"Keep your face always toward the sunshine—and shadows will fall behind you." Walt Whitman
Is it me or does everything seem better when the sun is shining! We’ve had some brilliant days recently.
Well, I’ve looked and its official. Scientifically the sunshine benefits us all in lots of ways.
It reduces stress, gives us vitamin D for stronger bones and improved immune system, helps improve your moods by increasing your body’s level of serotonin, improves brain function, lowers blood pressure, and improves sleep. No wonder some studies have shown it can even increase your life expectancy.
But I don’t think it’s just the sunshine. I think there is a whole package; the sun tends to come with longer days and warmer temperatures. We also often take time off at this time of year, which means we can spend more of our time outside.
Like many I took some time off last week (my first real break in over 18 months) and I hadn’t realized how much I needed the time away from the desk. As soon as I started spending most of my days outdoors, I started to notice a few improvements in myself and my mood.
I stopped, slowed down and noticed the small things around me.
I felt I could properly breathe out.
I slept better.
I wanted to be more social (I said hello to more people than usual).
My thoughts were more creative.
I had extra patience. Small things didn’t bother me so much.
Obviously, I really switched off. Tuned out. Relaxed.
And it did me the world of good. I’ve come back to the office revived, renewed and ready to crack on with loads of improvements, ideas, inspiration for the business, my clients, my team. I feel unstoppable!
"To be happy, you must be your own sunshine." C.E. Jerningham
So, how do we keep this sunny outdoors feeling going? When most of us come back to work, we fall back into the same habits. I am sure you can hear the complaints now…we want to make sure we keep the ”Feels like I’ve never been away” statement from your mind for as long as possible.
Here are some of the things I’m going to do this week to keep more sunshine in my work life.
Build time into your day to take breaks outside. Even if its just 5mins in between phone calls or meetings. On your way back from the loo or whilst making the tea and waiting for the kettle to boil, pop outdoors.
Think of the tasks you can do outside; a walking meeting with someone, take that call outside, read the report away from your desk in the office. Even a team meeting could be done outdoors.
Eat all your meals al fresco.
Hybrid workers – can you work from the garden all day. (Sort out the Wi-Fi so it works around your house.)
Have to practice a presentation or zoom call - do it outside.
If you must go into the office, walk or park the car a little further away so you can get those steps in.
Write your ‘To Do list’ for tomorrow at the end of the day – outside!
Smile and look up at the sun. Even if you can’t get outside, go stand by a window for 5mins. (even better if you can open the window)
Go home via an outdoor space or park. Even just ten mins will change your day.
Let’s make sure we are the sunshine that will energize everyone’s day.
"Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine." Anthony J. D'Angelo