It’s impossible to deny the steadily building air of excitement as summer approaches: days are getting longer, Colleagues and bosses are sneaking out earlier in anticipation of half-day Fridays, and we’re finding ourselves eagerly planning out summer weekends long before they even round the corner on our calendars.
With this long-awaited transition, it’s the perfect time to reflect on our passions, priorities and the way in which we can allocate our free time most effectively to that which brings us the most internal reward.
After all, there is no time like the summer to give ourselves a moment to refocus our energy, and expand beyond the strict and ever-demanding confines of the office and professional responsibility. With this in mind, there are a few ways we can effectively build time into our lives that is dedicated to the pursuit of our passions, those all-important outlets for reducing stress.
1. Write a “Passion List”
Take a moment to truly think about and document the things which bring you the most happiness and mental, emotional or physical reward. What matters most to you, outside of work and daily demands? When was the most fun you’ve had in recent time? What were you doing? If money wasn’t an object, what would you spend your life doing? What do you find yourself wishing you could do more of on a regular basis? Ultimately, identify what it is that you truly love to do.
Using these questions as the framework, put together a list of of things that satisfy your personal passions and happiness. The act of writing these ideas out on paper, helps to solidify their relevance and tangibility, instead of allowing them to constantly get swept away by competing thoughts or stress.
2. Create Space
Once you’ve identified and acknowledged your passion(s), set aside the time to explore those components of your life for 10 to 15 minutes each day and write it into your agenda or calendar. Start small, and remember that if you already spend 20 minutes scrolling through Instagram each morning or over lunch break, you can create space for this.
Whether it’s first thing in the morning, or later at night, make this time as much of a dedicated habit and commitment as work or your other daily responsibilities. Once you get into a groove, continue to add to that time, progressively cultivating that passion and refining your personal process of prioritizing it in your life every day.
3. Prioritize Energy
Energy is our most important currency. While we aren’t always in complete control of the energy which exists around us (in the case of workplace scenarios or public interactions), we do have a say in what energy we prioritize.
Be kind to your mind with the cultivation of a positive environment. Ensure you not only create space for what matters most to you, but also make an effort to surround yourself with likeminded, passionate people who positively impact your life and align with your intentions. Cherish those connections with people who continuously inspire, support and motivate you towards your best self. Do this and you will, without a doubt, internalize that positive energy and momentum to reflect within your own passions this summer, and beyond.