Is it just me, or is every day getting quicker than the next? Or is it that I continue to add more and more to the ‘to do’ pile? Day in, day out, I go through every emotion thinking something is wrong – what have I become? Who am I? I often think, I don’t even know myself anymore. Eek. I’m only telling you this today because I know, not for one millisecond, am I alone.
What I add to the the pile is after all my choice and nobody else’s. Or is it? Do people have higher expectations, are people more abrupt (you can thank email for that much), ruder, more demanding? We are all ‘busy,’ all rushing about. I’m sure the view from Mars has us all resembling a trail of lost ants hustling and bustling across the planet. Possibly the high expectations we’ve adapted continually have us feeling let down and rushing to the next equally high expectation set to try and gain some satisfaction.
I for one, am a bit over it. I don’t want to play this game anymore. But sometimes I’m not really sure how to get off the merry go round. So rather than focus on what I don’t know, it makes far more sense to focus on what I do. But more exciting still, you might have seen on Snapchat;
I’m motioning that today, is a National Day of Ease.
During this ‘National Day of Ease,’ there are a few easy principles I’m keen to have you apply. Hopefully you’re equally as keen to join in on the action. Plus, if we can create this day of ease, we can let it flow on over into the next day and so on and so on until, we’re all just easy like Sunday mornings! So here are my tips on this National Ease Day I’ve just created just for you.
Short Time Movement.
It’s time to go back to basics. 8 x 8 x 8. This principle was prompted by the Eight Hour Day Movement or also known as Short Time Movement and also the motion behind Labour Day (who knew!) The idea – we set aside our days into 8 hour compartments. Eight hours of work, eight hours of play and eight hours of sleep. Of course we are all different, some of us need more sleep than others, but it provides a great guide to check in with. Are you overworked? Get on the benefits of the Eight hour working day!
There are thousands of ways you can wind yourself up into a tizz and literally only one way you can undo or put a stop to the autonomic nervous response that is triggered when we are stressed. Our sympathetic nervous system (that’s our fight or flight response) does not simply ‘turn off.’ It can’t do this until it recognises that both the body and the mind are not in danger. It is then that the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest response) begins to go to work to help the body recover. Many of us never relax enough mentally, physically and spiritually for this to happen which rapidly ages us, makes us sick, lowers our immune system and a host of other issues including fertility challenges and hormone imbalance.
Many studies demonstrate that people who learn how to handle pressure better, experience improvement with autoimmune, inflammatory and coronary disease. So how do you practice Easy 5? EASY! Place your hands on your abdomen and gently close your eyes or stare slightly lower than eye level. Take a deep breath in and allow the abdomen to expand as it fills with air. When you exhale do so until your belly is empty of air and you feel it retract. Repeat 5 times. Diaphragmatic breath is the only way we can lead our body back to a state of balance and help to support the parasympathetic nervous system to do it’s job. Best part about this is – you can do it anywhere!
Sleep for health.
Creating great sleep hygiene is where it all starts, but what’s frightening is that it only takes a couple of sleepless nights to set up a nasty new habit. Need more info on how you can gain better sleep – you can read about that here. My best tip – be in bed by 10pm. All the magical recovery happens in those few hours prior to midnight.
Eat the goods.
It goes without saying, but you can’t skimp on good nutrition. In times of high stress you’re normally ‘oh so fabulous’ diet can go by the way side, we can lose our appetite and miss out on the goods. So we must choose well, have our go to staples and fuel up! Know what your default foods are and call upon them today so you at least are able to serve your body what it needs. When I’m under the pump default foods for me are nourishing soups and turmeric lattes!
Stress is a choice whether we acknowledge it or not. It’s not necessarily easy to always have perspective, so it’s important during the times that we do, that we learn to choose better to create new healthy habits so that it too flows across all areas of our life. I talk deep about this in Debunking Stress. We’ve gotten so used to the pressure and this feeling of our sympathetic nervous system being charged constantly, we’ve possibly put ourselves in a position where stress feels normal. This means that the little things that certainly don’t warrant stress, we by default stress about simply because we’re in the habit. We feel that stress equals success and all of a sudden we find ourselves frantic about small things like running late or getting to bed on time. We can choose better. When you’re feeling wound up, ask yourself, “does this warrant stress?” Sure there are certainly things in life that do, but chances are that what you are stressed about really doesn’t and you can choose to approach it with ease.
Check in with yourself regularly and adapt the mantra, “today I choose ease.”
But the best thing you can do on this self proclaimed National Day of Ease is remind yourself that everything you need is right within you and you have everything you need right now, in this moment to help you get through today. This is the key to health, happiness and loving life. Better days are right here (and now) for the taking.