You Don’t Need To Pay A 30-Year Home Mortgage. You Need A Third Place To Feel Rested.
What’s better in life to have such a cozy home and office? Just a glance at the picture already makes you feel good, right?
Most of us spend over 80% of our time at home and in the office. It seems the environments of these two places largely affect our happiness and mental health.
But what if I told you actually you don’t need to spend a large sum of money for an ambient flat or hop from job to job for a pleasant workplace?
Then you may ask “What other place do I need instead?”
You need a third place. Having a balanced life is as simple as that!
Have you ever wondered why you felt relaxed or uplifted when you’re in cafes, bars or recreation centers? These are the examples of third places suggested by Ray Oldenburg, an American urban sociologist, in his book The Great Place.
While the home and the workplace are defined by Oldenburg as the first place and the second place, the third place means the public area which allows us to gather and have social interactions with others.
When Oldenburg introduced this concept in 1989, he only focused on exploring how the third place helps bring a community together. But a recent study conducted by Dr. Adam Fraser and Deakin University has found that people who visit their third places often have better work-life balance than those who confine their lives to their homes and their workplace.
The reason for this is that they do not only pack their daily schedules with obligations from family and work, but know how to appreciate the little moments in life. In other words, they master the art of living in the present.
The third place makes you mentally stronger and more productive
What’s more surprising is that the study also found that people with their own third places are more resilient and better at dealing with difficult times. Spending time in coffee shops or bars helps them shake off the negative emotions coming from other aspects of their lives.
Even if you’re not the ones who like socialising with strangers, finding your third place still benefit you a lot. Research has shown that everything in coffee shops – the noise, the lighting and the dynamics – creates a favorable environment to boost your creativity and concentration level! That’s why you may find you have more ideas and work faster when you go there alone.
How to find you own third place when there are so many options
If you have no idea of how to find your own third place, you can make use of this 3Rs rule to find a suitable one. That’s great if you’ve already had one! But you can still check to see if your third place is good enough or not:
Traversing your home and your office every day can be a draining experience. Sometimes, you just wish to have a space to reflect on what you do for a whole day. An ideal third place should enable your mind to get into the tranquil and focused mode so you can think more deeply.
Your body will send the signals when you’re in your ideal third place. Say, your mind and your muscles will be in their most relaxing state. Watching a movie at the theatre, taking a walk in nature, or listening to your favourite songs in your car are all good options. Don’t limit your third place to the definition set by Oldenburg, Time has changed and so the definition should change as well. Finding a place that you feel comfortable when being alone is necessary for you to take a rest from your hectic life.
Finally, an ideal third place does not only make you feel relaxed but also energized. It should give you some stimulation so your life has more colors! For example, I usually go to the restaurant where my favourite band performs every Friday after work. Enjoying the delicious foods and the band show there refreshes my mind and gives me more energy for the challenges ahead. This can hardly be gained at home or at work.
Tie your shoelaces and look for your third place now. You’ll find that life doesn’t need to be routinised!
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