8 practices from other countries that will make you feel happier and more productive.

Feeling burnt out is very common nowadays. But remember, commonly doesn't mean normal or ok.

I come from a country where we give time and space to human interactions daily, especially family time. Latin countries are well known for the famous "long naps" or "long lunches," we work the same hours as the people in the United States, just on a different schedule, and we take that time to reset our day.

This is how our day looks like, 8:00 am get to the office, 2:00 to 4:00 pm lunch break (La Comida), we usually go home and eat a freshly cooked meal that we share with the family, sit at the table with no TV. We take two hours because we cook, we eat and we talk. We rarely eat out unless we have a business lunch or a party.

Then we go back to our office from 4:00 to 8:00.

It looks like a long day, but we cut it in half, unwind, and the afternoon goes very fast. At night, we go home, eat a very late dinner (eating late for me is hard), and spend more time with the family; this is a typical day (if you live in Mexico, City.. That is a different story).

Countries like Italy or Spain also dedicate time for an afternoon coffee or a walk in the plaza.

However, I think we are missing human interaction and rest. Monday to Friday is dedicated to working with almost no rest or leisure; we want to be perceived as productive and responsible individuals. So we have only the weekends to recharge. Life needs love, friendship, and rest every day. If we are happy, we are more creative and productive. Balance is not only about spending time in the office and the house; similarly, it is more about balancing stressful situations with resting time and connection.

We can adopt some of these practices from other countries in our schedule to brighten our life.

These are a few things we can do to improve our happiness and creativity during our work-life:

  1. Try not to schedule meetings at lunchtime.

  2. Eat with your colleagues.

  3. Do not eat while working.

  4. Step away from your desk while eating

  5. If you need alone time, look for a peaceful area to eat your lunch; big plus if you can eat outdoors.

  6. If you feel lonely and need company, and nobody is around, use technology; facetime somebody, and share your lunch.

  7. Meditate

  8. Use breathing techniques throughout the day

Human connection is food for the soul. You will feel happier and calmer if you use some of these techniques.

In my life philosophy, everything is food; books are food for the brain, good friends are food for the heart, calm and relaxation are food for your spirit. So feed your life with good and positive things.

Learn to take breaks; it's ok.

Love & light


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