"The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities." ~Stephen Covey
We're always on-the-go, ready to happily cross the tasks of the day ahead of us on our to-do list.
While feeling productive from getting stuff done, many of us feel mentally exhausted and drained at the end of the day.
From completing our daily errands to completing our doctorate, it can feel like we're running aimlessly fulfilling the world's expectations of us, only to base our self-worth on the amount of things that we have completed in our lives rather than on what our heart values and our view of ourselves.
It's important that we unplug from societal demands and really listen to what we're feeling and what it truly important to us.
Here are 3 unconventional ways to take a step and back and re-energize your beautiful, wonderful self:
1. Attend a silent retreat.
While attending a silent retreat may be challenging for many of us at first, it is a great way to get in tune with our feelings and bodily sensations.
Sitting in complete silence with others for a couple of days will feel weird and uncomfortable, but it forces us to be with our thoughts and more easily bring us to awareness and the present moment.
Our minds become so convoluted in our daily lives, that we forget that our thoughts don't define who we are and realizing this can change the way we feel about ourselves, others and the rest of the world.
We can't always believe what we think.
Silence becomes a mirror, reflecting our thoughts to us to see and sit with them, helping us become aware of the transition between them and the present moment.
Attending a retreat like this allows us to come back into productive mode with a clearer head and better management of our constant fluctuating of emotions.
2. Visit a cemetery.
We live in a death denying culture. We act as if we will live forever, only to be overcome with shock with the realities of the death of a loved one, shaking us to our core.
There is nothing negative or morbid about contemplating death.
The irony of it is that it can make us appreciate how precious and momentary our lives are, changing our behavior in the way that we interact with everything and everyone around us.
Thinking about death will make us live our lives with intention.
None of us want any regrets on our deathbed, that is, if we even make it to old age and a deathbed.
In 2009, Bronnie Ware, a nurse who worked extensively in palliative care, shared her inspiring memoir, titled "Regrets of The Dying", where she talks about the top 5 regrets that her patients shared with her on their deathbeds.
Life is not promised at any moment, which is why it's important for us to really look at what our priorities are and do everything we can in our power to focus on them.
While many say that money is the most important resource that we can ever have, an even rarer resource is the time that we have on this earth. Money can come and go, but time only comes and never returns.
It's important to spend our money wisely, but what is even more important is how we spend our time.
Many of our relationships are transactional, in that we seek what we can get out of another person.
Even though having a relationship like this can benefit us in improving our lives, it doesn't directly bring happiness into our lives, like according to research, volunteering can.
A study conducted in 2008 by the London School of Economics, analyzed the relationship between volunteering and happiness levels in a large group of adults in the U.S., finding that the more people volunteered, the higher their happiness levels were.
Whether it's volunteering at an animal shelter, in a hospice, or working with at-risk youth, we fulfill a need in our hearts to give without an expectation of receiving anything.
As the revered Mahatma Gandhi stated:
"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."
What are some ways that have helped you become aware of what you truly want and desire for your life?
We'd love to hear your thoughts via our comments field below! :)