“I’m SO busy!”
“We have a busy weekend.”
“We are so busy at work.”
We hear it ALL the time! The reality is we are as busy as we make ourselves out to be. We can work as hard or as little as we want. We can do as much or as little as we want.
Here are a couple of ways to take time out in your day to get away from the busy, at least for a little…
1. Yoga. It’s our pause button. It is time away from distraction. It’s time away from our phones. We need it. Period. We all know how good we feel after a great practice. Make time for your space on your mat. It will not only help you, but help and effect others around you as well.
2. Breathe. Take a couple of moments a day to just breathe. Whether you are sitting in your car at a red light or in line at the grocery store, put your phone down and take some breaths.
3. Meditation. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. You don’t need to meditate for a half hour a day, all you need is 5 minutes. 5 minutes of meditation is more than what you are doing now so that is a great place for you to start! Find a quiet place, maybe it’s sitting in your car at Wegman’s. Or maybe it’s in a crowded airport and you are waiting for your flight. Instead of habitually scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, switch your phone to “do not disturb,” set your timer for 5 minutes and start to take some deep breaths. Eyes open or closed. Your choice.
Meditation doesn’t have to be done with the eyes closed. Meditation helps us focus and find the breath and use it to clear the mind a little bit. I love meditating with my eyes open. I do it all the time. I listen to audio books a lot and sometimes when I feel the mind racing, I get in the car and turn the radio off, put the windows down and drive. I try not to think about anything except my breath and the scenery around me.
Concentrated, focused people are happier in general. Meditation helps us focus and concentrate on one thing instead of 234,000 things that wanna race through the mind all at once. Taking time to meditate and slow down has amazing benefits. Start doing it every day to see what transpires for yourself. For me, I feel calmer and I sleep better on days I meditate. Pretty awesome, huh?
4. Disconnect. Put the phone down! We are SOOO attached to these devices, even our kids are too! We are scrolling and texting and reading constantly on these devices. So much so that we see more drivers looking down these days than up because of texting and surfing the web!!! Are we really that important that we have to take our eyes off the road, put ourselves and others in danger to respond to a text or scroll through Facebook? Wow. We need to acknowledge it and put a stop to it.
No wonder we are stressed, tired, overwhelmed etc. We are bombarded with info constantly. And most of that info is coming in on one device. The one device that is our GPS, our camera, our life line, our calendar, our calculator, our flash light, our dictionary, our weather channel… the list goes on. You get the point. Take time in the day to step away from it. In our house, we don’t allow phones at the table where we eat our meals. Once we get into bed, that is it. No more phone. No texting and driving. Little gestures like that can make the biggest difference!
5. Make time for YOU. And don’t feel guilty about it. Put the phone down! Get a babysitter and go out with your significant other! Go to a book club or have a wine night with your friends. Plan a night out. Go outside and take the kids to the park. Walk your dogs, even if it is too cold or too hot. I like to put my phone on silent when I do that as it helps me become more present.
We need that time for our sanity. We work hard. Americans in general work way too hard. And with the smart phones, we are always accessible. So accessible, that we are always working. Answering emails early in the morning and late at night. We are always available via phone.
6. Take a lunch break! And don’t feel bad about it! What the heck is happening in America? We are so busy and work TOO hard that we eat at our desks or shove food in our mouths as we drive. Remember the days when lunch was encouraged? It was time in the day to step away, enjoy a good meal and refuel for the 2nd half of the day. I am AMAZED at how many people don’t take lunch. Amazed. My corporate days at Merck were the same. We pretty much ran down to the cafeteria, even if we had packed our lunch, just to get up and stretch our legs. We’d grab food and race back to our desks only to inhale the food or let it sit there while we respond to emails that just came in during the 10 minutes we were in the cafeteria. It is crazy. And the sad thing is, it doesn’t seem to be getting better.
7. Stop making so many plans. Game time decision. That is what I like to call it. A couple of years ago I was recently single and was trying to fill my calendar with so many plans. I would plan 6-8 weeks out for dinner club, doggy play dates, brunch on a Sunday, you name it. And what I started to realize was that when the scheduled plan came close, I no longer felt like doing it. I’d rather go to yoga, watch the Phillies in the playoffs or sit on my couch with a glass of wine and take out on a Friday night by myself. After a LONG work week, that was the BEST!
I realized I didn’t have to make so many plans. Honestly, it was starting to get overwhelming. So I started making game time decisions. When people would ask me to do stuff way in advance (even a week or two out.. haha), I would say, “I am gonna make a game time decision.” It actually didn’t sit well at first with me or with the person that was asking, but over time, it became funny to both parties and was actually a good answer. I will say there are some things we must plan and that is ok. Birthdays, weddings, showers, Eagles game tickets, whatever. But we don’t need to fill up every minute of every weekend just to have something to do. Sometimes, it is nice to not have anything so we can relax, and be ok with it!
So hopefully you can incorporate some of these into your daily routine as you start to notice this stuff more and more. We deserve time away from all the busy. Our minds need it. Our souls need it. Not only will it benefit us, but it will benefit the people around us as well.
And as always, please share any ways in which you hit the reset button during your day!
Sol Yoga Studio, Conshohocken, PA
Sol Yoga Studio is located in Conshohocken, minutes away from Blue Bell and Plymouth Meeting. The studio offers various classes, power yoga, vinaysa, and kids yoga. Click here to see our class schedule. If you are new to our studio, first class is FREE.