Everything in life is about balance, right? Don’t work too much. Don’t binge watch Netflix too much. It’s okay if I eat some of these chocolates. But in reality, most of us (at least speaking from personal experience) tend to over-do it sometimes. Whether it is doing too much work or eating too much junk food, no one is perfect.

At Appsky, we have hard working employees that definitely exceed those typical “40 hour” work weeks. With that being said, this blog post consists of some tips on what we do to release stress to keep our mental health in check.

Sleep

One would think this is obvious, but many people are lacking in this area. You know the average adult functions best with seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Of course, this is sort of impossible at times. Especially if you have a deadline approaching or young children keeping you up late. Or perhaps you can’t sleep because you have a low-key obsession with Hallmark movies….okay we won’t go there. Sometimes, you just have to sleep. It’s okay. Seriously, that episode on Netflix will be there tomorrow morning (unless it’s How I Met Your Mother….that leaves November 13).

I know it’s hard…believe me, I know. But if you can get the sleep, do it. I admit to having gone to bed at 7 pm or 8 pm just to get 10 or 11 hours of much needed sleep. I never hear of people complaining that getting a lot of sleep was a bad thing (unless of course you over slept…). Even 20 minute power naps can do wonders.

Dance! All the Time!

Or I suppose you can just find other ways to get exercise. Hit the gym! Go for a walk! Lay on the floor and do ab workouts while you binge Netflix. Exercise is a pretty big deal at Appsky. Not a day goes by when I don’t hear about Marchele’s workout or the new crazy diet he’s on (you know diet is just die, with a t, right?) No judgment here though! Hearing about Sue’s 13 mile run or Evynne’s 50 mile bike ride is enough to motivate me to drive to the gym and at least run a couple miles and lift some weights around. I like to think to myself “something, is better than nothing.” Which is totally true. Exercising doesn’t have to be a crazy commitment; just do something you enjoy! Join an intramural league, buy a dog just do you have to walk it every day, or hit the club (you can burn a ton of calories, assuming you drink less than you burn). Still having trouble? Find friends that can discipline you or that you can team up with to motivate each other!

Find a Hobby

Anything you enjoy or are passionate about can be one of the best stress relievers. Learn how to play an instrument (if you don’t already know how), pick up a new skill (like learning how to code or being able to understand the difference between good design and bad design), try something you have never done before! Heck, you can even just spend an afternoon Googling a bunch of things you’re curious about: how long does it take to grow a pineapple? What kind of phobias exist? Why is blue cheese spelled bleu cheese? Is the cheese actually blue? You will know so much information, you’re almost guaranteed to win the next trivia night!

Getcha Some of That “Me” Time

Even the most extroverted people out there need some time to themselves. It’s important as a human being to be able to take time out of the day for YOU. Even if it’s like that mom on Facebook who literally had to lock herself in the closet just to take a break from her kids for five minutes and get a snack. Take time for yourself and reflect on your day or come up with goals. Knowing where you are and where you want to be can be a great way to create direction in your life.  Just the other day I wrote down everything that I want for myself in the next three years: finish graduate school, get a dog, buy a “new” used car, buy a kayak, max out my Roth IRA, figure out a way to teach classes or workshops, knock out all 50 states (I’m at 35!), etc. You get the point. I have a good idea of what I want and I have mapped out what it will take for me to get there. Of course, life doesn’t always go as planned, but that’s the beauty of goals—they shift!

Being by yourself is OKAY. Turn on your favorite song and sing and dance naked in your living room simply because you can (assuming no one else is home). Meditate. Pray if you’re spiritual. Cry because you really need it. Watch that sappy chick flick. Figure out why your cat hates you. Show off your muscles to yourself in the mirror. That’s the beauty of being by yourself! No one else is watching.

Make Time For Others

Being alone is fun, but make sure to always take the time for those important to you: family and friends. We all get caught up in our own little worlds that we don’t notice those around us! Be sure to pay attention to those around you and spend time with them! It gets difficult to hang out with your old friends sometimes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t shoot a text and make some plans! You will be surprised on what you miss out on if you don’t catch up with your friends or family.

Need Help? Ask?

We have a rule at Appsky: if you struggle with something for more than a day, ask for help! This is truer of our programmers who are always figuring out how to build something with code, but it holds true with everything else too! Time is valuable, so you need to use it wisely! Sometimes that means asking for help. Recognize where your strengths lie and what your weaknesses are. There is always going to be someone who is better than you, so you might as well learn something new and save time in the process!

Breathe

That is all.

Plan a Trip

Looking forward to a vacation is a great way to motivate yourself! It could be that week long vacation you have been planning for months or simply a day trip to the lake with some friends. Plan something out for the future that will encourage you to get through the week or the month. Having something to look for can get you through almost anything! It could even be as simple as planning a movie night all to yourself with a big bowl of popcorn if you get through the week. Man, now I want popcorn.

In Conclusion,

No matter how hectic and crazy your life can get, it’s important to take the time for yourself, sleep, exercise, spend time with others, get a hobby, and find something that motivates you! Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, if not more. Make sure you take care of yourself!

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