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Relax to Excel: Leveraging Leisure for Personal and Professional Growth

As we dust off the remnants of the Victoria Day fireworks, it’s clear that summer is knocking at our door—a season synonymous not just with ice creams and suntans but also with a golden opportunity for personal reinvention. Often seen merely as a pause from the daily grind, leisure is actually a powerful catalyst for personal and professional growth.  Taking time to relax and unwind is a vital part of enhancing our productivity and creativity.

The Science Behind Relaxation and Growth

Did you know that when we relax, our brains switch gears to a more creative and expansive mode of thinking? It’s called “diffuse thinking,” and it’s where our minds wander freely, making unexpected connections. This relaxed mental state is a fertile ground for solving tricky problems and sparking fresh ideas. It’s like giving your brain permission to play outside its usual sandbox, leading to insights you wouldn’t find in the hustle of daily routines.

Leisure Activities That Promote Growth

So, how do we make the most of this? Here are some of my favorite ways to infuse leisure with a dash of growth:

Nature Escapes: Whether it’s hiking, kayaking, or just a quiet walk in the park, being in nature can reset our stress levels and boost our creativity. It’s not just about burning calories; it’s about giving our minds space to breathe and roam.

Mindful Practices: Yoga and meditation are my go-to activities for grounding. They help refine our focus and emotional resilience, essential for tackling challenges both in and out of the office.

New Hobbies: Ever thought about learning the guitar or perhaps a bit of salsa dancing? Summer is the perfect time to start. Engaging in new and challenging activities is a fantastic way to enhance cognitive flexibility—plus, it’s fun!

Integrating Leisure with Learning

Integrating learning into your free time doesn’t mean you can’t still unwind. I have a few favourite ways of blending these two.

Inspirational Reads and Podcasts: Choose books and podcasts that are light enough for the beach but enriching enough to feed your mind. Something that makes you think but in a way that feels like a conversation with an old friend.

Workshops and Meet-ups: Keep an eye out for any casual learning events around—maybe a photography class or a cookout where you can learn to grill like a pro. These settings are perfect for relaxed learning and connecting with others, and I have met a couple of my best friends in a baking class.

Travel as Learning: If you’re traveling, dive into the local culture. Try a cooking class in Italy or join a historical tour. These experiences are not just enjoyable—they’re educational gold mines that broaden our worldview.

Benefits of a Balanced Approach

Balancing leisure with learning isn’t just about making the most of our time—it’s about enriching our lives. Those who manage to find this balance often find themselves more fulfilled and energized. They come back from vacations not just rested, but inspired and ready to take on the world.

As we spread out our beach towels and prep our grills for the sunny days ahead, I’m making a personal pledge to not just unwind, but to weave growth into every moment of respite. I am committing to turning quiet moment into an opportunity for growth.  How about you? Let’s make a pact to not only recharge our bodies but to also inspire our minds.This will be be an unforgettable summer!

About Author

Anne is a strategist who is passionate about developing and implementing best-in-class strategies for growth and innovation. A global executive with the experience of working with the most influential brands around the world, she has provided insights and strategies to for long term growth in brand equity and profitability. To Anne, her work has to be purposeful. As a true believer of human potential, she is passionate about bringing Learn2 participant-driven experiences to more organizations and leaders to create a positive impact in their growth.


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