You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour.
Taking time to rest and refresh yourself is an integral part of life, especially when things feel like they’re going totally crazy. You may think you don’t have time, but if you keep pushing yourself to your limits, your long-term effectiveness dwindles. Eventually you’ll burn out and your body will find a way to force you to take a break. Here are a few practical ways to avoid that and make time in your schedule to rejuvenate.
If you arrive somewhere early, take a minute before you’re supposed to go in to take a breath and calm yourself. This will give you the aura of being calm, cool and collected. Same thing goes for right after you leave somewhere—when you get in your car (or on the bus or train), take a deep breath. Taking these little moments of mindfulness to feel your breathing before embarking on your next step can provide a little peace between your busy life’s demands.
If appropriate, create a reminder alarm (with a peaceful chime) on your phone to go off throughout the day. Have it say “Pause” or something meaningful to you that reminds you to pull yourself out of your mind, be in the present moment, and connect to the fact that you’re alive.
It’s been said a thousand times, but one of the biggest time-killers is social media. Whenever I’m not doing something at home, I would look at my phone and mindlessly scroll. 1 minute turns into 20. As much as we think this is a relaxing escape, social media isn’t beneficial or restful. So whenever you’re about to take out your phone and start scrolling, put it down and either go for a walk, close your eyes for a minute, or look out the window and breathe. Take that moment you would have been mindlessly absorbing content and instead connect with yourself.
Do not look at your phone before bed. That light in your eyes doesn’t rest you or let you blow off steam. It tells your brain that it’s still time to be awake. Before you go to sleep, decompress or try journaling to help you unpack the demands of the day.
Waking up earlier is definitely easier for some than others (and almost impossible for me, personally), but waking up even half an hour to fifteen minutes earlier than normal can allow you some breathing room so your mornings are less hectic. With those extra few minutes, you can put on peaceful music and slowly wake up feeling preparing to begin your day.
Find a nighttime routine that relaxes and revitalizes you. For me, it’s treating myself like I’m at a spa. I’ll take a shower, put on lotion, do a face mask, and wear my comfiest sweatpants. My daily shower is a time to nourish my body and soul. I feel comforted and refreshed each night. This can take different forms — from going for a run each afternoon, to taking 10 minutes to write down all the things you accomplished, to listening to a guided meditation each night. If you’re nourished by these routines, you’ll look forward to them and make them a priority.
Ask for help
It may seem simple, but if you’re anything like me, you try to do everything yourself. There’s no need for that! Quit sacrificing yourself and try to think of things people can take off your plate. If there are errands floating around that you need to get done, reach out to your friends, family and/or coworkers that may be able to help. It’s not selfish to free up time to rest and relax.
I hope these tangible, practical examples allow you to free up some time to rejuvenate and continue rocking it at the best of your ability!
Erin Ford is a public relations account executive and has been blogging for many years. While attending Penn State, she discovered a love for Women’s Studies, which she found empowering and illuminating, and graduated with a minor in the subject. Since then, she finds fulfillment in speaking up about issues impacting women and girls, and believes that through honest conversations everyone can be empowered to do the same.