In a world where we are always running from one place to another when do we have down time? I am currently having issues with my sleep, I’m grinding my teeth, thrashing in my sleep, talking and waking up with headaches and just as tired as if I had 3 or 4 hours yet I am getting at least 7 or 8 most nights.
I have a friend currently visiting Bali and her last post on facebook was about how she wishes we could all slow down to their speed, she says they don’t rush about and they’re just relaxed. She has a point, we all rush around, and the more time we have the more we try to cram into it, well I know I do. If I have some free time I start wondering if I can fit in a yoga class, time at the gym or a run, cook a quick snack, fit in some shopping and before I know it I’m late and complaining I hate being late.
We have so many more mental health issues these days than we ever had before, I don’t know whether that’s a social thing or an awareness thing. But, I do wonder if some of it could be helped by slowing down and taking some time for ourselves. We work extra hours and second jobs so we can afford to do and have the things we think we need, but at the end of the day where does that get us? Unhappy and busy, we don’t have time for the things we like to do, or we no longer know what we want to do because we can’t remember the last time we even did it.
I wonder if it’s time we all got a little bit more present. If we all take the time to “sniff the roses”. I have recently moved back to the neighbourhood/city I lived in as a small child, so there is a lot of reminiscing. I recently went for a walk and went passed a house with frangipani trees and noticing the scent in the air from them reminded me of going for a walk with my Mum was I was 4 or 5 and being in our backyard, because we had a frangipani tree in the backyard. This made me realise how much we really do need to just stop, sit, clear our minds and appreciate the moment we are in, not worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow or this afternoon. Sure, make a plan, write a schedule or whatever you need and then leave it in the future where it belongs and go back to this moment now.
We live in a world where technology is everywhere, we barely ever get a chance to break away from it, and here I am writing on a computer. We try to make it a rule in our house, no television, phones or technology at the dinner table, I keep the tv off while I’m studying, in fact my tv doesn’t often get turned on until about 7pm, just for a few hours before bed, then we do a little reading. Sometimes it’s nice to get a break from connections outside of our own moments. Leave your phone inside and go outside and sit in the sunshine with a book, or hand the clothes on the line and enjoy the warmth. I think it’s important to do something like this every day even just for 10mins. I don’t take my phone on a run, or use it at the gym these days. I use that time to listen to my body, realise where it’s up to, and have some time to clear my head. When you think about it this is the only time when you focus on how you are feeling, probably exhausted and breathless, but it’s a good time to focus on those things and clear your mind from all the other things that have been weighing on your mind.
Since I’ve started yoga I find it’s a great time for me to clear my head, more so than while doing cardio. I like that there is a guide to remind me to focus on my breathing when my mind wonders off, and I try to enter the room and leave all my other thoughts and worries outside of the room, just allowing my mind to focus on me and making some space in my head. I do go to a hot power yoga class, and although that is distracting, there is always time at the beginning and the end for emptying the mind and relaxing. The exercise in yoga has so many different benefits, and yet it leaves me feeling relaxed by the time it’s over and I get home to have a shower. I find this is the best time for me to have some down time, that’s why I’m writing now, while I’m in my own space. I like to share this experience with people so they might try out yoga if they thought it was something they aren’t interested in, it gives you benefits you can’t really get elsewhere. It can bring you a calm, and it’s a great way to wind down your day before bed too.
If you’re like me and always busy, always stressed and rushing around to fit everything into your day, take 10 mins today to just notice your surroundings, how you’re feeling. Try and focus on your breathing if you can’t empty your mind, have a cup of tea and sit in the sunshine. Notice the taste of the tea, how it feels going down, is it warm or cold. Notice the warmth of the sunshine, and if there is a breeze. Just take some time to feel and leave the thinking until later.