It’s great to experience a calm day. Yet for many of us, we are constantly busy with little or no time to stop and relax. A balanced, calm day seems impossible to achieve.
In fact, it’s been found that we experience an adrenaline rush into our blood streams every time we respond to an email or press the key to a website.
The day is full of opportunities to get these rushes, and it can all happen from the comfort of our chairs as we sit at our computers!
Our bodies are not designed to be like this all the time and it’s not sustainable for our physical or mental health. Sometimes it can feel as if we have forgotten the art of relaxation and the ability to be still and do nothing for 2 minutes. Follow that link and try it now!
So how do you redress the balance towards a more calm day?
Your day builds up and spirals toward mounting tension, multi-tasking mania and other negative feelings such as anxiety, frustration or anger.
You have the choice to schedule moments of relaxation and mindfulness. By doing this you are essentially managing your body’s Sympathetic Nervous System which returns you to a state of homeostasis − balance and calm.
Stress be gone!
When everyday niggles occur you’ll more easily be able to deal with them. At bedtime you’ll be able to fall asleep more easily, sleep more deeply and generally be less anxious and more centred throughout your day.
How do you bring these tiniest moments of calm into your day? You can schedule ‘calm’ in to your timetable!
Your Timetable for a Calm Day looks something like this:
On waking up
Start the day as you mean to go on!
As you wake up, become aware of your breath. Feel connected to your body by stretching and noticing what mood you’re in. If there are fears or worries already assaulting you, place your hand on your heart and whisper to yourself: ‘Today I am living in the present moment. It’s a new day. Every moment is new.’
Breathe calmly and then move on into your day. Be present.
As you leave the house
Stand still at the door for a moment. Imagine your feet are connecting to the earth keeping you grounded and strong. Breathe deeply, visualise yourself breathing strength and connection up from the energy of the earth. The earth’s core is a molten mass of lava. Imagine harnessing the power of this energy before you leave the house! Be present.
On setting off in your car
Stop for a second to connect with your posture as you get seated.
Take a conscious breath before starting the car up. Relax your shoulders. Be aware of your breathing.
It might just be a habit to switch on the radio and have news and music blaring out loudly. Try some of your journey in silence – you might be amazed at how calming this can actually be.
Or change radio stations to something a little quieter or where news bulletins of doom and gloom aren’t radiating out at you every second.
As you drive, be present.
Or on walking to the station/bus stop/workplace
Make a connection with your feet and posture as you walk. Be vividly awake to your surroundings through your senses of sight, sound and smell.
Any time you stop for a tea break is your opportunity to steady your breathing and guide your busy mind to the present moment.
Savour your drink. You’re doing more than just taking a tea-break, you’re re-booting your mind. Remember that your body needs to take a break after about 90 minutes of intense working or it starts to elicit the stress response because it needs you to take a break!
Stop your work and give your full attention to eating your lunch. However little time you might have, your body and mind need a restful break, as mentioned under ‘Tea break’. It’s time to re-energise physically and mentally.
Keep going with your calm day!
Whether you are arriving home from work or stopping work at home, give yourself a moment to separate your working time with family time.
It’s so easy to blur the boundaries by bringing frustration or upset from the workplace into our family relationships, or finding ourselves answering more emails because technology lets us do so.
Stop and define the boundary. Be thankful for your home, your family, your day.
Breathe calmly and enjoy preparing your food.
Be present whatever tasks you’re involved in, whether it’s unpeeling the wrapping from a ready-made meal or washing, chopping and cooking vegetables for a recipe.
As you sit to eat your meal, be thankful. If you’re sitting with others to eat, share a second or two of thanks between all of you.
Last thing at night
As you lie on your bed, do a brief body sweep – bring your awareness to all parts of your body from head down to toes.
This body sweep consists of you noticing what feelings and physical things you’re experiencing as you settle towards sleep. Acknowledge the emotions and feelings that are within you. Give yourself a moment to label some of these experiences.
Imagine you are setting them aside, ready to gather up if necessary, another time. For now, you are letting yourself relax and focus on the rhythm of your breath.
Tip: If you are struggling to fall asleep, visualise yourself lying somewhere that feels wonderful – perhaps a favourite beach.
As you focus on your breathing, settle into the rhythm and connect to the sound and memory of the waves as they lull you to sleep. The ebb and flow of the tide. The warmth of the sunshine. Sink into your soft and comfortable bed.
If you’re still struggling to sleep like Wordsworth was, or to help you relax any time of day, visit: www.Calm.com
So that’s your Timetable for a Calm Day!
Once you’ve scheduled in these simple tips they start to become a daily habit.
Every day can become a Calm Day. Let me know if it works for you!
Yvette Jane – Mindfulness & Meditation Guide
For online help: One-to-One Stress-Management Courses