Today’s post of a few ways to calm the mind for the busy people out there…
I find that the majority of people have incredibly busy lives, and I can relate. It’s been a struggle for me to balance my full time 9-5 job, being a full time blogger, a yoga teacher, and fitting in my yoga practice in the mornings! When do I get time to myself?
When I get home from work all I want to do is work on the blog, but I get overwhelmed with the million things I have to do. Answering emails, setting up banners, writing posts, keeping up on social media, and all of the other fun stuff that comes along with being a blogger. It’s easy for me to get overwhelmed and stressed if I don’t take the proper time to unwind.
If you have a full schedule like me, then hopefully this list I put together will help you out. These are all of the ways that help me to unwind…..
1. Unplug: Getting caught up on the internet, listening to music, reading a book, or watching television can continue to stimulate the mind. Try to take at least 10 minutes to lay down with your eyes closed and appreciate the silence. If you fall asleep, good, you needed it! If you don’t have time to take a long nap, then just take a 10 minute power nap. Set your alarm for 10 minutes and snooze. You’ll wake up totally refreshed!
2. Take a hot bath: Make sure you totally set the mood. I love to burn incense and use essential oils like lavender, sage, or sandalwood. Lighting a candle is really nice too with some soothing music. I get my oils from Mountain Rose Herbs. Click the photo to check out their selection:
3. Take a hot shower: If you’re not in the mood for a bath, I think a hot shower can be really nice too. Take an extra long hot shower, and let the water beat down on your neck and shoulders. Take your time and enjoy the feeling of the hot water working out all of those knots!
4. Clean & Organize: It’s easy for the home to become disorganized when your life is so busy, but there is nothing more overwhelming than coming home to a cluttered home. One mantra I live by is: When something is causing you stress or anxiety, eliminate it! When my home is a mess, that causes me to be anxious. To really get in a cleaning mode I usually turn on an audio book, put on some tea, and knock out the dishes, clean the counters, and organize the papers. I do this whenever I have a big annoying cleaning job like folding laundry, sweeping and mopping the floors, etc. I tend to get distracted when I clean, so putting on the audio book is kind of like a meditation for me. It keeps my mind focused while I get the job done.
5. Take a walk: This is probably one of the best activities for unwinding. Whenever I have been staring at the computer screen too long at work, I love to step outside and just take a quick walk. Take that time to really appreciate the fresh air and the nature. I love to just stare at how the squirrels play, or the lizards chase each other. It really brings me peace to just observe my surroundings. Walking is also good for stimulating digestion, so it’s best to take a walk right after you eat.
6. Window Shop: Take the time to go to a local mall and walk around. Go into your favorite stores and try on some clothes. Go into the apple store and check out the latest electronics. Take some time to get your mind off of work, and let yourself to do the things you love. Don’t rack up the credit cards, but maybe buying a little gift for yourself wouldn’t hurt.
7. Drink tea while reading an inspiring, motivational, or spiritual text: I love to make some tea and open The Yoga Sutras to a random page and let that sutra be my guide. The Yoga Sutras is a great text to help you understand the crazy inner workings of the mind so that you can learn how to observe and calm the mind.
Click on the photos to learn more about the teas I mention:
8. Breathe: Meditating can be intimidating to a lot of people. What a fast paced society we live in that we have so much trouble quieting our minds! This can be helpful for just 5 minutes a day. If you can find just five minutes to sit and focus on your breath, I promise you’ll experience so much change in the calmness of your mind.
- Set a stopwatch for five minutes.
- Sit in meditation position.
- As you inhale, let the breath move up through the base of your spine and into the crown of your head, and into the sky.
- As you exhale, let the breath move down crown of the head and through the base of the spine into the earth.
- Count each breath (inhale 1, exhale 2, inhale 3, exhale 4……)
The counting of the breath helps you to keep your mind focused. When your mind becomes distracted, just start over at 1. You’ll start to notice the flux and flow in your mind and body. Sitting with your breath for just five minutes will teach you how to be calm during those difficult situations.
9. Lay down and listen to some soothing music: Take your mind of everything except how relaxed and happy the music makes you feel. Here’s my spotify unwind playlist. (PS. I had four Beatles songs Spotify wouldn’t allow me to embed. That’s either great or awful news for you).
10. Do 10 Sun Salutations: Maybe you don’t have the time to fit in a whole yoga practice, but I bet you can roll out your mat and do 10 Sun Salutations. Here’s a time lapse video I did, but of course you’re going to want to make this normal speed by slowing down your breath. Reminder: Let the breath move you. Don’t rush the movements or the postures. Namaste…
11. Start a before bed tradition: It’s beneficial to end the day with a clean slate. I took a workshop with Paul Dallaghan and he mentioned to always ask for forgiveness, help, and thanks before we close our eyes. It takes 5 minutes , and here’s how I like to do it:
- Sit up in a meditation position
- I close my eyes and scan my body from the crown of my head through the tips of my toes, and then back again.
- Then, I take everything I’m feeling and pull that into my heart center.
- Whatever comes up that I might be angry about, I make sure to forgive myself and maybe a person I might be holding onto anger towards.
- Asking for help is really important in this process. Asking for help is something that most people don’t like to do (believe me, I used to be one of those people). This process gives you the opportunity to reflect on your struggles and obstacles and send a message to the universe that you want to remove those. It’s humbling to surrender to it and admit you need a little help.
- I give thanks to life, experiences, moments, all of the people, animals, and things that have made me who I am. I take time to really appreciate everything (the good, the bad, and the ugly) that has brought me to that moment. Let that flow from deep in your heart.
I hope I gave you some great ideas to unwind. Really you just need five minutes a day to breathe, close your eyes, and take a walk! What’s your favorite way to unwind? Tell me in the comments below!