Taking time out for yourself can feel like such a luxury, between the kids being on summer holiday, work ramping up and social plans now back in full swing, how do you carve out a moment of ‘me time’? If you struggle to get in some downtime because you’re so busy, you will actually benefit most from some time to reset, one of my favorite quotes from Gandhi is “I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one”. Let that sit with you, at first it seems counterintuitive and then we realize actually how useful self care is in terms of our own productivity, think of meditation as the fuel to action, the more you need to get done the more you need to fuel up. It gives you clarity so we don’t get drained by our own mental rumination and can direct our actions more concentratedly to our goals. Here are some practical tools to free up some time to dedicate to wellness
- Write it down
So much of the time what circulates in our mind is trying to keep up with our to-do list, need to catch up with so-and-so, follow up from yesterday’s meeting, get groceries for dinner tonight, reply to that email… the list goes on, we are constantly planning and the more we look ahead the more these things pop up. Rather than them taking mental space, have a note (on your phone, or paper) and write down all the tasks that you’ve yet to tackle, this clear your mind and gives you space to be in the present moment.
- Calendarize the tasks
This is critical to your productivity, most people stop at their to-do list and seeing it always grow no matter how many tasks you strike through leaves your feeling overwhelmed and constantly falling behind, trying to play catch up. This step pairs up priority with each task, when does it need to be done by? How urgent is it? Can it be delegated? Now move your tasks from your to-do list to your calendar, planning when you will set time to complete the tasks, there is ample time for that list to be slotted in, once it’s in your calendar you can rest easy that when the day comes you will complete the task, it takes the pressure off the wild goose chase of needing to get to the elusive bottom of your to-do list.
- Reclaim your mornings
Being a wellness ambassador for the last 15 years I have seen that we can successful build self-care into our lifestyle when we dedicate our mornings for this time. Let’s face it as the day goes by our motivation wanes, other things come up, it’s easier to find excuses and it take a lot more discipline to get to that yoga class/workout/guided meditation. When we can’t uphold our commitment to ourselves, we feel guilty and tend to self-sabotage causing it to be more testing to recommit to our goals. We can only give what we have, so starting your day by filling your cup ensures you can be generous in our interactions with others because it mirrors how you treat yourself.
- Embrace cold showers
Research shows cold showers jumpstarts the immune function, it immediately wakes you up, it replenishes vital organs with fresh oxygenated blood, it regulates your body temperature throughout the day, it tightens your pores, it builds resilience- the list goes on! There is so much evidence favoring cold showers, it’s a great form of self care because it stretches your comfort zone, going through something that you know is good for you but is difficult leaves you with a sense of accomplishment, imagine starting each day feeling a sense of achievement? It’ll surely put you in a winning mindset for the rest of the day!
- Create mindfulness routines
What if we could bring in more awareness to things that we already doing? No extra time needed to sit out and sculpt out a moment for mindfulness, just weave it into your day. As you brush your teeth, notice the sensations in your mouth, how your feet are grounded on the floor, the length of your back. As you walk to/from work find time to go inward, clear your mind of that incessant mental chatter and notice your breathing, synchronize your breath with your step- this is a moving meditation! When you sit down to have a meal, bring your awareness to the tastes and textures as you chew, when it’s time to rest or spend quality time with loved ones consciously put away your devices to create a distraction free zone. Wellness need not be a block of time that is taken away from your day it’s the quality of awareness you imbibe throughout your day.
If you are struggling to fit wellness into your busy lifestyle, where everything feels blended together and you are craving from a moment to pause, we would be happy to help you instill a commitment that percolates into your lifestyle and becomes part of who you are. If we want things to change it start with whether we can take responsibility of who we are being. As part of our dedicated private programs at Inspire Yoga we support your individual commitment by guiding your through each step of movement, mindfulness, and meditation, we show up for you personally and meet you regularly to ensure a successful habit formation, click here to learn more.