In the post Christmas January rush to get things done; do you feel you have to live your life at a 100 miles an hour?
We live in a fast world and many things in our lives seem to demand a quick response.
Be honest, how often do you feel the need to check your emails? How quickly do you feel you have to respond to texts and read all those Facebook posts?
Just imagine not checking your messages and emails for a whole 24 hours. For most people this would be unthinkable, unless they are on holiday in a remote part of the world.
As we start 2016, I want to share 5 simple ways to slow down parts of your busy day and re-connect to yourself.
1. Eat more slowly
Try eating your lunch in a quiet place and take time to chew each mouthful and to taste all the different flavours and textures. When you take time to chew your food it forces you to slow down and means your food can be more easily digested. Eating slowly can also mean you eat less… another added bonus as it takes approx. 20 minutes for your brain to signal to your stomach that you are full!
2. Go outside
Breathe in some fresh air. Concentrate on feeling the air expand into your chest and rib cage and down through into your belly. Take 3 deep breaths to fully oxygenate your lungs.
3. Take yourself to your sanctuary space
Close your eyes and place your feet on the ground. Take yourself to a favourite place that you know well. Feel fully connected to this place. Maybe you feel the sand underneath your feet or you are sitting in a beautiful garden or on top of a mountain. Imagine all the sights, sounds and smells that are there.
Let any thoughts that arise float off like clouds passing across the sky. When you are ready to come back feel your feet firmly on the ground and your connection to the centre of the earth. Open your eyes slowly.
4. Stretch your body!
If you have been sitting at your desk for a while without moving then stop for a moment. Move to a wider space if necessary so you can stretch out your arms; expand your fingers, reach high and wide. Shrug your shoulders up and down, then drop your chin and move your head from side to side slowly. Finally wriggle your toes (a good tip I learnt from a Shiatsu practitioner that actually helps relax the shoulders.)
5. Take a moment to become mindful
Try preparing your food mindfully. Slow down and focus on the task in hand e.g. peeling potatoes, chopping an onion, or mixing ingredients in a bowl. Use the time to slow down and focus on one thing at a time. Enjoy the space and avoid clear your mind of other things. This will give you some space to relax and calm down.
Let me know how you get on and if it makes a difference to your day.