Let's face it, we are all busier than ever these days. Extra long commutes, taxiing kids, chores, errands, sifting through a million emails, social media - these things can make you feel like a zombie by day's end, leaving you with just enough energy to plop on the sofa and watch mindless television.
According to a recent O Magazine Article, in one year's time we spend:
- 41.5 days watching TV
- 46.3 days surfing the internet
- 13.9 days styling our hair, putting on makeup, and deciding what to wear
- 8.7 days cleaning
- 1.75 days sitting in traffic
- 9 days preparing and tidying up after meals
All this at the end of the day may leave you wondering where did the time go? Self care is so important to maintain a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
"Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life." -Eckhart Tolle
Begin by tracking your days as they are. Write down how you spend each hour, and how long you spend on certain "time suckers" such as checking emails, surfing the internet, and scrolling through Instagram. Notice which activities throughout the day left you energized, and which left you drained or felt as though time was wasted.
Mantra: "Successful people take care of themselves so they can better share their gifts."
Now that you have your list, think about changes you can make to the moments you felt your time was not used for your greatest good. Instead of scrolling your Facebook feed, could you spend that time talking with a loved one, or reading a book instead? Protect your energy and plan your downtown to make it more meaningful. Now let's go through a whole day.
UP AND AT 'EM!
How you spend your morning will set the tone for your whole day. Wake up late, rushed, skipping breakfast - was it really worth that extra 20 minutes of sleep? If yes, try to go to bed 20 minutes earlier.
Several books have been written on making the most of your mornings, to set you up to have an energetic, productive day. One of our favorites is Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. He says to wake up 1 hour earlier - yes, a whole hour..you can do it! - and in that hour, do the following 6 steps:
I have personally taken on this technique, which goes by the acronym SAVERS, and it has made a profound difference in my life. Even with losing an hour of precious sleep, my day is more focused and energetic when I make the time to go through this routine. The book can be found on Amazon, and I highly recommend it!
Up next for so many of us is that morning commute. If you've started your day with the SAVERS technique, you have left with time to spare and traffic is not bothering you today. What is important is that this time is not wasted. How can you make the best of it, while keeping focused on driving? Let's all agree to be safe and put the cell phones away. I recommend podcasts or audible books. Fill your brain up and you may wish your commute was just a few minutes longer! This can also keep you focused on learning something new rather than dreading or anticipating the work day ahead.
WORKING FOR A LIVING
A lot of our time at work is dedicated to doing just that, working. However, remember that we Relaxation Warriors are protecting our energy. How can you do that at work?
For starters, try to stay away from gossip. As the saying goes: Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates. At the first gate ask yourself "Is it true?" At the second ask "Is it necessary?" At the third ask "Is it kind?" Gossip is draining and can damper the spirits of anyone. Someone who needs to put someone down to raise themselves up is not worth your time or energy.
Scent matters! A Japanese book titled The Healthy Workplace conducted a study on how fragrance affected the accuracy of typists. They found "54% made fewer errors when they could smell lemon, 33% fewer with jasmine and 20% fewer with lavender." Can you diffuse essential oils in your office? Even something as simple as drinking tea with those fragrances, or placing a freshly cut lemon on your desk can give you a relaxing aromatherapy to enhance your day.
Finally, take breaks! It is so important to your mind, body, and spirit to take breaks throughout your day, especially if you are sitting at a desk working on a computer all day. Get outside, take walks. You will actually be more productive throughout your day by taking breaks rather than trying to muddle through without one.
The evening is yours! The day is behind you, good or bad. We recommend, of course, taking 20-30 minutes to yourself, to unwind from your day. Sit in your massage chair, meditate, just be. Then spend your evening as your soul dictates. You may have obligations, you might be working on a side hustle, spend time at the gym, connecting with loved ones. Do what makes your soul sing!
We hope this guide helps bring you a stronger peace of mind throughout your day. What tips do you have for finding moments of relaxation in your hectic days?