Happy November (Movember for some). Hasn't this month been something else? Emotional, perhaps surprising, and there are plenty of question marks to come. If you are experiencing some anxiety, you wouldn't be alone.
As we gear up for the holidays, I wanted to spend a few words on "finding peace" during this busy and often-stressful time of year. It doesn't have to be so bad if you take a few minutes to consciously get in the zone, and I will share some tricks and techniques with you below.
You may not even realize you need more peace in your life right now, but I bet you do. If you can spare a few minutes, think about how you're doing and how you plan to make it through the holidays this year, with all the craziness right around the corner. How's the stress level right now?
Here's a little list of tricks for you to pick and choose from as you dive into the end of the year:
1. Meditate in the morning, or after work. I don't mean some elaborate regimen in saffron robes, but rather a 10-minute practice of focusing on your body and emptiness. This does wonders in my own life when I need to stay sane. Message me if you want some suggestions - varies on the person and their needs.
2. Laugh in the morning. Nowadays morning news isn't all that funny (unless you have a really special sense of humor). so I recommend checking out something that historically has made you laugh. This could even be a photo album or a funny meme online. I often go for karmatube or a silly inside joke. It's hard to be all wound up when you're laughing in the morning.
3. Sing in the shower. Folks, use discretion on this one. If you rise especially early or your voice is particularly reactive, then tone this one down. Maybe move it to your car or on the way to the public transport. A little singing goes a long way, especially if you sing songs from a happy time in your life.
4. Take stretch breaks throughout the day. This one is tough for me at times because I practically melt into my office chair, but when I do it, I notice a difference. Even a few minutes can have great long-term health impact, and you'll appreciate the short-term release of happy brain chemicals.
5. Catch people doing something right. Taking your cue from Ken Blanchard's and Spencer Johnson's One-Minute Manager, you have so much to gain from catching people doing something right. Not only is this practice rewarding to your bottom line (can boost productivity 40%), it also creates a foundation for better work relationships.
6. Put your phone away at least 1 hour before bedtime. This is going to change your life, if you don't do it already. That light from your phone is actually messing with your sleep, and if you're like me and have trouble putting the phone away, start to notice what this is costing you in terms of peace and well-being. We don't need to be this glued to our devices!
7. Breathe. Yes, breathe in some more oxygen, friend! Suck it in, hold, and release slowly. Try it three times in a row, and call it a day. Breathing is underrated, especially if you feel yourself getting riled up.
8. Once a week, spare some time for frivolous hobbies. Whether you color, brew beer, or race drones, do something random for a change. Just relax and enjoy the mindless, self-indulgence of it all.
9. Release or edit some of those high-conflict thoughts. I'm sure you've got some in there somewhere. Thoughts that are clearly not serving you - they sap you of your energy. Maybe it's about you being a victim. Or about how you feel trapped. Or maybe you're just fed up or expect more from key players in your life. Make a conscious effort to release these thoughts, one at a time, and you'll be in a better place in no time. If you're not ready to release them, consider "positively reframing" them so that you create more space for a happy ending. I'm not diminishing the emotions you might have around these thoughts, but I am suggesting that you have a choice. I've worked with dozens of clients to release or reframe unwanted thoughts, and we've noticed results. I'm telling you that you can do it today, and I encourage you to try.
10. Think in terms of gratitude, understanding, love and joy. It's very hard to be upset if you are coming from this mindset. Make the most of your day by going back to the basics. Are there some role models or images that come to your mind when you think of gratitude, understanding, love or joy? Draw on visual cues and other forms of inspiration to help you get started.
Even if you add one or two of these things to your repertoire, I know you're going to have a more enjoyable and peaceful holiday season. Message me to tell me how you're doing! I'd certainly love to hear from you.