If you’re like many, your life is go-go-go. You do your best to balance family, friends, social life, work and other obligations. The expectations that you and others place on you are always there. Making it all work well may seem challenging but you the best you can and at least try to stay aware of when you are overloaded, overwhelmed and have taken on too much.
What you want to avoid if possible is chronic stress, nibbling at your emotional, relationship and physical health. Much of what we all do is possibly necessary on some level (work, shopping to feed the family, staying connected to the people who matter) so let’s look at a few ways to counteract the impact of your own “pressure cooker,” whatever it looks like for you. The goal is to periodically throughout your day do a reset of sorts and get grounded. You need some tools. And they need to be usable in a few minutes at a time to be doable, especially for those who go-go-go.
So simple, but so helpful. Try a few of them.
- Allow Yourself to Do Nothing: Many people are ruled by their “to-do” lists and obligations to others. Take five minutes to do absolutely nothing. Shut down, close or mute all forms of digital or electronic communication. Then you have a few choices; stare at the wall, close your eyes, look out the window, lay on the floor, meditate get in whatever position feels relaxing to you. Quiet the inner voice that might be whispering, “I should be doing…” Shhh. Breathe…
- Clear Away Some Clutter: Environmental clutter can often exacerbate mental clutter. For five minutes de-clutter one of your spaces; your car, office or home. For many, the act of cleaning and streamlining their place they spend a lot of time feels relaxing.
- Get it Out on Paper: There can be a lot of relaxing power of putting thoughts to paper. Use a small journal, spiral notebook or a loose scrap of paper for five minutes of relaying your thoughts and feelings about whatever is relevant at the moment. It doesn’t need to make sense, or have any kind of flow. Taking the time to express yourself via written word. It can bring clarity which can also be relaxing.
All of the above tools can also be used as mini mindfulness practices. The more you are able to take stress and activity breaks throughout your day and “drop into the now,” the more successful you’ll being at maintaining a more relaxed flow to your day.