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Believe me, I know what busy looks like, I’ve been a full time business owner for well over a decade and it involves juggling so many balls that I’ve lost count! So, I understand that with a hectic schedule there are some days when prioritising yourself can feel impossible. You tell yourself that you’ll slow down on the weekend, catch up on some sleep and fit in that yoga class. But, do you?
I’m guessing not always. So, what can you do to avoid running yourself so far into the ground that your wellbeing begins to suffer and you become vulnerable to illness?
Well, I’m happy to say that over the years I’ve learnt a thing or two about creating calm and managing mindful moments - even on busy days. So, here are a few tips to help you reduce stress and fit a little self care into your day. They also, help boost productivity and focus which is always a bonus!
SNACK OFTEN - That’s right, try and snack more often but always keep it healthy. Not only does this help to keep your energy levels consistent but it stops us from reaching that point where hunger takes over and unhealthy food choices seem like a really good idea! Reach for fruit as much as you can; it’s easy to carry with you and can even be eaten on the move if you really have to. Bananas are a favourite of mine, they’re sweet and curb any sugar cravings but more importantly they’re high in potassium and help to keep your mind and body in great shape. But, there’s lots to choose from; apples, oranges, pears, blueberries - the list goes on but pick the ones that you enjoy the most and you’ll be much more likely to eat them.
SLEEP WELL - I’m a real advocate for great sleep but if an early night just isn’t possible then let’s try and make sure that the hours that you do get are at least restorative. And, it’s really not difficult to improve the quality of your sleep. Reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol at least a couple of hours before bed (remove them altogether if you can), avoid screens for a while too because the blue light messes with your circadian rhythms which means that when you do fall asleep it takes much longer for you to reach the restorative deep sleep that your body needs. And, treat your bedroom like the sanctuary that it is; clear clutter, enjoy clean sheets and remove the tech. Here are a few more tips for getting a great night’s sleep.
PAUSE - With a busy schedule this idea can sometimes meet a little resistance but bear with me. We can all find a minute here and there - even if it has to be a bathroom break! Use this time to check in, see if you’re holding tension anywhere in your body - drop your shoulders, release your stomach muscles and take a few deep breaths. These actions help you release the ‘fight or flight’ mode that you’ve possibly spent the last couple of hours in. They tell your body and mind that it’s ok to relax. It also helps you to start afresh and stops you from carrying stress and tension from one part of your day to another.
START WELL - There are parts of our day that we can’t always control, but, how you start your day is usually something that you can. And, a positive start can make all the difference to how the following 16 hours go. So, how do your mornings look right now? If they’re not quite the calm and uplifting start that you need then consider making a few simple changes. I like to spend a little time in meditation so that i’m clear on my intentions for the day ahead (even a couple of minutes help). But, there are so many other things to try too; enjoy a nourishing breakfast, stretch your body, avoid reaching for your phone as soon as you open your eyes and most importantly smile because you’re here to enjoy another day.
DRINK MORE - I can’t say enough about how drinking more water impacts your day. Not only are you keeping your body hydrated so that it can carry out basic functions with ease but you’re boosting your mind, tackling fatigue and hopefully avoiding some of the caffeine too. So swap your refillable coffee cup for a large refillable water bottle and start today - yes it’ll have you visiting the bathroom a little more for the first week or so but your body will get used to it. You can even use those extra trips to create those moments of pause we talked about earlier.
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.