(By Kevin Short)
“Studies show, predictably, that those who take vacations are happier than those who don’t. But most of the increase in happiness occurs before the trip. So take the time to plan some favorite activities for the upcoming weekend, and the sheer anticipation will carry you through the rest of the week.“
It may be tempting to go straight home after work, change into PJs and drink a bottle of wine. But in the long run, that may not be a recipe for success. It turns out the most productive people have unique strategies to rest and recharge after a long day of work, like:
Even if it’s just for one hour, take the time to disconnect from your devices. Sharon Meers, co-author of “Getting to 50/50: How Working Parents Can Have It All,” says that her family bans phones after 6:30 p.m.
“We try hard to preserve 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. as a sanctuary so we can relax and hear about the day from each member of the family,” writes Meers.
2. Go To Happy Hour
Dozens of studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption reduces the risk of strokes, heart attack and various other cardiovascular problems.
3. Have Sex
Sex lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of heart attack and prostate cancer and improves sleep. Sexually active people take fewer sick days. Bottom line: Just do it.
4. Plan Your Weekend
Studies show, predictably, that those who take vacations are happier than those who don’t. But most of the increase in happiness occurs before the trip. So take the time to plan some favorite activities for the upcoming weekend, and the sheer anticipation will carry you through the rest of the week.
5. Play An Instrument
Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian, squeezes in 20 minutes of piano practice per day, even while running one of the world’s most respected publications. By doing this, Rusbridger taught himself how to play Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 in G minor, one of the most difficult compositions in the canon. Warren Buffett, too, can strum a mean ukelele tune.
6. Have An ‘Ecotherapy’ Session
Ecotherapy — also known as “going outside” — can be immensely beneficial for your health and well-being. Many studies show that outdoor activities like hiking and gardening will improve your mental health and amplify your productivity once you’re back in front of a computer.
7. Play A Crazy Sport
Sandy Lerner, co-founder of Cisco, jousts after work. Anil Ambani, one of India’s richest and chairman of Reliance ADA Group, runs marathons. William C. Ford Jr., the executive chairman of Ford, uses his black belt in Tae Kwon Do to break boards. And Australian mogul Wal King finds solace on the slopes heli-skiing. If you own a helicopter and are sitting on mountains of disposable income, perhaps you too should pursue this pastime.
8. Focus On Your Family And Friends
Just because you’re physically in the same room as your loved ones doesn’t mean you’re spending legitimate time with them. Your child should not have to compete with your smartphone for attention, says the aforementioned Sharon Meers:
“I have been to homes where one parent is glued to an iPad, laptop or phone. What’s the message their kids get? ‘I care enough to be home with you, but not enough to give you my full attention.'”
9. Get 8 Or More Hours Of Sleep
Huffington Post President and Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington recently said she reevaluated the crucial role of sleep after passing out from exhaustion:
“There are few wakeup calls as effective as waking up on the floor in a pool of blood,” Huffington said.
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