What has happened? Well, what hasn’t happened? Easter is just around the corner and talking to friends, colleagues, and family it seems time really did go by super fast. 2018 where have you gone? Yes, whether at yoga class, in the shop, skyping, or even reading the news – one thing I hear over and over again is how time has been zooming by.
What I also hear a lot is that many many people feel stressed, depressed, or even a bit disappointed that we are more than three months into this year. As if they were running out of time. And that’s the thing: how can we ever run out of time? I noticed, especially, when still living in the big city rather than by the beach, that for so many of us time is almost tangible. We save it, waste it, make time for someone or something, we lose time; time runs slow or fast, we have enough or not enough time to do something. It really becomes this big bubble that soaks us up and drives our minds.
So what if we were to let go of that bubble? Even just for a moment. Wouldn’t that take away a big heavy load and give us space to enjoy each day as it comes? Well, I know too well how easy it is to get caught up in this time bubble, but I also learned how to escape it and let me tell you, I never regret doing so. It feels absolutely phenomenal letting go of this time controlling concept.
It might take a little while to fully step out of that bubble and not get pulled back in, but even just taking a break from that heavy load can feel absolutely wonderful. If you are anything like me who used to be a crazy, busy bee checking time over and over again, working non-stop and at the end of the day already planning ahead for the next days to come, uh let me tell you – you really want to stop that. It won’t do you anything good and it definitely won’t let you enjoy the many beautiful moments that accompany you every single day. Every day is unique and there for you to cherish the amazing human being you are. For me, a few things play a major role in pulling me away from the time bubble: dancing, yoga, and surfing, where I find myself in a completely different zone; travelling (probably the most impactful eye-opener on so many things in life); and many little things that we do every day, but are hardly aware off. That’s why I’ve put together a bit of a list with what helps me and, hopefully, helps you to let go of that time bubble:
- Get rid of your watch: I know, for many of us having a watch is like a must have accessory plus it gives us peace of mind to know where we are in our day and plan accordingly. Yet that’s the thing – wearing a watch makes you want to check the time over and over again. Well, of course it can be a very helpful tool, but believe me not wearing a watch can be such an amazing teacher to get back to your intuition.
For example, do you check your watch to see if it’s lunch time? Or do you listen to your body and know when you need something to eat? We are easily tempted to schedule even the most natural activities rather than keeping it simple and listening to our wonderful body. If it just doesn’t work for you to leave behind your watch during work, try it at home or even in the weekends and see if it makes any difference. You can also try this with your phone and see how fantastic you feel not squeezing yourself into the time bubble simply not checking your screen for time, messages, and calls throughout the day.
- Organize a trip: sometimes having a little ‘highlight’ to look forward to cannot only bring us great excitement, but it also breaks up our day to day routine. This is great as it gives us a chance to get back to the simplicity of life. You probably have noticed how relaxed you feel after a holiday. Literally getting away from our usual environment can be quite eye opening and a fantastic reminder of all the amazing things happening in our life, but sometimes are hidden away in this busy blurriness we are trapped in. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy and don’t wait for that big holiday trip to come by. Arrange a picnic in a park nearby, go on a little hike, walk along the beach or go for a swim (if you can – the ocean is my favorite place to escape to), go camping, go to that concert, show, festival that you know will make you happy. Simply treat yourself to some time away any time.
- Meet up with friends & family: Yes, I agree. After a long day at work sometimes the last thing we want to do is go out and socialise. BUT it also can make you feel sooo much better. Not only because it is a great way to unwind, but also will your loved ones give you a feeling of comfort and ease. Plus they probably know you so well, that in moments of feeling stuck or stressed they are the right people to talk to. It can also be a great way of pulling you away from being lost in your bubble and realising that there are others that might need a little support or love. And how great does that feel being there for our loved ones when they need us?
- Enjoy nature: this is probably one of the easiest ways to escape that time bubble. Nature can be super nourishing not only for our mind, but also our entire Being. And the great thing is you don’t need anything for it. Going for a walk or sitting in the garden and enjoying the fresh air is a perfect tool to clear your mind and find peace. You’ve probably heard about the benefits of gardening on our mental health, but even if you don’t know much about gardening (like me) or don’t have a garden at all being outside and soaking in those smells, sounds, and sights can help reduce stress. You could also look out for community gardens, which is a great way to get into gardening and at the same time meet wonderful people. Like I said I’m not a big gardener myself, so for me simply sitting outside having breakfast or going for a walk (without music in my ears) is all I need to let go of stress.
- Exercising: awww there is plenty of stories out there on how great exercise is for our body and mind. I guess the key is to find something that YOU truly enjoy and gain positive energy from. If you are like me and get absolutely bored at the gym, then don’t do it. To me going for a bike ride or a run is often all I feel like doing. Plus it gets me outside – double win. It also doesn’t have to be that strict. If you struggle adding a workout to your day, then just try to add in a little bit more action to your daily routines: walk/bike to work, go for a walk at lunch time, stretch out after a long day, pick up your friend for a weekend walk/swim/yoga session; really anything that makes you feel good will also make you feel less stressed.
- Be grateful: At my previous job my amazing manager, who also became a good friend, told me about how she writes down three highlights each day. I really liked that idea and ever since started noting down my own highlights at the end of each day. It sometimes simply is things like ‘seeing a beautiful sunrise‘ or ‘having a day off‘ – whatever it is, it reminds me of how there is always something great even in times when things don’t seem to go so well. It is a reminder to appreciate what we have and that we sometimes just need to slow down to see those great little things in life rather than getting trapped in that stressful buzz. I also like to start my day with thinking of three to five things that I am grateful for. You should give it a go. It will set you off with a positive mind and great intention for the day.
- BREATHE: I know this sounds so easy, but believe me it is one of the things a lot of us neglect. Have you ever caught yourself being all tense? Well listen to your breathing, it probably is short and not flowing smoothly through your body. You might know that feeling when you feel like you’ve been holding your breath in for a while or it kind of got stuck somewhere in your body. Have a go and consciously work on this. Proper breathing helps to not only circulate oxygen throughout your entire body, but it also promotes clearer thinking and relieves stress. It might be of help to set yourself a reminder to take some deep breathes and release that tension in your body. Make sure you breathe through your nose as much as you can and consciously fill your lungs with air before exhaling. Practicing proper breathing a few mintues each day can be a great tool to make you feel better and at the same time, pull you out of the time bubble craziness. There is even apps out there to help you practicing.
Whatever it is that helps you finding a bit of peace and getting away from the time bubble, do it. There is nothing more important than looking after yourself. Days come and go, but it is up to you to enjoy as much as you can each and every single one of them 🙂