“Life is best enjoyed when time periods are evenly divided between labor, sleep, and recreation…all people should spend one-third of their time in recreation which is rebuilding, voluntary activity, never idleness.” ~ Brigham Young
With so much going on in the daily life of the average Joe, it is hard to stay motivated. We sometimes feel beaten down by society and all the things we occupy ourselves with, voluntary or involuntary. This can range from commuting, work, school runs, to housework, helping the kids with homework, cooking and finding precious time to unwind — which usually ends up with us watching TV. But how can we manage our time better to incorporate the things we long to do but feel we have no time for?
10 Tips Designed to Keep You on Your Toes
1. Quality Sleep
This is one of the most important things you can gift yourself and your family with. Make space in your night-time schedule to start winding down at least 1 hour prior to going to bed. You can light some calming, soothing essential oils, such as lavender and chamomile — will assist in good, sound sleep. You can have a warm, milky drink or some herbal tea. Switch off all radios and TV’s that are keeping you engaged in noise and ‘action’. Instead, you can read that book you’ve been promising yourself or listen to some relaxing music. All of these things can aid you into an alpha brain wave state, which allows your mind to relax and disconnect. You must avoid falling asleep on a full stomach or, even worse, falling asleep with the TV on. Your mind still takes in everything it hears, even whilst asleep, and having the TV on will not only disrupt your sleep but possibly cause you to have nightmares.
2. Berry Boost
With a good night’s sleep tucked safely under your belt, what better way to start your morning off with than a berry smoothie? This is quick and easy to make and will give your system a boost of sustainable energy. These smoothies keep me going for about 4-5 hours. They are great for your skin too, berries have anti-aging properties and the calcium is good for your bones, ladies! A quick recipe I use is (for one 500ml serving): Take 2 handfuls of mixed, frozen berries (or fresh if you like, I like the frozen ones because they give a kind of ‘crushed ice’ effect), 2 squirts of Stevia, 4 tablespoons of plain yoghurt and top up with some milk. Blend and drink your way to vitality and well-being!
3. Time Productivity
Use your time wisely. If you commute to work by public service, take this opportunity to meditate or read. Make it ‘you’ time. If you can, it is great to shut your eyes in the morning and the evening (could be on your way to or from work if you are traveling by public service) — for just 10-20 minutes at a time — to meditate and clear your mind. This will benefit you in more ways than you can imagine. It also gives you a break from the mind chatter or what I like to call ‘white noise’. This allows more productive thoughts through instead of the useless and incessant worry that can clog up the mind.
Huh? Don’t I do this automatically? Yes, but most people are in the habit of shallow breathing. You need to oxygenate your body for optimum productivity and chi (vital force). Try to, at least every hour, breath in to the count of 5, hold it to the count of 5 and exhale to the count of 5. This will give you a boost during the day.
5. Let Loose
This is an integral step for you to de-stress after a long day. Explore an activity that is tantamount to letting the ‘inner child’ out to play. I find it really helpful to put on some upbeat music and have a sing-song and dance around the house. Get your groove on and invite your family to join in. You can do this for just 30 minutes and it is a really fun way to get moving and to unwind. The best part is you also get a great workout — physically and vocally! Let your inner diva shine!
6. Keep it Clean
This is a macrocosm/microcosm thing — it affects the inside and the outside world. When you have a neat, tidy and clean home and/or office, you are happier. When you have a clean, refreshed body, you are happier. I have to tell you about my dog. She hates her bath, as do so many of our canine counterparts, but after she has been through this torturous activity, she runs around the garden like a dog-reborn — smiling, barking and just generally frolicking like a pup. Bath-time also equates to going for a walk (which she does regularly) but when she walks after her bath, she has a spring in her step and a wag in her tail that is much more noticeable. This is a great metaphor for how we feel when our bodies are bathed (make your bath-time a treat too — get some nice smelly soaps and bubble bath and make it an event) and our houses or offices are spic-and-span and organized.
7. Eat Well
Another part of keeping it clean is keeping the inside of your sacred body clean and invest in a detox every now and again. Or better still, make it a daily habit of eating healthy fresh foods. You know the kind I’m talking about so I’m not going to go into detail. This is a no-brainer, you are what you eat. Keep it fresh, colorful and simple and your system will be alive and vibrant, leaving you feeling energized and ready to take on the world. Have you noticed how sluggish you feel when you’ve pigged out on a burger and chips? Yeah? Well, you need to get real about what you are putting in and perhaps compare that to what you are getting out! You may have a Porsche but you can’t run it on horse manure.
8. Creative Space
This is really important. We all need to express ourselves creatively, no matter if it takes the form of art, writing, decorating, drawing, constructing/ building, etc. It is hugely beneficial to give yourself some time and a quiet space to be creative. If it is once a day, that is great. If you can’t fit it in daily then at least allocate yourself a good few days of the week to squeeze in 2-3 hours of creative expression time. You can even make this a family activity where everyone gets the time out to do something fun. It will teach you and your family the benefit of taking care of your own needs in an unselfish and productive way.
Take time out, especially with your family, to give thanks for all that you do have in your life right now. This can be a meal, as is commonly practiced in the saying of Grace. I am not a religious person but I do see the benefits of giving thanks. This could also be done in your quiet time in the bath, or whilst you are commuting, etc. You can explain the benefits to your family and encourage them to also find a quiet minute or two to reflect on being grateful. This feeds positivity and will nurture your good feelings ratio.
When you find the space to reflect on your life, your goals and your dreams, you can keep the picture of your destiny clear and precise. When you don’t take time out to ponder and to re-align with your intentions, you may lose sight of where you are headed. You can sometimes slip into a stream that does not fit the destination of your dream. Make a vision board where you can pin all the things you desire and all that you would like to manifest in your life experience. Make sure you hold yourself accountable for taking action towards your goals and keep this board somewhere where you will see it every day.
What is most important of all is that you enjoy your journey, this life is precious and special and you can make each day an enjoyable experience. If you catch yourself falling into boredom or despair, simply remind yourself that you can make a choice to re-align to a more joyful outlook — run through this checklist and see if there is anything you can do or improve on to bring you into a state of balance and fulfillment.
In the wise words of Eckhart Tolle, you can either be enthusiastic about what you are doing, enjoy what you are doing or accept what you are doing. When you do not fall into any of these 3 categories you set yourself up for feeling resentment or frustration.