By Celia O’Grady
If the pace of your life has speeded up to 200 miles an hour, and you can’t reach the bottom of the to-do list, just slow down. When you are passing yourself out, find the eye of the storm to rest in. Here are some easy ways to do this:
Take a power nap. Ten or fifteen minutes will do to recharge your batteries, reduce stress and get your creativity going. Press reset and allow your body to pause and re-boot.
Get outside. Get outside, move your body and take in some fresh air. Do a walking meditation, focusing on your breath for twenty minutes, bring the kids to the park or just put one foot in front of the other. Blow away the cobwebs, calm the mind, and give yourself time to think.
Make a cuppa. Tea rituals are use all over the world, but often we take our tea on the move – take the time to savour the moment. Drink some decaf chamomile or green tea instead of that strong cup of coffee.
Put on some music. Music is food for the soul and is a super relaxer. Play something soothing to calm the mind, or play something lively to dance to, if you are in need of an energy boost. It clears the mind and allows you to think and focus better, and cheers you up if you need it.
Do one thing at a time. Your brain can only focus on one thing at a time, so multi-tasking although I do it all the time, is really a fallacy. Stop, take a deep breath, decide what you need to do and the order in which you will do it, then start with the first task, and follow through one at a time, focusing on each. If you get side tracked, say ‘I’ll come to it’ and continue what you are doing, completing each job well.
Indulge in fresh colourful fruits and veggies. Indulge in the sights and smells of colourful fruits and vegetables at a local farmers’ market. Treat your taste buds to some invigorating spices and natural sugars to get your blood sugar naturally balanced without processed sugars and genetically modified ingredients.
Create a tech-free zone for at least an hour or two, one day a week. Unplug the laptop, IPad, Blackberry, phone or whatever has you hooked up and connected to cyberspace. Go on a technology detox and feel your nervous energy calm down. Watching a movie does not have the same drain on your nervous system as cyberspace has. Imagine…how restful that would be, just one hour a week.
Give up some to-dos. You know this is a bit like throwing out a few t-shirts, it can easily be done, without ever missing them. Put off some stuff that absolutely doesn’t need to be done today. Scratch a few things off your list. It doesn’t mean you’re lazy – even Superwoman needs a break.
Learn how to say no, gently. If you have a hard time with this, get out your diary and make a list of what serves you, and what drains you. Cut back the ‘drains me’ list to an absolute minimum. If there is stuff on the list that is not possible to cut out (say it’s cooking meals for your elderly parent), then ask for help. If you don’t ask, you don’t get, and you deserve a break once in a while. Caregivers especially need to stay in very good health and spirits.
Play more. When life is all work and no play, I am a very dull girl. Loosen up, get out the Wii game and beat the kids at it. Try ‘Just Dance’, work up a sweat and let your inner Lady Gaga out to play. Moms need to learn from Dads sometimes (who know how to do this) – ignore the pile of laundry for one hour, or even a day and go outside.
Ground yourself. When things go spinning out of control, take drastic measures and close the door to your bedroom or office. Sit with feet planted on the floor, and breathe, bringing your energy down from your head to your lower tummy. Plug yourself into the earth, and remind yourself you are doing a good job. Everything is fine. Reconnect youself to your inner core, sit with your back resting against the chair, and feel each breath out, grow longer, than the breath in. This will bring you to a peaceful place and in tune with the rhythm of your body, it slows down your heart rate and allows your mind to unhook from anxiety or worry. A few minutes does the trick.
Give yourself a break and remember You are amazing.
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