We are a society that is built on staying busy and productive. We are often told to get as much done during a day as possible and we are masters at multi-tasking. We are a society obsessed with busyness... Sometimes the best thing you can do for your well-being is to slow down and be still. When was the last time you were just still? When do you allow yourself to rest your mind, body and spirit? Resting recharges the body, giving you the energy you need to complete your daily tasks. How productive can you be when you are exhausted or when your mind is cluttered? Our bodies and minds need rest to be able to think clearly. Rest doesn’t always mean sleep either. It is anything that allows you to replenish and rejuvenate. These are 8 ways I allow my mind, body and spirit to rest.
When most people think of mediation, they think of sitting cross legged and chanting something. My idea of meditation is stillness. Those are the moments I’m literally still. I don’t move. I am sitting on laying down in complete silence. I take deep breaths and allow my body to just relax and release built up tension. It is a time when I allow my mind to stop thinking about my ever growing to do list and I’m allowed to just…Be. In those moments, I tend to receive clarity about problems, situations, stresses in my life because I’m allowing my spirit to speak back to me. I’m not moving and running around so my spirit and mind are in a place where I can actually hear. Mediation allows me to relax, remove negative emotions and clear my mind. I do this daily, usually during one of my detox baths.
Writing has always been a refuge for me. The process of writing down my thoughts, feelings, emotions or even just talking about my day is incredibly therapeutic. It allows me to slow down and think. Check out my detailed post about journaling as a means of self-care here.
I’m an avid reader. Lately I’ve been reading a few biographies, books on feminism and social justice but I always like to have a few good fiction books on hand to just relax and get lost in. I love to get lost in different stories and characters. Diving into a great book is an awesome way to relax your mind.
Scientists say adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep every day. Studies show those who get adequate amounts of sleep have less stress and better health. A Good night’s sleep allows your body to recharge. You wake up with more energy which in turn makes you more productive during the day. When it’s time for bed, turn those phones off or at minimum, turn the motivations off so you aren’t tempted to check your phones before heading to bed. You have to prep your body for a good night’s sleep. According to Mayo Clinic, you should try to set a sleep schedule, don’t go to bed hungry or right after a heavy meal and create a restful sleep environment that’s cool, dark and quiet. I have a bedtime routine that involves some reading, a nice bath, and then I turn on my oil diffuser with my favorite relaxing blend for 30 minutes before I got to sleep. Having a sleep routine helps for a night of uninterrupted sleep.
I think we are over connected nowadays. Instant messages, social media, texts messages…thesa are all great advances in technology but it also makes us easily accessable to friends, family, collegues etc. I like to “get off the grid” for a while each day. Studies have shown “unplugging” increases productivity but for me it helps me to live more in the moment. Research has shown that unplugging even for a short bit every day, improves your well-being. When I unplug, I turn my notifications off, and I don’t check my phone at all. Take a moment and just enjoy life as its happening.
Get out in nature and take a walk or hike
It’s summer and the weather is getting nicer. Take some time to go on a nice walk or a good hike. Explore your city and see the sights. Not only are you improving your physical health by being active, but you are improving your mood. In summer time, I usually take a walk on my lunch break. I work in the downtown Chicago area and I’m close to the river walk. Somedays, I’ll take a walk along the river and just “people watch”. It’s a great break in the middle of a hectic work day and I return refreshed and ready for the second half of the day.
Music is one of my every day tools I use for self-care. There is rarely a moment, I’m without my headphones or have music playing. I have a playlist for all of my moods. When I’m stressed or when I’m going through rough times, I play uplifting music with positive messages of encouragement. When I’m feeling good about life, I’m using playing music that makes me want to dance. When I’m ready to rest and relax, I play my favorite tunes that get me into a relaxing and reflective mood. Music is such a powerful medium and has the power to change your mood, relax and sooth you. I highly suggest creating playlists to cover different moods!
Do something you love/enjoy a hobby.
I love scrapbooking and documenting my family’s memories. I can sit down at my craft desk and do it for hours. It’s enjoyable and relaxing for me. I haven’t done much scrapbooking lately and I have a room full of projects that still I started but haven’t finished but when I do get a moment to scrapbook, I’m usually most relaxed. It’s something I do that’s just for me. Not everyone wants to be knee high in paper, stickers and glue but I love it. Find something you love to do and make time to do it.
There’s nothing wrong with taking time to rest, replenish and rejuvenate. Take a moment each day to allow yourself time to “refill your cups”.
Until next time,
Take care of yourselves and one another