Are you making the most of every day or do you feel like they go past in a blur – one week disappearing into the next and before you know it, boom, we are rapidly approaching the longest day of the year and the start of Summer?
So how can you do it differently? What can you do to make the days more meaningful so that each and everyone counts? Well here are 7 ideas you can start doing straight away each.
1. In Ayurvedic medicine there is a daily practice called Abyanga. It’s a simple practice of self-massage where medicated oil is massaged into the body as a way to nourish and protect the whole system. Sparing five minutes a day to try self-massage will boost your immune system and improve your bodies health in numerous ways including circulation and detoxification. It also calms the nerves and decreases the effects of ageing! Taking the time to check in with yourself in this way is also deeply healing.
Start with your left foot and work up to your bottom. Repeat on the other side. Massage your stomach in clockwise rotations. Start with your left hand and work up to your chest and then repeat on the other side. Finish off with your neck, head and face. You can do this massage before your shower, in the shower, or after the shower. You can gently massage your skin without using oils, with basic organic coconut oil or with organic oil of your choice (maybe even an Ayurveda oil specifically designed for this purpose!) If you don’t have the time in the morning try it in the evening – whichever works for you.
2. Take the day by storm in how you interact with it. Smile and engage with the world with positivity and that’s what you will receive back. Be kind, engaged and fully present in all your interactions with others. Thank people and mean it. Connect with others with eye contact, open energy and a generosity of spirit. Practice gratitude actively seeking out the positive in every situation and experience. Choose to see everything as an opportunity for learning and growing rather than an inconvenience and a problem. If your patience is tested remember it is an opportunity to learn patience. If you find something stressful it is an opportunity to learn how to remain calm when up against it. Work with the day to get the best out of it.
3. Go a bit slower and lookup. When we dash around we tend to look down (or at our phones). Whenever you can put your phone away, move a little more slowly and take in the world around you. Notice the clouds, the sky and natures seasons, give yourself some perspective literally and metaphorically. If you’re in a queue don’t grab your phone, instead, focus on your breathing or just being still and taking a rest. These need only be moments, but it’s the moments that add up to the overall quality of your day.
4. Try to do whatever needs to be done as mindfully as you can; focus on what it is you are doing with awareness being as fully present as you can. You might have got used to multitasking but monotasking is a much more effective, healthier and efficient technique. It will help you feel less mentally fractured and stressed. The more present you are in each moment the more you will connect with what’s happening and the more meaning it will hold. This is equally true for situations you consider difficult or challenging.
5. What makes you laugh? What brings meaning to your life? Make the time to do these things on a regular, if not daily basis. It’s the antidote to pressure and stress. Nurture your soul. See if you can sit and enjoy a short meditation (there are lots of app’s which you could try out). Meditation is proven to improve well being in mind, body and spirit. It is a beautiful practice that once established within your life will make a difference in more ways than we can write about or you could ever imagine.
6. Switch off. We are now in a world that doesn’t stop. It’s 24/7 all the way and humans are not designed to exist like this. Our bodies are thousands of years behind the demands of 21st-century life. Rest on a daily basis and weekly basis is essential. Don’t neglect to rest and definitely don’t feel guilty about it when you do. You might like to set a cut-off point for using your electronic devices (ideally a couple of hours before bedtime) so that each evening you train yourself to switch off, disengage and rest. It’s so important to your health and well being and you might just find that in the space this provides your relationships also improve as you give them the energy and attention they also deserve.
7. Put memorable moments into your busy schedule. It’s easy for the to-do list to take over the working week but it’s even easier for the weekend to disappear in household chores and the demands of family life. Make sure you carve out the time to do the things that you love with the people that you care about. Creating special moments creates memories and that’s what will give meaning to your days and weekends as time gallivants on.
Now, of course, it goes without saying that added to this list should be a good healthy diet, exercise and getting a goodnight’s sleep. However, we wanted to concentrate on some elements that you might not already be aware of and much is available on all these great self-care topics (not least of all our sleep blog!).
So what do you think? Will you be able to start including any of these practices in your daily life? Each one is about adding meaning, depth and quality to the daily routine so that you get more out of the small moments knowing that they each contribute to the whole.
As usual, email us if you have any questions – we love to hear form you.