Many of us feel like we don’t have enough time in the day to get things done. The worst part is that we usually end up throwing out the things that we need most in our lives, like time set aside for quietude and self-care, in exchange for our responsibilities and the nitty gritty tasks of life. Now this is where some guru (who surely doesn’t have a long commute, a toddler, or a budding new career) might tell you that you “need to make more time”. I am instead going to tell you that you don’t need more time! I am going to show you some really easy ways to work self-improvement and positivity into your routines, that won’t take away a single productive moment from the tasks at hand. This doesn’t mean I don’t encourage you to find time for self-care, of course I do. But sometimes we willingly make sacrifices for our jobs, families and friends that leave us with less space for our own care. This is a great cheat-sheet for the days we just can’t seem to spare a minute of ourselves, for ourselves.
Here are some of our inevitable daily tasks, and my tips on how to convert those moments into tools for being your best you:
- Waking up in the morning – Most of us take a minute to rub our sleepy eyes and regain our consciousness before jumping straight out of bed. Instead of the usual grumpy ideas that sometimes take hold like, “Is it morning, ALREADY?”, take this moment, before your mind has fully awakened and attempt to become present in your body. When you take in a few deep, conscious breathes and become aware of the boundaries of your skin against the air and blankets, you can get yourself there quickly. Then think about this: here you are a fully functioning organic human vehicle equipped with mind, body, and soul as the driver, traveling at your own free will on an astrological object full of luscious green earth and sparkling blue waters…YEAH BABY! And another chance to experience a day in this brilliant life is only one of many things to be grateful for. Think of a few more before you jump out of bed and your day will be set in the right direction.
Shower time and bathroom routines – The time spent brushing our teeth, and scrubbing down in the shower are perfect chances to seize the moment and turn some silence (or perhaps even the not-so-nice nagging) into positive self-reinforcement instead. When I’m in front of the mirror I like to acknowledge myself. A humble nod, a sort of telepathic “hello” to woman in the reflection. “I see you. I honor you, your journey and your presence in the world. And so will others. Keep up the good work sister.” This conversation is much more nourishing to my soul than grieving over a pimple or the latest shortcoming I realized I might have thanks to a recent magazine headline. “Is my [blank] too [blank]?” No time to question it! Because we can pro-actively fill our heads with the chatter we want to hear instead. “These legs are strong enough to carry my body where it needs to go today. Thank you thighs and crooked toes.” You may be surprised by how your entire body will feel like it’s smiling from a simple compliment. Our bodies try their hardest every day to support us in our fullest capacity – let’s love and appreciate them back!
- Driving and other errands – Kids are the best daydreamers. Dinosaurs, fairies, candy lands and super heroes galore. As we grow older and bigger responsibilities land on our plates, we tend to spend more time worrying about what may happen and less time dreaming of fantastic possibilities that could come our way. Daydreaming is not air-headed; it’s actually really healthy. It can inspire more creativity and enhance mental performance, not to mention the benefits of the law of attraction. As long as you’re a responsible adult (and I use that term loosely), let your mind run a little wild while you’re sitting in traffic and waiting in line at the store. Picture yourself accomplishing your greatest goal. How did you get there? What led you to find your ultimate dream job, house, or mate? Maybe you see yourself sitting at your desk working furiously when you get that moment-of-glory phone call from the higher-ups. Or perhaps a rainbow unicorn prances itself through your door and sweeps you away to your dream life. Pull in thoughts of accomplishing the seemingly impossible, instead of worrying about how things may not work out. You never know what brilliant idea might find its way into your life while your mind is on its healthy magic carpet ride.
There are really no good short cuts when it comes to health and happiness. This little cheat-sheet still takes a conscious effort and willpower to accomplish. Give these few steps a try, and see what a difference it can make in your day. Once you get used to taking advantage of these routine moments in your life, you’ll see these tips as more of a treat rather than a task. Granted, no one will really ever be excited about sitting in rush-hour traffic, but a little quiet fantasy time is extraordinarily better than listening to that same pop hit for the 18th time on the radio. It’s unicorns and happy endings for me!
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