Taking Time for You to Get the Year Started

So, 2020 was a doozy, right? Let yourself recover a little from the wildest year of our lifetime (as well as the holiday season) by finding moments to yourself in your daily life.

We all need to find small moments of peace in each day to stay positive, energetic, and healthy.

Why we need to find time for peace

Our bodies and minds require downtime, and relaxation or simply just moments of peace, are something we need daily.

Adding some of these moments into your daily schedule can keep you healthy and from burning out. Additionally, the benefits of allowing yourself some time to relax, even briefly, include:

  • Increasing productivity
  • Improving focus
  • Making you more creative
  • Increasing energy

Moments of zen when you’re short on time

Deep Breathing: With its focus on full, cleansing breaths, deep breathing is a simple, yet powerful, relaxation technique. It’s easy to learn, can be practiced almost anywhere, and provides a quick way to get your stress levels in check.

Deep breathing is the cornerstone of many other relaxation practices, too, and can be combined with other relaxing elements such as music.

Humor: Humor is the use of humor for the relief of physical or emotional pain and stress. It is clinically proven to be effective in combating stress, although the exact mechanism is not known.

Experts say a good laugh relaxes tense muscles, speeds more oxygen into your system, and lowers your blood pressure. You can watch videos on YouTube, listen to a funny podcast, or look at a humor website.

Quickie Meditation: The goal of meditation is to find a way for you to not pay attention to thoughts that you find disturbing or stress-inducing. You will want to train your mind to briefly clear itself from disturbing thoughts.

When you are trying to relax your mind and an intrusive thought enters, focusing your attention on a word, phrase, sound, or repetitive movement helps you to temporarily let go of the invading thought.

Moments of zen when you have a little more time

Imagery (guided in meditation audio or on your own like described here): Imagery involves creating mental pictures that calm you down and relax your mind. Choose a setting that is calming to you, whether a tropical beach, a favorite childhood spot, or a quiet forest.

Close your eyes and let your worries drift away. Imagine your restful place. Picture it as vividly as you can – everything you can see, hear, smell, and feel. Imagery works best if you incorporate as many sensory details as possible.

For example, if you are thinking about a dock on a quiet lake, see the sun setting over the water, hear the birds singing, smell the pine trees, feel the cool water on your bare feet, and taste the fresh, clean air.

Exercise/Stretching (of course!): Get active for 10-15 minutes, like walking, jogging in place, or stair climbing. Afterward, stretch for 2-3 minutes. It doesn’t have to be a full workout. Just get the blood flowing.

Take your time to find peaceful moments early-on this year. It will help you recharge after the past year and the holidays as well as give you some new habits for maintaining the practice of finding time for yourself to be peaceful going forward.