If you were granted a gift of an extra hour that was yours, free and clear, with which to do whatever you wanted, what would you do? What about an extra six hours? How about an entire day? It doesn’t take long for the brain to start spinning with options and ideas, and before long, we’ve got an arm-length list. Would you sleep? Check out that hiking trail your friends have been raving about? Day trip it to a hot springs? Spend some overdue quality time with a loved one? Leap Day is upon us – one of the rare times when it really does feel like the whole world is given an extra day. Now – dream crusher – given that this day falls on a Monday, many of us will be spending some extra “quality” time at work (the real buzz-kill? Salaried employees are essentially working for free on the 29th!). This day can, however, help us to take a close look at our priorities, and how well we are, or aren’t, living them out in our day-to-day. How we picture our own “perfect” day is a pretty decent indicator for what we’d like to see more of in our lives.
If you would choose to slumber the whole day away, you’re likely not alone. A 2013 Gallup poll reported that 40% of Americans are getting less than the 7 recommended hours of sleep per night. If you’re one of the unrested masses, perhaps it’s time to take a fresh look at your evening schedule. Can you squeeze in a bedtime that is even 20 minutes earlier than your usual? Or if it’s the quiet calm that sleep brings that you crave, can you devote the last 15 minutes of your day to an electronics-free, on-your-own meditation or prayer session? If every day feels like a too-tall order, perhaps commit to 4 days a week of granting yourself some extra rest.
In your extra-day dream world, is it you and your BFF (or your sweetheart), on the sofa, prepped with enough snacks, drinks, and binge-worthy shows to keep you happily entertained for hours? If so, it sounds like you’re lacking some serious downtime in your weekly routine. We try to be a lot of things to a lot of different people – productive employee, trusted family member, generous volunteer, stellar friend, loving partner and more. With most of these roles come necessary commitments of time and energy. We put our all into all of them, and we come out feeling pretty spent and overextended. As ridiculous as it might sound, try to schedule some unscheduled time every week. This is a chunk of time that you don’t have to be productive, responsible or charming. Not only will you feel less stressed, but you’ll be able to tackle the rest of your life with renewed energy, too.
Did your mind immediately start moving toward a day of hitting the slopes, hiking, rock-climbing, or snowshoeing? You’ve got adventure and fitness on the brain, friend. Lucky for you, there is no shortage of outlets for the inner super-athlete in you. A few quick searches on the internet will bring about a bounty of outdoor fitness experiences for you to explore, many within reasonable driving distance. If you’re a little short on time, try checking out the biking trails (and trailside coffee shops) in a less familiar, nearby city. Closer to home, it might be time to make some modifications to your regular workouts at the studio. Your trainer has a few tricks up his/her sleeve when it comes to adjusting your workouts to make them just different enough, or a little extra-challenging, to push you even harder.
An extra day to do whatever your heart fancies might be a little tough to pull off. An afternoon? No problem. Changing up our regular routine just enough to incorporate what we might currently be lacking can make a huge difference in our day-to-day satisfaction. Make it a weekly habit, and more days will seem like your perfect day.
If you are wanting to make some modifications to your regular workouts at the studio. Our certified trainers at FIT36® can help you mix things up and reach your goals. Find a studio near you: http://fit36fitness.com/find-a-studio