In this pre-Christmas season, most of us experience a high level of stress, chaos and high demands on our energy. As I reviewed my work and family objectives and progress for this last week, I recognized that I couldn’t remember much of anything that happened throughout that week. It was all a muddled blur in my mind, one day blending into the next.
In my experience, making a concerted effort to pause frequently throughout the day to reflect and regroup greatly helps to reduce stress and regain focus. Consistent work without play makes for an extremely dull existence. The key is balance. It’s a hard thing to achieve for many, myself included. For the majority of my life, I have either been going 100 miles an hour or stalled entirely.
How do we create a stress-free and regain balance into our lives? Here are 4 suggestions:
Pause For Spirituality – taking time to center yourself and commune with God (whatever your interpretation of God might be), is crucial. It doesn’t matter what religious beliefs you practice, it matters only that you make time to honor your spiritual self and your connection to the Divine, every single day. In the early morning is best for the majority of people, considering that it will give you a positive state of mind for the rest of your day.
Pause For Self – each of us requires time every day to deal with our physical and emotional wellness. This is time we can utilize for exercise, journaling and self-exploration, and hobbies. Again, it doesn’t need to be massive amounts of time; but at least one pause should be long enough for exercise! Women, in particular, are guilty of looking after everybody else and neglecting themselves. Do not do that! When you are empty yourself, you can’t totally provide to someone else. Make yourself a top priority, and make time to care effectively on your own, physically and emotionally. Believe me, you will be a much happier person and be able to give that much more to those you love.
Pause for Loved Ones – Time together as a household is so important, and it is something that is sadly beginning to happen less and less in our hurried society. Make it a top priority to have dinner together every night. No distractions or tv blaring in the background. Have a “household day” or “family night” where you spend one night or possibly one weekend day together doing something enjoyable as a family – and this does not include camping out around the television. Go to the park and have a picnic, go to flea markets or yard sale, or during the winter you can go or develop a snowman sledding or ice skating. Time spent together having a good time is the most crucial thing. With your spouse or lover have a weekly “date night” where the two of you hang out alone together, without the kids, and without distraction. Relationships require maintenance to keep them strong. Make it romantic and revive the flame that first brought you together.
Work/Business – are you surprised I put this last? The majority of people today put work first and forget the rest, however doing so develops a sense of consistent task and drudgery. Work is essential, however, it’s not the most important thing in life. Your time invested working will be much more productive if you make the other 3 classifications your first top priorities. You won’t feel so stressed out, and you will achieve a lot more than you would otherwise.
In addition to pausing one of the most crucial things we can do to end up being more balanced in our lives is master the art of Mindfulness. This can be challenging for many of us, because as we are performing one task, our mind is already moving ahead to the next task, and the one after that. This means that at any given time, we are carrying out multiple tasks at the exact same time.
Attempt focusing only on one task at a time, and I think you’ll be amazed how much more you can get done, and with less stress and tiredness at the end of the day. It takes practice though. Initially , you might need to consistently bring your attention back to the job at hand. Your mind might want to keep wandering, as it is utilized to doing. That’s fine, just bring it gently back to exactly what you are doing today, and continue. With practice, you will be able to master this and feel far more centered and calm throughout your days.
One tool that has helped me and many of my friends greatly in reducing stress and creating a work/life balance is the meaning to pause® bracelet. It provides a gentle vibration every 60 or 90 minutes prompting you to redirect your thoughts and focus on what is important to you. For more information click here.