If you’re like me then you probably have a million things on your plate right now. It’s so easy for us to put our own health on the “back burner” when things get crazy in our lives.
So, wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to slow down our days and still get everything done we needed to? There is!
I have put together a list of 10 ways that we can consciously slow down our daily lives…even for just 2 minutes at a time…to help us better handle the crazy, busy demands in our life. And, most importantly, focus on God's Word while being mindful during our day so we don't miss this precious gift of the present!
Tip #1: Give yourself more time. If you’re like me you cram a million things into each & every day. How would we get everything done otherwise?! Tomorrow, when you plan your day, stop & think about how long each thing you have to do will take. Then add a few extra minutes to each task. If you’re a chronic “time crammer” like me, this will help you not feel rushed and you might actually arrive to your next appointment early! This will lower your stress throughout the day which is good for your physical, emotional and mental health. If I can do it, so can you. Let’s give it a try!
Tip #2: Breathe! When we zoom through our day, and feel stressed, we deprive our body of what it needs most. Oxygen. Make a point to take a deep breath several times a day, especially in the moments when you feel most stressed. It works wonders!
Tip #3: Don’t cram. I used to pack a million things into my daily “to do” list (…ok I still do, but I’m getting better). Because I’ve learned that cramming my schedule only sets me up for a very stressful day and feeling unsuccessful at not accomplishing everything on my list. Not good. Now, whenever I feel like I have a few extra minutes, I resist the temptation of trying to do 3 more things. When you find yourself with extra time take the moment for a prayer of thanks to the Lord for the blessings in your life.
Tip #4: Just say "No". It’s perfectly okay not to accept every invitation that comes your way. In fact, it’s healthy! Only say yes to the things that match your priority list. Saying no will empower you to place your time and energy where it matters most.
Tip #5: Plan ahead. You get home (exhausted) open the fridge and wonder what to eat. Sound familiar? This week, work your schedule backwards and plan ahead. So, before you go to the grocery store think about what meals you’re going to make at home for the week. Shop according to your plan – this will save money and will help you eat healthier by avoiding last minute take out or frozen meals.
Tip #6: Write it down. Do you go to bed exhausted just to be kept awake by your “to do” list or thoughts about how to solve the problems of the day buzzing through your mind? Tonight, before you start getting ready for bed, write down anything you need to remember the next day. Then, consciously give yourself permission not to think about your “to do” list or anything else weighing your thoughts down. This will help you be more “in the moment” and allow your body to wind down to prepare for sleep.
Tip #7: Separate short-term from long-term tasks. One thing that has worked wonders for me is to keep a separate list for long-term projects that don’t need my immediate attention today. Then, I keep a daily and/or weekly list with short-term tasks that are more manageable. This helps to prevent me from feeling overwhelmed by things I don’t need to worry about today.
Tip #8: Be still and focus your thoughts on The Word. This can be one of the hardest things to do for those of us who are constantly on the go. I used to feel that I was not being productive unless I was in constant motion. But the reality is, our body needs to rest. Dr Mark Hyman Chair of The Institute for Functional Medicine recently posted to Facebook, “Relaxing is as important as breathing, sleeping and eating. Not taking time to relax is not good for you.” Try taking 2 minutes per day to just sit, and be still. By doing this you can literally flip your nervous system from “fight or flight” to “rest and repair”. This is a form of meditation that doesn’t require anything on your part except being still and focusing on your breath. Do your best to reign in your wandering mind to just focus on your breath. You’ll be amazed at how clear your mind becomes, and at how much energy you feel at the end of just 2 minutes. You can also use this time to focus on The Word. By spending 10 minutes a day reading and listening to the Word of God you will focus on what He is calling you to do instead of what you think you need to do.
Tip #9: Stretch. Do you give up on exercise for the day if you can’t make it to the gym? This is the end of regrets and excuses. All your body needs to do is move. Stretching can be equally as good for the mind as it is for the body. You can stretch at the office or at home. I love this website for exercise ideas you can do (literally) anywhere: www.ABEforfitness.com
Tip #10: Be kind to yourself. Our days may fast, but our attitude can be calm and methodical. This is determined by our mindset. Our thoughts become our reality, which is one of the most powerful realizations I’ve had over the past few years. And it’s so true! What we decide to focus on is what we tend to attract into our lives. So, one way to change our circumstances is to start by praying about it, asking the Lord for guidance, and by changing our thoughts. Words are powerful. When spoken by someone else they can lift us up or crush our spirit in a spit second. Have you ever thought about the impact of your own words on your body? We hear every word we speak and every word we think. And our body listens. Just like we can “physically feel” the love, pain, joy or sorrow in the words spoken by others, our body feels and responds to the words we speak and the words think just the same. Throughout this journey, I ask that you think about how you “speak” to yourself. Be kind and gentle, and remember to love yourself just as Jesus loves you! (1 John 4:16)
Jaime Ward, INHC, CGP, CBIN provides Functional & Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching for Women with Autoimmunity.
Jaime is Board Certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, Certified in BioIndividual Nutrition, a Certified Gluten Practitioner, and currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Nutrition with a focus on Functional Medicine from The University of Bridgeport.
Jaime is also a speaker, a writer, a busy mom, and a Celiac Survivor. Jaime coaches with a Christian heart filled with lots of love, support and compassion.
For more information about how Jaime can help you, click here.