When was the last time you stopped and just enjoyed that moment in time without 100 thoughts running through your mind of the conversation you had earlier, your never ending to do list, if you remembered to do that thing you had to do, what you're cooking for dinner, how long you have until you have to be on the next zoom appointment, the list goes on.....
A lot of us live lives where we are always rushing towards the next thing that has to be done or clock watching to rush what we're doing to make sure it's done on time to meet the deadlines we have agreed to or set ourselves. For some taking time out to just live in that moment with no thought to what we are doing next or feeling like we're rushed and stressed can seem impossible.
January is a busy month for me so I’ve worked non stop for the last few weeks and I had planned an afternoon yesterday with no phone or computer just me and my book. I have been really looking forward to it, mainly for a day away from my office and my computer and a day of disconnecting.
When I first sat down with my book I kept catching my mind wandering to things I had to do today and my "to do" list for the week ahead and going over everything from the previous week to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything and then the stressed and rushed feeling came creeping in when I was supposed to be relaxing and taking time for me! It got me thinking I’ve been so ‘switched on’ for the past few weeks now that I wanted to switch off it was a huge conscious effort to actually do it and just enjoy a day off!
Do you ever find yourself struggling to switch off the never ending internal chatter and to just be present in the moment?
By taking that time out yesterday I woke up today feeling refreshed and ready to go and it's also made me really conscious that I need to be scheduling this time in on a weekly basis and not scheduling it as a "nice have if I have the time" it needs to be a non negotiable appointment with myself every week to take an afternoon to just do me whatever I feel like doing in that time.
When was the last time you:
Read a book and you were completely engrossed in what you were reading without your mind wandering onto other things?
Really tasted and savoured a whole meal? By that I mean you focused on what you were eating and enjoyed the tastes of the food instead of eating while working, watching tv or checking emails or social media?
Had a digital detox?
To me this is extremely important! Do you set days aside to have a complete digital detox so you’re completely present with the people you’re spending time with or the thing you’re doing that day? It could be a day reading, gardening, anything that you enjoy doing without having your phone there with it's constant notifications for messages, emails, social media updates etc?
Our phones are amazing things, they keep us connected to our friends, family, work, what is going on in the world but it has been shown that the constant notifications from our phones can keep us in a stressed out state which has awful effects on our mental wellbeing and health.
If you have never had a digital detox why not challenge yourself to try it out? If someone calls you, you can call them back afterwards. Your emails, messages, social media can all wait for a day or even an afternoon while you take time out for yourself.
We live in such a switched on world, which I personally think is so much worse with covid because we are all at home. I know for a lot of people it feels like you have to answer that email or call when you're not working because you know that everyone's at home so you feel like it's expected but we still need down time and it's ok to book time in for ourselves to rest and recharge. This is especially important for business owners that feel like they need to work and be available 7 days a week at the moment to keep their business going. I can be guilty of this myself, if I have things that need to be done I will work 7 days a week to get them done and then I wonder why I'm exhausted at the end of the week!
With the weather about to change for the better (here in the UK) when was the last time you sat outside, it could be in your garden or a field or bit of green near where you live, and just relaxed? Or laid down and watched the clouds to see what shapes you can make? Or meditated for half an hour? All with no phone beside you and the temptation to just check that thing that popped into your head on Google or check Facebook or Instagram or just check your emails to make sure nothing has come in since the last time you checked?
It is like an unwritten rule that we need to be on the go at all times and if we do schedule some time off we're not looking after our businesses as we should be or we're "being lazy" taking some time out to relax and do nothing. By living this way it is no wonder that so many people are walking around completely burned out and suffering from stress, exhaustion and health issues brought on from lack of sleep and not taking time out and listening to our bodies.
When are you going to schedule time in for you?
It can just be an afternoon where you go for a long walk with your family with no phones or other distractions and you are fully present with each other without the feeling that you need to rush off to do something else.
Or if you live alone an afternoon like I had yesterday with no phone and just my book or if you're not a reader an afternoon gardening or walking in nature and taking everything you're seeing around you in? Whatever you like to do to relax please book it into your diary as a NON NEGOTIABLE appointment each week.
As well as booking yourself into your diary every week do you have a morning routine where you spend an hour in the morning on you? I wrote about my morning routine in this blog post: https://www.amour.coach/post/are-you-suffering-from-lockdown-burnout
I would love to hear about what has worked for you and ideas you have to use on your "me time appointments". My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org