Often, when we’re busy, the first thing to go out the window is self care. Trust me, I get it! Over the last couple of months, as I’ve been gearing up to open Exhale Mindfulness Studio, stay on top of running my coaching business, seeing my awesome clients, and getting cracking on planning our wedding, I’ve felt pretty strapped for time. There has been so much work to do and it hasn’t been possible for me to have as much down time as I normally would – so I’ve had to find creative ways to reset and get calm.
I find that staying balanced when there are a million things to do is about being very intentional and conscious of how I go about my days. Almost everything we do can be done mindfully!
No extra time required, it’s all about tweaking the way we do things or making simple shifts in your environment...
Here are 15 ways to create calm when you're short on time...
1. Listen to relaxing music while you drive and get into a habit of taking deep breaths during your trip.
2. Open your curtains or step outside first thing in the morning to help regulate your body clock and greet the day (rather than greeting your Instagram feed!).
3. Outsource something that you find stressful or just never get to (or don’t enjoy!) like the house cleaning, lawn mowing or ironing. Before you say ‘I can’t afford it’… actually investigate how much it would cost and factor in the extra time it buys you each week. You might find it’s worth every penny! That’s how I feel about paying for a cleaner! ;)
4. Save time doing your food shopping and groceries online. This is also a good way to budget as you can see the balance as you go rather than getting a surprise at the checkout!
5. Accept help when it’s offered and ask for it when you need it – your partner, family, friends, and work colleagues are often more than willing to help! When I was feeling spread too thinly recently, so I dropped my dog off at my parents for a few nights and asked my man to take care of the cooking for the week, and it made a huge difference!
6. Wear fuss free, comfy clothes. This might seem like an odd one but think about a time you wore clothes that itched or needed constant attention to stay in place – annoying, right! Choose comfy clothes and you’re removing that little extra stress.
7. Enforce a no-tech bedroom so you can relax more easily at bedtime and aren’t tempted to check your phone first thing in the morning. If you use your alarm, leave your phone outside your bedroom door and say goodbye to that time-wasting snooze button habit – you’ll have to get out of bed to turn your alarm off and just like that you’ve done the hard part of getting up!
8. Do some meal prep or plan your meals so you can keep up healthy eating when you’re busy. Alternatively, find a healthy food delivery service near you and organise to have some meals delievered.
9. Diffuse calming essential oils like lavender, rose, or camomile in your home, especially in the evenings. I like to put a cotton ball with a few drops of lavender oil on the shower floor so when I shower before bed, I can breathe in the calming scent.
10. Debrief at night by emptying your thoughts into your journal before bed and then spend a few minutes doing something that helps you switch off – I love reading a chapter of a novel or doing a meditation. Because when you’re flat out, good sleep can make all the difference!
11. Set a reminder in your phone to prompt you to pause and take 5 deep breaths three times a day.
12. Share three things your grateful for with your partner, family, or friends over dinner
13. Enlist the help of a support person like a coach, counsellor, or holistic therapist and see them every few weeks. This person can help you talk through anything that’s going on and support you to stay on top of things and look after yourself so that you don’t get overwhelmed.
14. Buy some Himalayan salt lamps to create a cosy and calm vibe in your home. In the evening, use these lamps instead of your normal lights so that your body and brain get the signal that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
15. Switch your coffee for organic herbal tea, a matcha or turmeric latte so that your trip to the coffee shop is a little more nourishing.
16. Do one thing at a time as much as possible - multi-tasking breeds stress and is often inefficient. Focus on finishing a task before starting the next one and schedule time to check emails and social media so you're not in reactive mode all day!
Try implementing at least one of these tips and see the difference it makes!
If you have any tips on staying clam when life is hectic, share away in the comments!