Photo by DillonH
We’re all too busy to fit everything we want to into our day. Over-committed and over-stressed, we rush from one task to the next with little thought for our own well being. And yet, we all want to be calm, peaceful and happy. Here are five ways to show yourself a little love and squeeze some peace into your busy day.
Sit, breathe and reflect. Take a step back from rushing and emotional intensity and allow yourself a few minutes introspection. You could watch your thoughts, or your breath, or set a timer and free-write for ten minutes. Literally sit and pour your brain onto a page, write out your thoughts, your ideas, your worries, whatever is on your mind let it flow onto the paper. Then sit back and savour the relief and clarity that comes from externalising your thoughts.
Yoga, meditation and walking in nature can leave you feeling calm and content in the knowledge that you're doing something to take care of yourself, even 10 minutes can make a big difference to your day. Get up ten minute early and start your day with a breath focused meditation. For improved sleep and boosting your immunity try an oil massage, or wind down with a guided stress relief exercise before you drift off to sleep.
Take time out before bed each night to affirm "I am grateful for..." even if you only do it for a minute this simple routine will help you end your day with a grateful heart and peaceful mind. Going to sleep with a grudge or a gripe will spoil the quality of your sleep so be sure to make a habit of settling down with some thanks even if it's for the most basic liberties like company, food and shelter.
If you have an iPod or mp3 player, make yourself a peaceful playlist. You could use classical music, music for relaxation, self-hypnosis, or supportive podcasts. Anything you feel puts you in a good state of mind.
My iTunes library has several "mood" playlists set up with different themes: relaxing, meditation, music for writing, devotional music, lectures and pep-talk podcasts. I’m listening to my “writing support” playlist as I write this - that’s the one that keeps me going when I’ve got an article to finish and my mind’s thinking of lunch.
While it’s good to be supportive and lend an ear to a friend in need, it’s also important to look after yourself by keeping balanced company. Spending too much time with people who are stressed or depressed will eventually affect you negatively too. Make sure you spend time every day with someone uplifting. If you can’t be with them in person, call them and share a sweet exchange. Positive company can also come from people you don’t even know. Look out for authors, inspiration speakers, or even a personal development coach whose energy, mood, and values are in tune with your own goals and aspirations. You can listen while driving, washing dishes, or preparing meals, and turn chore time into a time of learning and positive reflection.