Written by : Deborah K. Heisz 

Find the Good: Keep the Recharge Button at the Ready

As we ride the final wave of summer into early fall, join me in appreciating the grit and joie de vivre of San Diego’s Jojo, a surfing corgi who recovered from a brutal, nearly fatal dog attack through water therapy and taking up surfing with his person, Josephine Zosa. Jojo has his own Instagram account @supercorgi_jojo with more than 82,000 followers and growing.

He’s entered—and even won—surf competitions and gives back by volunteering as a therapy dog for the military and in hospitals and nursing homes. Jojo is one more example of how trauma can bring out our greatest strengths.

It’s Time to Put You on the To-Do List

So what do you do when the day’s challenges start to get you down? (Other than watching corgi videos, that is?) At my house, we’re all coming off simpler summer schedules, sending the kids back to school and trying to get everyone charged up for the action-packed fall routine.

It’s the ideal time for a reminder to take care of ourselves as the calendar fills up with meetings; holiday planning; soccer and basketball practice or Scouts meetings for the kids. In the morning rush it may seem easier to skip that 3-mile run to get everything done on time, but don’t forget, taking care of yourself not only brings good things to you but also to the rest of your family.

I’m not perfect at taking care of myself, either. Yet there is a certain element of prioritizing—building into your schedule—the things that make your life worthwhile, like exercising regularly, not always eating on the go and savoring moments of quiet where you can find them. Getting the kids to bed on time can help with that last one.

But there are bigger things you can plan for, too.

We just got back from a huge vacation; we went on a cruise to Alaska for a week. It was important to do that because for me, if I don’t check out enough, it’s really hard to maintain that intensity that’s required to do my regular job the rest of the year.

To work, to be involved in my community, to get my kids from place to place, I need that recharge button. And I find so much more good in recognizing that! For one, my kids saw me in a more relaxed mode that opened up more opportunities to connect and just have fun. We were still active, running, biking and sightseeing, but it was important that I was engaged with them and not on my phone or computer.

I think most people overlook the good in taking a break. The benefit is in hitting the reset button  so I can give work my all when I get back. It helps me look at the “must do’s” in a much more positive light, because I took the time to take care of myself. Because I’m never going to get to the bottom of my to-do list…I promise.

How many times have you heard “work hard, play hard?” But who really does?…I don’t see that many people actually incorporate it. You have to make play as much of a priority as the work.

The Boss Says…Take Your Vacation!

There are so many people who leave their vacation days unused. In my own company as CEO, I stand up and say, “Schedule your vacation; I’ve already scheduled mine,” and I mean it. People kind of look at me like, “What’s the catch?”

This Travel+Leisure article cites an Allianz Travel Insurance study that reports 51 percent of the population—or about 129 million people—say they’ve gone a full year without taking a vacation. And the number of people who said they were confident they would take a vacation within the year—48 percent—is at the lowest rate it’s been since 2010.

So take the time, take a vacation. More importantly, those weeks you’re not on vacation? Take time to take care of yourself because if you don’t, you’re no good for anybody. The good that you’ll bring to the world is worth it.

 Be a Happy Activist

Our September #HappyAct is setting a positive goal for yourself. Try running for 30 minutes straight, cooking more meals at home, taking a mental health day or anything that builds you up to better handle life’s challenges. A sense of accomplishment will boost your joy, connection with others and overall well-being.

On the #HappyAct front, this was one of my favorite recent kindhearted acts: A Louisiana grocery store clerk, Jordan Taylor, let autistic teen Jack Ryan help him stock a cooler with orange juice for more than half an hour after Jack showed an interest in helping. The story gets even better with a GoFundMe campaign to help Jordan raise money for college.