimate the wealth of the classics in their potential to enrich your frame of mind.
Artistic expression and art appreciation are both stressbusters and hugely inspirational so try to indulge in both. You don’t need to be hugely talented to pick up a pencil, paintbrush, art and crafts kit, kite-making or knitting or sewing or clay modeling kit and feel the tremendous therapeutic effects of art. Experiment till you find an expression form that suits you. You may not be born to lead the art pack or desire to, but if singing or writing or drawing or design or any other art form inspires and lifts you, make sure to make it part of your de-stress routine.
6. Fresh Air
Not many of us have an outdoor swing or hammock we can sink into after a long day’s work but sometimes some fresh air and a nice view of sky and life and horizon are really all we need. Try to do some pottering around the garden if you have one and fit in outdoor activity as frequently as you can in your daily routine. Instead of resorting to the TV couch in a darkened room, pull open those blinds, let the full breeze and sunshine in on a mild day and try pulling up a chair by the balcony or window to inhale the outdoors and experience for yourself the magic of belonging to the universe.
You may or may not have access to meditation instructors and groups but your meditation routine can be as simple as taking time out of your daily grind to simply relax, reflect, clear your mind and take stock and re-connect with your self and your inner peace.
8. A Healthy Diet
Very often, poor health is the result of poor diet and you can turn that around instantly by paying attention to what you put on your plate and when. Have a filling breakfast, eat small meals at regular intervals, seek balance in your food types and avoid heavy late dinners. You may well find that by detoxifying your system and losing a bit of weight if you have gained some during the holidays, you restore a lot of your vigor and stamina and zest for life. 32% of professionals polled in Bayt.com’s Eating and Exercise Habits in the MENA poll consider their eating habits to be unhealthy.
No need to call in the international interior design experts; what we are talking about here is surrounding yourself with objects of beauty and things you love that make you feel pristine and happy and at peace. For some this may mean white walls and a single lavish kala lily, painting or calendar; for others an assortment of specialist bric and brac or travel paraphernalia collected over the years; some prefer serenity, others seek a semblance of cherished clutter; the important thing is to reassess your environment and make sure it is not overlooked and to make a conscious effort to create surrounds you really thrive in and enjoy.
10. Get Organized
Organizing both your mental and physical spaces will make you feel more at peace, refreshed and in control. Take stock of where you are and where you want to be and make plans to get there. Jot down lists with timelines if that helps you. Take an objective look at your work day and your workspaces and make a conscious effort to organize those too – everything from how you plan your daily projects and task loads to how your organize your drawers and files and computer spaces. You will find that organizing your daily routines and creating a place for everything and putting everything in its place are very empowering and uplifting exercises.