Mindfulness

5 ways to refresh and reboot your day

Some days it can feel as though we’ve up and joined the circus. As we attempt to juggle work, family, a social life - insert any number of things here – making time to reconnect and find balance can be difficult. In an almost-funny-but-not-really pun courtesy of today’s frenetic approach to life, taking time out to realign your mind and body is more important than ever.

How can you avoid a circus-induced burnout? Here’s a look at five ways you can restore balance in your day, to refresh and reboot, and make Y O U the priority. Even if it’s just for five minutes.

Take a break

Make sure you take time out. Don’t make the mistake of working through lunch or working back late. Your “down time” is precious. Follow the same pattern of regular breaks if working from home or looking after children; take them out for a walk in the local park or to a swimming pool. This downtime is essential to help you refocus your day. It’s been shown that taking a break, even if just for a few minutes, can improve concentration and focus, as well as help to manage stress levels. An added bonus: you may find some of your best ideas occur when you “take a breather” from the day’s normal routine.

Exercise

There’s no better way to re-balance during a particularly stressful day than to do some exercise. Getting your heart pumping releases those feel-good hormones, endorphins, which have been shown to act as natural painkillers. Go for a walk, work out at the local gym, take a swim, do some yoga, or go for a jog. Everything counts. Science tells us that simply walking briskly — so you can still hold a conversation during exercise but with a degree of difficulty —  is excellent for good health. It also serves as a great way to relax, unwind, and deal with any high-pressure situations.

Meditate

Meditation is a proven way to relieve emotional strain, ease anxiety, and manage mental stress.

With origins in Eastern religion and philosophy, meditation is now everywhere in Western society. Meditation groups and classes are widely available (check online or at your local library) and the mind-calming practice has entered our national consciousness as a great way to alleviate the symptoms of our fast-paced lifestyles. Not only is meditation a way to reduce pressure in your life, it also helps to refocus your thinking, allowing you to become more aware of your present situation, and reducing negative thoughts that can be caused by stress. It can also help to build tolerance for similar high-pressure events in the future.

Meditation

If you’re a beginner and interested in learning how to meditate, try the Headspace app or The Conscious Life for instructions and guidance.

Just breathe

If time doesn’t allow you to take time out to meditate, or you simply must work through the lunch break, try simply focusing on your breath. Stop for a minute, take some deep breaths and concentrate on the slow intake and outtake of the air from your lungs. You may be surprised the positive effects mindful breathing can have on your mental state. Even a minute’s relaxation with focused breathing can reduce stress levels and prepare you for the day ahead. Repeat as necessary.

Manage the sources of stress

Everyone has a bad day every now and then. It’s inevitable. However, if it’s happening on a regular basis, it should be dealt with accordingly. Is commuting driving you mad and keeping you from loved ones? Then perhaps think about changing your job. Try getting a position closer to home, or think about working from home. Perhaps a sea change (or tree change) is what you need to manage stress effectively. If that’s not possible, attempt to document and manage its sources. From time management to incorporating healthier meals into your day, there are many ways to isolate and therefore manage stress and make your day easier, happier, more productive, and more relaxed.

You can reboot and refresh at any time of the day, as many times as is needed. A good habit is to try and build these strategies into your day, whether it has been particularly stressful or not.

Try not to dwell on what has happened or frantically plan for the future. Simply concentrate on the present moment and enjoy.

To quote Eckhart Tolle, author of the ground-breaking “The Power of Now”: “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”

It’s an interesting concept. That the very present is all we really have. Yet it isn’t new. The ancient Stoic philosophy taught (in part) that one should meditate with the attention fixed in the present moment. Perhaps you can meditate on this thought as you take time out in the day to refresh and reboot?

Pressing the pause button on your fast-paced life may seem impractical when you’re busy, however, as the ancient Zen Buddhist saying goes: “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day, unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.”

Do you have any other tips that you find useful to refresh and reboot your day that you can share with us? Please don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments section below.  

 

Kindly note these thoughts are intended as a guide only. If you are having stress-related problems, whether at school, at home, or in the workplace, please contact your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional to discuss a solution.

Miranda Gray

Article by Miranda Gray

Miranda has had a background in the health and wellness industry for over eight years, and is a co-founder of Aussie Health Products.

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