Life isn’t called “the rat race” for nothing. We wake up every morning running around like a bunch of rats in a maze, scurrying this way and that. Yet, not accomplishing nearly as much as we think . Those who accomplish the most, both physically and mentally, know how to focus and not just run around. Others continue to wear their stress like a badge of honor.
If all you can do is tell everyone in your life you’re too busy, but can’t pinpoint what you’re busy with, it’s time to get out of fight or flight mode and make life into something enjoyed, instead of labored over.
- Simplify Unless, you plan on becoming a hermit, simplifying isn’t going to happen overnight. Write out everything you want to simplify, then do it — a little bit at a time. Too much laundry? Keep only a certain number of necessary and beautiful clothes in your closet. Spending too much time getting through your social media contacts? Put them in their own categories. This isn’t just about cleaning house and tossing out the rubbish. This involves all parts of your life. Leave out the unnecessary clutter of your routine.
- Breathe This is one I always forget. It sounds silly, doesn’t it? How does someone forget to breathe? It happens more than we think. When I took Improv classes, ten years ago, I would be running through a skit in class, forget what I was doing, and panic. The first thing Jef Rawls said when this happened was, “Breathe.” It was only then I realized I had been holding my breathe. These days, my daughter is the one who reminds me to breathe.
Yoga is a great stress reducer not only because of stretching out your muscles, but because you must breathe to make those muscles relax. Make a conscious effort to breathe when you need to tackle a problem. Not only does it keep you calm, but it makes your mind more clear and functional.
- Pray Or meditate. Commune with nature. Listen to silence. We live in a noisy, busy world. At any moment, some electronic device or another is going to scream for our attention. Take a moment every day to sit quietly and not think about anything. If your mind wanders, think about what you are thankful for.
- Stop Apologizing, Needlessly I’m sorry for taking your time with this, but…Many people apologize when it’s unnecessary. It becomes second nature, so we don’t notice it. Save the apologies for those moments when you need to and mean it.
- Cook a New Dish Once a Week It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just something different. You don’t need to travel across the world to bring new tastes to the kitchen. Let your tastebuds and imagination lead you on fun culinary adventures. Have you tried something at a restaurant and wished you could make it at home. No more wishing. Just take an hour and do it.
- Pamper Yourself Pampering yourself is essential. Is there a special kind of chocolate you don’t buy often enough? Do you keep from treating yourself to dinner out, because you think you can’t afford it? Is there an accessory that would make an outfit? Buy a fancy bubble bath, light candles, play music, and take a luxurious bath. It doesn’t even have to cost money. Take a monthly Boxing Day. Make a date with a cup of tea and a book. Take a walk around the park. There are so many ways to pamper yourself. You deserve it!
- Keep Flowers in the Dining Room Add a splash of color or something pretty to make yourself smile whenever you see it. Flowers (real or artificial), a plant, a painting. Something that reminds you of the beauty in this world.
- Allow for Imperfection Guess what! You’re going to make mistakes. Nothing will ever be perfect. Embrace your imperfections and quirks. If you are called out on them and are not harming anyone, politely smile, say “Thank you”, then continue life as you see fit. Life is too short to worry about being perfect. A slightly tarnished, ornate mirror is still beautiful to look at.
We are all in this world together. Avoid the stresses of what “might be” and live for this moment. Make everything into a game, laugh loudly, dance a lot, enjoy the music, and love deeply.
Have a great weekend! Happy Valentine’s Day! Love you all. ❤