You hear the alarm in the morning and roll over to press snooze, if you’re like me, then this repeats several times until the kids start arguing with each other about who gets the last bowl of cereal or someone is taking too long in the bathroom. So you drag yourself out of bed, maybe splash some water on your face. Rush downstairs, yell at the kids to put their shoes on, as you’re grabbing some coffee and shoving a breakfast bar in your purse, before you rush out the door. You put your time in at work. You pick up the kids after school and wonder what you’re going to make for dinner between now and soccer practice. You might have time to cook something quick, but if not, you run through the drive thru. You finally have a minute to sit and scroll through facebook while they practice. When you get home, you deal with the dirty dishes in the sink and you might remember to put the clothes in the dryer. By the the kids are in bed, you’re so exhausted! Then you do it all again in the morning. Does that sound familiar? This is how I lived my life for the longest time. On autopilot. On default.
Let’s go back to the Law of Motion and think about a bowling ball that lands right in the gutter. If the lane never ended, that ball would keep going on and on and on. That’s how we live our lives in the same gutter day after day. So what if there were little changes that you could make to stop that ball from rolling, to interrupt life to set you on a new course? To be more present. To be more intentional instead of running on autopilot. What if 5 minutes gave you more energy to enjoy that hobby, or have a nutritious breakfast, or meal prep, or go to yoga? What if these choices created a snowball effect that led you down the path to creating a lifestyle that is healthy for your mind and body?
There are several ways to do this but you have to have a mindset shift first. It must be a priority for you to disrupt this life on autopilot. Because its comfortable there for the time being, sure its tiring, sure it can be draining, but for some reason the comfort of the same habits keep us there. As humans, we find comfort in habits. So you have to make a conscious decision that new choices and new priorities can create a more fulfilled, less stressed, and more joyful life. So what are some easy ways to get out of this rut?
Not only does meditation allow you to be more aware of yourself but it causes you to notice things around you smells, noises, and feelings. And not just when you’re meditating but in day-to-day activities too. You can use an app called Headspace that will take you through the process. Mediation is not about controlling your thoughts. It’s about learning to recognize your thoughts and easily let them go. Have you ever accused yourself of overthinking a situation? That’s because we chase our thoughts instead of sitting still, letting our thoughts come and letting them pass by. Think of yourself sitting on the side of the road watching the cars when suddenly one car turns off the main road down a side road. Instead of just observing the car and letting it go, you start to run after it. You try to figure out where its going and start to follow it down every winding road. Never actually catching up to it, but becoming distressed tired and confused. So if our thoughts are the cars, then meditation allows us to see the car turn off the main road, acknowledge that its interesting, but then let it go and continue sitting peacefully without feeling the need to chase it, overthink it, or stress ourselves out trying to catch it. Start with just a few minutes a day, that’s all it takes.
Another way to get out of that rut, rat race, daily grind…is self-care. I’m sure you’ve heard A LOT about self-care lately. It seems to be a hot topic. But what is it really? I describe it as making yourself a priority for a portion of time every day. Let me say that again, MAKING YOURSELF A PRIOIRTY, a nonnegotiable, keeping an appointment with yourself like it’s a doctor’s appointment for your child. Would you miss an important doctor’s appointment for yourself or your child? Of course not! The actual self-care activity will be different for everyone, whether it’s a massage, reading a book, taking a bubble bath, that’s completely up to you. But putting it in your calendar, like an appointment, and not breaking it is the key. It is just as important as a doctor appointment. Your mental health should be one of your most important priorities. The time will be different for everyone too. Some people will have an hour and some will have 5 minutes because of the different seasons of life, but any amount of time will make a huge difference in being the best version of yourself.
Presence in the moment
Putting away your phone and be present in the moment. Have you ever gone through the day and literally cannot remember what you did that day. I found that the more time I spend on my phone scrolling through social media, the more time passed quickly and uselessly. I’m not trying to bash social media, it helps us stay connected with family and friends, however be very aware of how much time you’re spending on it. There’s a lot of research out now that says, it brings our mood down, causes stress and I know for me it excites my comparison bug which is never a good thing. Bring awareness to how you feel after you’ve spent some time scrolling through facebook. If those feelings aren’t in alignment with how you want to feel throughout the day, then maybe its time to cut down on it.
Implement these practices slowly and one at a time. It takes at least two weeks to create a new habit and if you try to do them all at once, you’ll be less likely to succeed in the long run. Once you have a few of these down, then you can start to create a new morning and evening routine that is in alignment with your goals (life and health goals).
To your health,
Coach Leslie J.