Ten self-enlightenment activities for your work week

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Photo by Lux.musica.khaos via Flickr

Photo by Lux.musica.khaos via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0

For many San Diegans, the week is filled with mountains of stress in regards to work, school, kids, relationships, etc., and we forget that there is a whole world out there waiting to be experienced.

Things like planet conservation, mind and body health, cultural awareness and creative outlets seem to fade into a background mirage of things we once took notice of, but no longer have the energy to make important.

Expanding your mind to think and learn about things that do not involve personal problems can help alleviate stress as well as improve self esteem and your overall quality of life. Here are ten easy and accessible ways to encourage self-enlightenment within your work week, and your life. Good news is, they are all local, non-intrusive weekly activities that you can afford on any budget.

1.    Go outside

Sounds simple enough, but many don’t get enough time outside. Being in an office 40 hours a week can really separate us from the reality of nature. Getting much needed fresh air is a simple way to help you clear your head.

The Entertainer recommends taking a Saturday trip to San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. They offer free nature walks with a trained Naturalist on Saturdays. The walks begin at 10 a.m. so you even have a little time to sleep in before you watch the beautiful scenery in this local habitat.

2.    Stretch

The benefits of Yoga have been well documented for hundreds of years. During crazy times, mental health is very important to stay positively motivated. With the holiday season right around the corner, we recommend taking a Yoga class.

At the Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga facility, located 3301 Adams Avenue in Normal Heights, you can take classes to learn how to reduce stress through stretching, mind exercises and proper breathing techniques. They even offer a free meditation class every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m..

3.    Get away (physically or mentally)

Sometimes all we need to relieve tension is an escape. Let go of your troubles and take your mind to the shores of Hawaii. The Ukulele Society of America teaches people how to play the Ukulele and Hula dance every Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at the Ocean House located off of Carlsbad Village Drive. Not only are the lessons free, but the sunset you can catch at the beach afterwards is free as well!

4.    Get moving

If Hula dancing isn’t your style, you can head out to the California Center for the Arts located in the heart of Escondido, and take up some Ballroom and Latin dance classes. Classes are Tuesdays at 7 and 8 p.m. and cost $10 per single session, or $8 if you pay monthly. The physical activity can also be counted as a fun cardio workout, which also reduces muscle tension due to stress. Sure beats the mile that you never ran.

5.    Try something new

If you really want to test out your cultural awareness, try Cajun and Zydeco dancing on Tuesday nights. Classes are offered at 7 p.m. and then open dancing for all is at 8 p.m. at Teo Leo’s in Linda Vista. Figuring out where to grab a yummy margarita and some authentic Mexican food after your class shouldn’t be a problem!

6.    Volunteer

Doing something that benefits others can motivate us as individuals to achieve our own success. Instead of heading to a fancy restaurant that will have no problem reaching their quota for the night, why not get a 5 course meal for $15, and support a worthy cause?

Grossmont College’s Culinary Arts students present deliciously gourmet 5-course meals on Thursdays (ending November 5th) in an effort to help fund aspirations to head to national cooking competitions. The money will also help stock their kitchen with supplies that they desperately need to keep running the program. For reservations call 619-644-7550 or 619-644-7549.

7.    Have a laugh

Don’t you just hate those days when you seem to be the butt of life’s worst jokes? Comedy Under Construction has your back, and a cure for your bad day blues: cheap laughter! They have an improv comedy show every Wednesday at 8 p.m. until November 18th. The show is located at Café Libertalia in Hillcrest and admission is only $5. For a couple bucks, money can buy happiness.

8.    Get creative

Certain kinds of professionals forget to use the creative parts of their brains. Creating something visually stimulating can make you feel proud and enlightened, especially when it is something out of your realm of ordinary.

Our suggestion, try Yumi Rakers; they offer Sogetsy style Ikebana classes, which are classes in making Japanese flower arrangements. Classes are held at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. The sessions begin at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday’s and are $15 a piece or $40 for three.  This experience will only be offered until October 27th, so if you are interested you should call 619-232-2721 today to register.

9.    Go fish

Whether you have or have not fished before, fishing can be a fun and relaxing outdoor activity. If you’re a novice, the Entertianer suggests test your skills fishing for Bass up to 7 pounds! The activity is strictly catch-and-release and is offered on Friday through Sunday at the Cottonwood Golf Club Bar and Restaurant in Rancho San Diego. It is $10 a person and is open to all ages, which makes it a dynamic and educational opportunity for the whole family.

10.    Go green

Being busy can often mean neglecting things that would otherwise be important to us. It is hard to be an efficient employee, nurturing mother, caring father, and good student as it is, let alone thinking about being an environmentally sustainable human being.

An easy way to tap into being more eco-conscious is to visit and purchase from local Farmer’s Markets. At the Mission Valley Farmer’s Market there is an Eco-Fair where representatives from green companies and organizations offer easy tips to decrease our daily carbon footprint on the delicate earth. The Market is open on Fridays from 3-7 p.m. and ends November 6th.

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