Summer Productivity Tips: Stay Cool and be More Productive
It’s summer in New York City again and if you’re hot and bothered, you won’t be at your productive best. During the “dog days” of summer (whatever that means), here are some tips so you can keep your cool – both figuratively and literally.
Chill Out – tips to reduce stress
In times of stress, anxiety and anger, the body’s fight or flight response kicks in, setting off a variety of physical reactions that reduce your ability to perform at your best. Everything you do will take more time, require more energy, and will be more likely to contain errors.
In the heat of the moment, follow these tips to keep your cool:
Yes, taking deep breaths really does help calm you down – it lowers your heart rate, relaxes you, sends oxygen to the blood and brain, and helps counter the effects of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.
Think relaxing thoughts or just focus on your breath and you’ll get the benefits of a mini meditation.
Speak softly and your tone of voice will have a calming effect on you and on others. Do not, however, carry a big stick. (Couldn’t resist that – even if the “humor” in these posts is sometimes just for me!)
Even a brief walk around the block or down the hallway can help vent your heated emotions.
When you find yourself thinking stressful thoughts, do something to switch gears and literally change your mind: turn on some music, chat with a co-worker, walk into a different room, have a snack or watch something ridiculous on YouTube.
Even a few minutes of positive distraction can make a difference. Just don’t call a friend and re-hash the stressful situation.
This is a more long-term tip, but make sure that on a regular basis – at least a few times a week – you are doing activities that are relaxing. This will make it easier to deal with stressful situations when they inevitably occur.
A few suggestions if you are relaxation-starved: spending time in nature, taking a nap, hanging out with friends or family, reading, pursuing a hobby, getting a massage.
Gain some perspective
Focus beyond the event that’s stressing you out and think about the bigger picture. Recall all the things that are going well in your life. If you have to, remind yourself that you’re better off than most people on the planet. I’m also a big fan of the mantra “This too shall pass”. It will.
Stay cool – tips to beat the heat
Ice Ice Baby
No time for a dip in the pool? Wrap some ice cubes in a cloth and hold against your wrists – or just run cold water over them. This will cool your blood and bring down your body temperature.
There’s a reason watermelon is a great summer snack – the water and nutrients in it hydrate your cells and help regulate your internal thermostat to keep you cooler. Plus, watermelon is one of the few fruits that tastes better when it’s really cold.
Apparently when we see the color blue, our body temperature actually goes down. Who knew?
A hint of mint
Chew some gum or have a mint; the scents of spearmint, peppermint and cinnamon have an impact on your sensory perception and make your brain think it’s cooler than it is.
GO DO IT!
Try a few of these tips when you’re feeling hot and unproductive and see if they help you re-gain your cool and re-focus on the task at hand.
Let me know how it goes! I love hearing about the info that makes a difference for you – and I’m here to help with any challenges.
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