As a hypnotherapist specializing in stress relief, I recently did market research interviews with busy professional women to delve deeper into their pressing problems and what stresses them out.
I wanted to learn more about what keeps them up at night, what their most pressing worries and concerns are and what would they like to disappear in their lives.
A lot of what I heard, I already knew were stress issues for women, but I also learned so much more.
Some of the questions I posed revealed how pressured most busy professional women feel today. They are scheduled from dawn until the lights go out and find they have no room for any free time to just relax, to just “be,” to play!
When asked to create their perfect day, most women described a very unstructured relaxed “let the day unfold” type of day. They imagined walks outside either alone or with loved ones, family time playing together; time to read a “fun” book, all without any of the so called “normal” pressures they currently experience.
In response to the results they would celebrate if their lives were better overall, they said they would feel and be creative; feel energetic yet also relaxed. They would have balance in their lives, feel connected to their positive joyful selves and feel good about themselves and their lives.
Their answers to why this is important to them were quite revealing.
- They want to feel more alive.
- They want to feel connected to others and themselves.
- They want to live vibrantly and purposefully and not “waste” their lives.
- They want to feel fulfilled and be happy.
- They want to contribute to their children and others in a meaningful way.
- They want to feel alive and live in possibility and integrity.
- They want to enjoy their lives and create great memories for their children and themselves.
As I’ve been going through the data I collected, I realized, as we are entering the summertime, most of the women described their perfect day in terms of what I like to call “summertime mode.”
Remember how it was when you were a child and school was over for the summer? There was a lot of freedom, wasn’t there? There were no schedules, no big to do lists, except for the ones that you created with your friends of all the fun things you wanted to do.
You might have lazed around some, but you also were out running and playing around, too. It felt really good, didn’t it?
Now, I know we’re not children anymore. I know as adults we have responsibilities, jobs, businesses, careers. All these things are important and can support us in being connected to our purpose and ways we contribute.
But, we still need to have some summertime mode in our lives. We need to feel the freedom of a no structure day and we need to play in order to do the other parts of our lives well.
So, as it is now summertime in the northern hemisphere, it’s a perfect time to find your summertime mode. Studies show we spend way too much time indoors, contributing to the stresses we experience.
It’s time to change it up and get the summertime mode attitude!
Get outside. Go out in Nature. Being out in Nature increases the levels of the mood enhancer neurotransmitter serotonin. It will do wonders for your attitude. The air quality is much better than indoors and it is a no cost way to breathe fresh air, get movement for your body and stress relief for your mind.
Utilize break times at work to get out and go for a short walk in a local park or around your home in the evenings. Even going out in a garden will reap stress relief benefits.
Tap into your playful self: play the game of mindfulness. Be present to all the colors around you, the shapes, sounds and the feel of the air on your skin. Playing the game of mindfulness will allow the time to expand for you, just like it did during your summers as a child.
Commit to having your weekends be flexible and not scheduled to a T! Find a book that you can get lost in and commit to reading it and finishing it by summer’s end. Give yourself permission to just relax and let the at least one day per week unfold naturally, instead of by a forced schedule!
This is the summertime mode!
If you allow yourself to partake in the summertime mode, not only will you will feel more refreshed, renewed and alive on a daily basis this summer, you will know this is how you want to create your life all the time, whatever the season. You will be living and celebrating the results of being fulfilled, living on purpose and really enjoying your life.
Now, how will you create YOUR summertime mode?