It is easy to be inspired when you’ve got a new job, are going on holiday, or have just walked out of an amazing seminar. Unfortunately, for most of us, these moments are the exception rather than the norm. What do you do to keep your spirits up on a regular day, as you commute to work in a packed train or queue up at the supermarket checkout to pay for your groceries? How do you not just manage your responsibilities, but to put the fire back in your days?
If you live in the Nordics, you would understand why they say this is the most depressing time of the year. Here in Helsinki, the sun rises at 9am and sets at 3pm, and it gets pitch black soon after. On most days, you don’t even see the sun at all and what greets you is a dull shade of grey or rain. The Finns talk about the weather a lot and it is really a personal responsibility to keep your spirits up. And yes, it is true that the weather does affect your mood.
Friends and relatives have asked me: “Isn’t it boring to stay home all day with a new baby? How are you coping without the help of your family?”
Thankfully, we are blessed to have supportive friends and neighbours here, and I actually do enjoy my time and life a lot. I credit it to having habits that create daily inspiration. Here, I share some of them, divided into parts because I realised halfway through the writing that it was turning into a thesis. Never knew I was this long-winded!
Lately, I find myself in conversations where this topic kept popping up, and it seems to be getting more and more common. My lunch dates or clients sighed as they spoke about how busy work is keeping them, to the extent that their personal well-being is being compromised. These are people who are doing great work and they tend to be ambitious entrepreneurs, leaders in companies, or knowledge professionals.
Interestingly, there are many things which they share in common, including: feeling stressed about the neverending list of to-do’s and projects; wishing to have more work-life balance, more sleep, more time to read or to engage in a creative activity; needing a self-organising system or new habits; and looking forward to a break. Some of them are simply just overwhelmed and reacting to whatever screams the loudest or nearest.