I am a big believer in MAKING time in your day to do things for ourselves. If we try and FIND the time, it will always elude us. Too many things come up in our day-to-day lives and as we all know, we tend to put our own needs further down the list of priorities than we should.
What do I mean by “making space” in your day, you ask?
I mean spending a few minutes clearing your head so you can focus on getting things done during the day.
If you’re anything like me, you have your list of things that need to get done. As you stare at this list, you just want to go take a nap because the thought of getting started makes you so tired.
5 Tools that will help you make space in your day
I’ve put together a list of some of my best tools that help bring some quiet to my mind, which makes me feel more in control of getting the things done that need doing. I hope that they can help you too!
I know that a lot of people have a knee-jerk reaction to meditation. It’s not their game. But this isn’t the type meditation that you think about when you hear the word. It’s about just noticing where you are, what’s around you, and acknowledging that you are aware of your place in the world at the moment. It’s also referred to as mindfulness meditation.
I’ve mentioned Headspace before as a tool that helps me. The truth is, just consciously taking a few minutes to clear your head has a lot of proven effects. Headspace has a whole list of benefits of meditation on their site (with a bibliography of studies to go with it). If you are interested in reading up some more, the Mayo Clinic has a great article on different types of meditation here.
I’ve tried, and enjoyed, many different online Yoga classes, but my favourite by far is Yoga with Adrienne.
There is something very reassuring about how Adrienne teaches, and she helps you realize that you ARE capable. Strange word to use, I know. The truth is, what stops most of us from getting started with yoga (and lots of other things) are our feelings that we just aren’t capable of doing it. We go to a class and see people who can turn themselves into human pretzels, and we feel like maybe we aren’t made for yoga. I speak about this more in my blog post about my journey with yoga.
You ARE capable. Everything that is worth doing takes practice.
I’m a lover of audiobooks. I listen mostly while I’m cooking. Listening to a story helps me pass the time and concentrate more clearly on the task at hand. This is especially helpful when I am hosting a big dinner and have a lot of stuff to make. Without the story to keep me relaxed, I am often distracted, on edge and stressed about “all I have to do” without actually getting things done.
I download most of my audiobooks from Audible, but there are a lot of different options, and you can even borrow audiobooks from the library. Just go to your local library’s website for more info.
Let me repeat. I LOVE audiobooks.
Music has long been proven to have the ability to relax the mind, the heart rate and soothe the soul.
Time magazine posted an article earlier this year about the health benefits of listening to music.
Instrumental Studying music helps me relax and concentrate. As I am writing this post, I have some study music that I downloaded from Amazon Music. Nothing that I’m committed to. Nothing that makes me want to get up and sing. It’s usually more about blocking out the sounds around me to help me actually focus on the tasks at hand. I need to create this quiet space (even when I’m alone at home) if I need to get creative work (like writing) done.
Everyone is different. Some people need something upbeat and dance-worthy, others like classical or jazz.
Whatever works for you to help you feel at peace.
Curling up with a good book is always a great way to carve out some time for yourself, but did you know that there is evidence that reading as little as 6 minutes a day can have a tremendous impact on your stress level, heart rate, and state of mind? The National Reading Campaign and CBC Books put together an infographic earlier this year to help make the benefits a bit more visual for us.
I challenge you!
I’m going to issue a challenge – Make 15 minutes of “you” time tomorrow. It can be first thing in the morning, or at the end of the day. Before dinner or before bed. You choose. Make an appointment with yourself tomorrow. If that works out, consider doing it the next day too.
Now, go on with your day.