Got Action? Simple Ideas for Adult Time Out

By: Christopher Pyle

I worked at a place where the boss handed out a book with the biggest and most genuine smile I'd ever seen on her face. The book was a smaller, large font, hardback talking about the new workplace and how to be a new worker. The gist, don't whine, do more, work harder and enjoy it or hit the road. She thought it was revolutionary, I thought it was a sad declaration. Unfortunately, some 10-years later, many workers, many of you and myself are finding ourselves working away, recording longer hours than ever before and we're not being directly compensated for these efforts. All too frequently these are behaviors to protect ourselves from being fired or downsized. More and more we're spending our time, off the clock but on the job. Where has the weekend gone? Are you having fun?
All of this is exhausting. And if we could only be heard, we could stand up and demonstrate with study after study that proves employees are more productive when they're rested, supported and working in a positive environment. You needn't have a degree in psychology to see this is true, think about the last time you were complimented, by ANYONE. How did you feel? If it was a stranger complimenting your look, did you have a spring in your step? A smile, did a smile sneak across your face? Did you find yourself wanting to pay it forward? Last time you complimented someone, did you notice a boost in warmth/kindness in that relationship. Each time I compliment my daughter, I end up with an 'I love you dad' and a hug at some point in the next few hours.
Look to other countries as examples as well. Many European countries are proactive in making sure their workforce has 'holiday'. Many of the travelers I've met have upwards of 6-weeks of leave each and every year. In Asian countries it's not uncommon to see the workforce exercising together at their place of employment. We've heard of the 'siesta'. Many Latin based cultures close in the afternoon, for siesta, the businesses close down and folks relax.
When you cannot take a moment for yourself, you cannot. I understand this. Frequently I hear people in my ear, 'you've got to take time off, you've got to do this, you've got to go walk...' and sometimes I simply cannot. I understand, as well as anyone how difficult it is to carve out YOU time. No matter how difficult, we cannot argue with the benefits of recharging, taking time out for ourselves, recharging. It is good for us and we need to make time for us.
The quickest, most basic of getaways can be extremely rejuvenating. Get up early and take a stroll with your favorite cup of coffee. At work, get away from the office, take a walk. Take a mini vacation on the weekend, somewhere on the cheap. Head for the hills if you live on the coast and to the coast if you live in the hills, or to a lake, etc. Time away is supposed to be simple and easy to adjust too. We're people who've given all this up and constantly have our noses on the proverbial grindstone. We're looking for little steps, for a balancing of your time.
Now, if your wallet is a bit healthier, look to something new, something a bit more challenging than a local getaway. Do something completely new, to get in and around new people, to experience new things and stimulate new personal growth. Try the Sierra Club or 20/30 Club. If you're really looking for something new, like a recent client told me, then try an adult summer camp. Adult meaning age and not anything that would require the movie rating company. Get to an adventure camp and have fun moving again, meeting new people and experiencing much personal empowerment.
Adventure trips are excellent sources of entertainment and extremely cathartic. For many of the same reasons as they're positive for kids, they're positive for adults. You get to meet new people. You get to challenge yourself and set new mental limits as to what you are and are not capable of accomplishing. You'll swell with pride as you overcome obstacles. You'll be surrounded by the best, most engaging staff you could ever hope to find. You'll have a bit of the finer aspects of life as someone cooks and prepares your meals for you. And you'll get out of the concrete walls that surround so many of us and get back into the fresh air of Mother Nature. It's really an excellent place to get normalized.
Are you having fun? You should be. You're logging all those hours for something. It took me a long while and a lot of loss to realize, I'm happier if I create a bit of balance. Heck, it's not easy. Even scheduling in ME time can be stressful, but I found, only in the beginning did I experience this stress. I was just like you. I worked around the clock. Ate meals over the computer, spent all weekends creating, tweaking and performing. Oh, I "succeeded", but at what cost? A minor heart hiccup, a hundred pounds around the middle, zero personal life, not much family life and a funk as the economy took a nose dive no matter how much time I logged.
I've been carving out the little time, getting balanced, getting healthier again. I've done some of the things suggested above. I think for all the talking heads on television and in our radios telling us to do this and avoid that, far too few of them are reminding us, to do for us. It is our lives we're leading after all. So, get out, do something for you, no matter how small. Today, I rode my bike for 40-minutes with my teenage daughter, best time I had all weekend. It was free, it was only 40-minutes but it was good. The rest of the weekend, I've been on this computer!

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Welcome to our 20th year Anniversary Celebration! Action Whitewater is taking 20% off every trip in celebration of 2-decades of quality American River raft trips on the American River. Owned by Christopher Pyle, a guide of 24-years, AWA is geared and focused on providing you the best experience to be had on the river, from equipment to crew, we're all about you!

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