Let’s be honest, most of us are already going 100 mph most of the time with work & home life – add holidays to this mix and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. A break may not seem all that feasible in November and December and it may feel like you’re wasting precious time, but in reality NOT taking a few minutes for yourself can be counterintuitive. Here are some tips and reminders to encourage you to recharge your battery and show yourself a little gratitude for all you do. Go ahead and take five (or even a solid 24).
Boost Your Energy
Work, constant alerts, demands and daily tasks can be absolutely draining. Take a moment to step away from these tasks. How, you ask? TURN OFF ALL ALERTS ON YOUR SMART PHONE AND COMPUTER and do something just for you, even if it’s only for one hour. This is one of the best ways to boost energy. Give your prefrontal cortex (that’s the decision-making factory) a break –it needs it and so do you!
Focus On Your Goals
Taking breaks can help to re-center your mindset on your goals, whether those are health & wellness goals or other. Stepping away from your everyday tasks has the ability to remind you of what’s REALLY important (aka your “why”). Take a few moments today or this weekend and reconnect with that why – WHY will you dedicate time, resources and energy into yourself this season.
Give Your Brain A Nature Walk
Not only are humans designed to be in community, we are also made to be outdoors. Our brains are wired to respond with positivity to the smells, sights, and sensations we receive in nature. Office workers who have a view of nature out of their window or through a skylight report higher job satisfaction and lower stress levels. There is a body & mind restoration that occurs in us as we venture outdoors. Where do you long to be? In the mountains? Near the ocean, a tree lined path? Can you get there at some point this month? Do what you can to decrease your cortisol and up your serotonin by being in nature and if you can take someone with you and share these moments in “community” even better.
Set A Weekly Intention
Studies show that intentions, or affirmations or mantras, help us to feel more connected to ourselves and our purpose because we are repeating things that are meaningful on a consistent basis. Try to set an intention every week over this month ahead, whether that is one word, a phrase, or even an image of how you want to feel. If you have a little extra time or are feeling a little extra overwhelmed, tuning into structured meditations or breath work guides can be a helpful way to tune into positivity. One example is “The Mountain Meditation” by Jon Kabat-Zinn. This meditation encourages us to seek inner stability and peace, even in the face unpredictable change and chaos. Might just be the best 10 min of your week.
When you finish, think a bit about the above meditation. How can you take this imagery with you this month?
As the answers develop write down what comes to mind, choose a word, a phrase or a sentence that describes your highest intention. Use that as your weekly guide.
Here are some examples: I am rooted, grounded and centered. I am focused on my goals and will not be moved. I will stand tall and proud of who I am and who I am becoming.
What might your first intention be for November?