Life moves fast – like really fast. And it doesn’t slow down. Even when your body needs a break. Even when your mental health isn’t at it’s best. Even when you don’t have nearly enough time to balance everything at once, it just keeps moving. And sometimes I find that I’m not able to keep up.
I have days where I get burnt out, drained and disconnected. On those days, I tend to feel “out of my body.” Like I’m disconnected from the world around me. Like I’m watching my body do all the things and pretend like everything’s fine, but my mind isn’t there. I don’t feel like myself. I have trouble responding to the things going on around me. Anyone else?
I guess I should rephrase that first paragraph. It’s not that life moves fast, we move fast. As humans, I think we have an overwhelming urge to keep moving, keep busy. And we get so used to doing so that our bodies begin to operate on autopilot, even when what we really need is to slow down. When we get to this state, our body tries to tell us. We may feel tense in the shoulders or have pain in our lower back and instead of taking a break from sitting at our work desk, we ignore the signal and just keep working. We may feel our mood shifting quickly, finding ourselves quickly turning to anger or annoyance at the simplest of things. But instead of letting ourselves feel and move through the emotions that are stirring inside of us, we push them down farther and choose to scroll through social media (news flash, Facebook is not going to make you feel any better).
What I’m trying to say is our bodies are constantly sending us signals and instead of addressing those signals, we ignore them or come up with an excuse as to why we “can’t” address them now. I mean, how many times have you thought to yourself “man, I really want to go *insert favorite relaxing activity* but I just don’t have the time” or “my body is so tense but I don’t have the energy to stretch or go for a walk”? Well, today I’m encouraging you to challenge those assumptions. Shift your perspective. Create moments for yourself that will serve your mental and physical health. Here’s your reminder that you have the power to cultivate your own peace anywhere and anyhow you see fit.
Yep – even during the busiest, craziest day at work. Even during rush hour traffic. Even if your house is full of people, kids or pets. Even when you have to spend your whole day off running errands. Regardless of where you are and what’s going on around you, you have the tools within yourself to cultivate moments of peace to recharge and restore your mental and physical health. Here’s how:
Steps to Cultivating Your Own Peace:
- Get clear on what’s disturbing your peace. What is it that’s making you feel stressed? What’s causing your aggravation/frustration? Why are you having trouble focusing? You can’t solve the problem until you identify what’s causing it.
- Once you’ve identified the perpetrator, ask yourself what you can do to make things better or to feel better. Would some fresh air and a quick walk do you good? What about listening to your favorite music? Maybe you need a change of scenery. Maybe you need a quick stretch or moment of meditation. Just as your body will send signals when it needs a break, it will know exactly what it needs to feel better – you just need to listen to it!
- Give yourself permission to tune out what’s going on around you (only when appropriate of course, maybe not during an important work meeting). Distractions from coworkers, kids tugging on your arm, your phone ringing – do you have to respond right now? Or can you take a moment to recharge yourself, creating an outcome that’s more productive for both yourself and the people around you.
- Have a go-to list of things that help to clear your mind. For example, I find a lot of comfort in music, so I have a wealth of playlists already made that I can rely on whenever needed. Likewise, I have all of my favorite meditations saved on Insight Timer, so I can go right to them whenever needed. This way, when you find yourself needing a moment, you have all your resources on hand and will know exactly where to start.
- Release all worries about what people will think. Your peace and happiness is more important than any judgement or jokes directed at you. Who cares if you take a moment to close your eyes and take deep breaths? Who cares if you have to whip out your journal to clear the thoughts clouding your head? Some people might care – but who cares?!
Ultimately, you have to find what drives you and learn to identify what threatens your peace. It looks different for all of us, but the results are the same. You’ll be left feeling recharged, refreshed, and ready to get back into tackling your day. Become aware of the little moments throughout your day where you have the opportunity to give yourself a moment – you’ll realize they’re more achievable than you thought!