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A publication from Medium on personal development.


In Forge. More on Medium.

You don’t have to wait until the weekend to decompress

Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash

There’s a new hope that soon we’ll all be vaccinated and some aspects of life will begin to look more normal. But for many of us, today still feels like a carbon copy of yesterday and the week before and last month. Each day includes three Zoom calls, staring out the window, eating snacks for dinner, and then accidentally checking work emails from the couch at 9 p.m. No wonder we feel burnt out.

The Scandinavian and Nordic countries have a tradition that might just offer some relief: breaking up the workweek with a celebration on Wednesday nights. In Swedish…

🐠 Today’s tip: Visit the ocean for a meditative break (no snorkel needed).

Sometimes meditation can feel like boring homework, but it really doesn’t have to. Here’s one way to turn it into the restorative, refreshing treat it should be: Hang with some jellyfish.

Christina M. Tapper, deputy editor at ZORA, suggests taking 15 minutes to zone out to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s live jellyfish cam. As Tapper puts it: “We all deserve chill vibes to quiet the raucousness around us. Here’s to finding ways to slow down. …

Dog resting on a person’s lap.
Dog resting on a person’s lap.
Photo: gollykim/Getty Images

Hear that? No? Exactly. That’s the silence of a blissfully empty calendar: No meetings, no deadlines, nowhere to be. For the next few days, your only project is to relax. Kick back with a puzzle and a hot mug of something. Oh, and try not to let all that downtime drive you up the wall.

An open expanse of time seems great, in theory. In practice, though, doing nothing and actually enjoying it is a skill that a lot of us just don’t have. As Madison Malone Kircher has explained in Forge, up to half of adults have experienced something…

Photo: mapodile/Getty Images

Would you like to feel very terrible today? Okay, easy! Hunch your shoulders, furrow your brow, and update your preferred news feed as fast as you can while assuming something very terrible is going to happen. Don’t take a break, and whatever you do, don’t breathe deeply.

If, on the other hand, you wish to accept that you don’t actually control the universe just by worrying and would like to feel better and more relaxed, our friends at Elemental have a guided relaxation that you can read or listen to:

This body scan will remind you to acknowledge the stress…

🤔 Today’s tip: To stop overthinking, focus your gaze on one tiny detail.

The French psychoanalyst François Roustang devised a series of techniques to help his patients break their bouts of overthinking. The easiest of these is one you can do anywhere, at any time: Zoom in on a single small detail of a nearby object, like the pattern on a throw rug or the design on your notebook. Allow everything else in your field of vision to fade away. …

Reclaim the odd week hiding in the middle of the holiday season

Photo: Gpointstudio/Cultura/Getty Images

My inbox and I are exhausted. Quite frankly, we’re sick of the sight of each other. For weeks (months?) I’ve been bombarded with emails that seem designed to turbo-charge my stress levels: reminders of flash sales, obligatory holiday events, uncompleted must-dos, and all the holiday season rigamarole that we get sucked into year after year. By late December, my bank account is hemorrhaging, my anxiety is accruing overtime, and I’m just trying to make it from here to the shipping deadline in one piece.

But I do have one pure, uncomplicated source of joy to look forward to, something that…


A publication from Medium on personal development.

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