The next time you need some downtime, try out one of these downtime actions. Each action has proven feel good benefits
1. Go Screen Free
Going screen free allows us to slow down and focus on the things that matter most, like enjoying the outdoors, spending time with loved ones or giving something new a go. These things lower stress levels, improve relationships and boost wellbeing.
2. Be Active
Exercise is a proven pick-me up. When we exercise endorphins are released into our bloodstream. These are our body’s natural painkillers and have been scientifically proven to lift our mood. If you exercise regularly, it can reduce your stress and symptoms of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, and help with recovery from mental health issues.
3. Enjoy Music
A 2013 study in America, identified that listening to upbeat or cheery music significantly improved a participant’s mood. So put on your favourite Beyonce or Stan Walker track and have a dance.
4. Get Outdoors
What we see, hear and experience can change our mood. Being in nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing. It’s been shown to reduce blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones.
5. Read, Play, Learn
Having a go at something new builds confidence and a healthy mind. In fact learning is so important for our wellbeing that it’s been identified as one of five keys actions we can all do to boost our wellbeing.
Whether it’s finding a new favourite author, learning a new instrument, or mastering your te reo, learning something new stimulates your mind.
Being creative helps kick your brain into gear. Being creative is meditative, according to Lifelabs:
“Taking the time to use our hands, minds, and energy doing something we enjoy and that makes us happy is of highest importance in life. Creativity is fun, and doing anything that brings joy reduces our stress levels and improves our quality of life.”
7. Practice Gratitude
A study of students identified that practicing gratitude increased students’ positive emotions and optimism, decreased their negative emotions and physical symptoms, and made them feel more connected and satisfied with school and with life in general.
8. Savour the Moment
Being mindful allows us to better understand situations, emotions, other people and what is happening around you. It allows us to respond appropriately, rather than just react. It also enables us to get the most out of our lives every day.
Even the little things we do can make a big difference to someone’s day. Doing something nice for a friend, or a stranger, doesn’t just benefit them - being kind produces serotonin and oxytocin, two ‘feel good’ chemicals that help you feel happier, calmer, and more energetic.
One of the best things we can do for our wellbeing is catching up with mates, but in the hustle and bustle of life it can be easy to let this slip.
Chewing the fat or shooting the breeze may seem a bit trivial, but connecting with friends is critical for wellbeing. We all need to make sure we’re finding the time to have a chat, share experiences and check in on our mates.
11. Be Still
Stillness brings you clarity. It draws you into the moment and makes thoughts and ideas clearer than they were before.
A great way to be still is to practice Hikitia te Hā on a daily basis. Doing so can help make you more aware of te hā (the breath) and be more present in each moment.
Get your own Downtime Dice
The downtime dice are now available to purchase here.