I just took a walk around our neighborhood with one of our daughters. It is the most glorious early fall evening. Many neighbors are out walking dogs, riding bikes, jumping on trampolines, grilling yummy smelling foods. It is just one of those somewhat cloudy, but warm and beautiful evenings.
School is well under way now. Most people are adjusted to the rigors of early mornings getting to the bus and late evenings finishing up soccer practice and homework and part-time jobs. For me, it is a most busy time; teaching at high school in the day and the local college in the evenings. But it is all good if I can keep balance in my life.
I have a couple of pointers for myself to help keep that shadow of overwhelming from edging its way into my sense of peace and well-being. Adjust this list so it suits you and it may help you in your busy seasons as well.
- Get enough sleep. As you know, this is so much easier said than done. For some it means getting to a doctor to help with physical things that may inhibit sleep. For others it means taking turns with a spouse to cover parenting responsibilities. For others it simply means turning off the technology and going to bed. I promise, this one step can create a sense of well-being that covers a lot of shortcomings in the following steps.
- See some sunshine every day, even on cloudy days. Take a short walk on your lunch, or stand by a window on a break. Walk somewhere outside if possible.
- Keep up on your gratitude journal. It is gratitude that attracts the next good thing into your life. Those who follow this practice know of its immense power. However, no one can explain the gift this is to yourself. You just have to try it to find out for yourself.
- Look up a funny cat video, or read a humorous story or comic strip. Watch something silly that tickles your funny bone. It doesn’t matter what it is, just allow yourself to laugh — right out loud.
- Allow yourself downtime, even on the busiest of days. Schedule time for yourself to refuel your engine through meditation, thought or prayer.
- Look someone important to you in the eyes and tell them something wonderful about him or herself. This is a gift that will come back to you multiplied.
- OK you may only have 15 minutes. Make it count. Even a few sun salutations will work wonders. Just move! Love your body and what it can do.
- Eat. Get enough nutrition. Get a little sweetness, too. Enjoy wonderful food in the amount that makes you feel good.
- Turn on some good music, the kind that lifts your soul.
- Find something to be passionate about. Do something about it.
These steps are in no specific order. They are just things that help me find balance when life can get a little overwhelming. Enjoy everything. That is really what life is about.