I know we all have so much on our plates, particularly around the holiday season it's easy to forget about our self care needs and get wrapped up in the "DO. DO. DO" mentality. Here are 6 things I have found over the years that help me remain calm despite the long lists of chores and going “to and fro”.
1. NO SOCIAL MEDIA for the first hour after waking up. For a long time I used social media as a way of waking me up, so that I wouldn't fall back to sleep after my alarm went off. What I found though was that I got sucked in to a vortex and all of a sudden an hour was gone... I should have just slept in. Then I had a head ache from all the early morning screen time. I now embrace a better morning routine and give my attention more fully to what life has to offer- a sunrise, time with my family and slowly gathering my thoughts and wishes for the day.
2. GET OUT IN NATURE. To me there is nothing as potent as fresh air for creating a healthy and happy life. It does so much for my attitude and gratitude. Every time I see the mountains in the distance, leaves changing color or my dog chasing a squirrel, I am instantly connected to how magical our planet is and I am filled with a sense of wonder and awe, plus, It offers a moment away from all the bustle of life and helps me to hear my own thoughts.
3. HYDRATE. There is nothing worse than having a head ache. When I get a head ache it ruins everything. There is no such thing as being creative, caring and savvy when I have a head ache. Our brains are made up of 80% water, so if you have a head ache or feel one coming on, chances are you're dehydrated. I like to start my morning with hot water and lemon. It's wildly good for you and helps things move in your digestive system. I recommend that you start your day that way. I actually find it much more useful than starting my day with caffeine.
4. WRITE IT DOWN. I like to write and I find it super helpful in feeling calm and organized. It's actually stressful to force your brain to memorize all your to-dos, due dates, appointment times and schedule... so why not free up your brain and allow for better creativity and productivity by writing it all down. I also like to write my thoughts and goals in a journal so that I can think about them more clearly or better visualize how to make them happen.
5. BREATHE DEEPLY. When we get stressed we stop breathing fully. When we take shallow breaths all of our actions become shallow. It's easier to go to a place of panic and worry and become impatient with the adults, little ones and animals in our lives. When I feel like I'm stressing out or even just not listening properly, I remind myself to take DEEP, MEANINGFUL breaths. Try inhaling for 3 full seconds and exhaling for 3 full seconds. I promise it will do wonders for you. REALLY BUGGIN OUT??? Try 7 second inhale/exhales.
6. PLAN AHEAD. When my to-do list gets long, the first thing I tend to “drop” is self-care. I start to reach for packaged snacks, just to eat “something”, I cancel workouts and I go to bed later… but the thing is, in moments of stress, we need to care for ourselves even more, so our bodies are more capable of handling what we are asking it to do. So, if you know you are going to have an insanely busy week- plan ahead. Maybe workout first thing in the AM, so it won’t get pushed aside later in the day. Also, get more efficient with how you make food. I like to do a “bulk meal prep”, spend 1-2 hours, once (perhaps Sunday afternoon) to make meals that will last all week. Perhaps you make the same carrots and hummus snack for each day, or apples and peanut butter… Maybe you have the same salad for lunch each day this week… whatever it is, just remember it doesn’t have to be complicated. Real food is better than no food and it’s better than “junkfood”. When you are wellfed, life seriously just feels easier. So, take all the future guess work out of it, and plan ahead.
7. DETACH. It's so important to give yourself a chance to just BE. Be in the moment, relax, don't give in to the pressures of working all the time or being "productive" all the time. We have to remember that life isn't just deadlines. We need to embrace the people and things we have chosen and give them some of our attention too. Once it's the end of the day, I like to leave my phone in an entirely different part of the house. I want to once again reconnect with my guy and my thoughts and just breathe deeply and ultimately give thanks for the day I had the opportunity to live. After all, that day will never happen again, nor will the exact moment you're in- EMBRACE IT!
HAPPY (CALM) HOLIDAYS
UNTIL NEXT TIME- CHASE YOUR DREAMS AND EAT SOME GREENS