When was the last time you woke up, rushed to take a shower, quickly put on your clothes, grabbed breakfast, and flew out the door, only to be stuck in traffic. Then spend your whole day feeling overwhelmed with all the work to be done at your job and then you rush home, through tons of traffic, make dinner and then flop in to bed, only to do it again tomorrow!
Oh, that was today!
Whew! I am tired just writing about it!
Unfortunately, many of us have created a life that is filled with stress, rushing around, and very little time for yourself.
What if there were simple things you could do to help slow down your day, make you more effective and give you more time for that massage you been meaning to get?
It is true! I used to be just like you, rushing everywhere, always tired and overwhelmed, and never having time for myself.
I am going to share 6 simple things that have changed my life. I have spent a lot of time reading and learning from many wonderful leaders who have taught me many things about finding balance. While each person will put their own spin on the 6 things below, I believe that if you begin to incorporate them in to your life you will begin to see your life shift back in to balance.
1. Start each day with intention.
Each morning I wake up and spend time preparing for my day. It only takes 2 - 5 minutes but I have come to believe it is the most powerful 2 - 5 minutes of my day.
As I begin my morning I think about how I want to BE during my day. An example is I want to be organized, clear, abundant, peaceful, happy and joyful.
Then from that mindset, as if I was already those things, I imagine myself in my day, getting ready, driving to work, completing tasks at work, and then coming home to dinner and some relaxation. I see myself doing the daily tasks with success, peace and being joyful. Feel your emotions as you complete things with ease and success.
This takes practice but it is a very powerful tool to invite positive energy and intention in to your day.
2. Take 2 Minutes to Breathe.
If you have taken yoga, or practiced meditation, you will have experienced the power of your breath. Throughout your day when you feel the stress begin to rise like the ocean tide; stop and breathe.
Take long slow breaths. Breathe in to the count of 8, pause, and then breathe out to the count of 8. Continue for 7-10 breaths. You will feel your heart rate slow, you mind will calm and you will feel a peace come over you.
By doing this you elicit your parasympathetic nervous system which calms the fight-or-flight syndrome that is activated by your stress. You can do this anywhere and it only takes a minute.
We all know that exercise is good for you, however, some days, and sometimes most days, exercise seems to be just out of reach.
Try setting a timer at your desk for 45 – 60 minutes and get up and walk around the office, go to the bathroom, or go get a drink of water. You could park further from the front door, take the stairs, and maybe take 10 minutes of your lunch to walk. Even if you cannot get to the gym, or go out for that long walk, or run, you can move throughout your day and your body will thank you for it.
4. Say No Gracefully
Imagine you get a call, it your child’s school, they need cupcakes tomorrow, but wait you have a huge project due at work and it is soccer night, but you still find yourself saying yes!!! You hang up the phone and moan! How are you going to get everything done!
Practice saying no gracefully. You need to remember that you are not the only person who can make cupcakes and serving others should be a pleasure. If you find you are over extending yourself, doing things because you do not feel good saying no, then it is time to re-evaluate. When we say yes out of obligation, and not out of a place of giving, then we shift the energy and neither party receives the full benefit.
Take time and write out several ways to say no gracefully. (Thank you very much for thinking of me but, unfortunately, I will not be able to _____. However, please keep me in mind for something like this in the future.) Practice them with your partner, or in the mirror, until you feel comfortable saying no. Setting boundaries will help you find balance that you need so you can serve on another day when it will be a pleasure, not a chore.
5. Whole Food = Whole Life
Have you ever heard the saying “you are what you eat?” When we eat whole food, food that is close to what nature intended, then you are fueling your body with whole life. No matter which diet theory you assign yourself to, paleo, plant based, vegan, Keto, etc., it all boils down to eating whole, fresh foods. You can keep it simple and eat it mostly raw, or you can cook, but the idea is for the food to be fresh, local/organic if possible, and rich in colors and flavors.
One of my favorite tools to use with my clients is the gratitude journal. I have had clients report improvement in their depression, sleep, anxiety and break through weight plateaus when keeping a gratitude journal.
The goal is to find 3 things that happen during the day which you are grateful for. It should be small things like flowers, sunshine, someone who offered you a parking space at the mall, or someone who smiled and made you feel good.
The idea is to shift the way you look at your day from focusing on the negative things, to noticing the positive things. I believe there are infinitely more positive things that happen during the day but as a society we are so drawn to the negative that we miss many positive, even miracles, that happen each day.
This exercise can be written in a journal or something that a family can do together at the dinner table, or before bed. What a wonderful way to build positive bonds with your family through a time where you pause for a few minutes and share positive things that you are grateful for.
Choose one or two of the suggestions and start incorporating them in to your life. Making small
incremental changes will lead to big changes leading to the balance you crave in your life. I wish you the best as you take these ideas and make them your own by modifying them to meet your needs and personality.
Share below what you do to keep your life in balance.