Who couldn’t use a bit more balance (and calm)?
That’s why we share this piece from our I Carry The Bag® magazine archives.
Originally Published July 2012
by Life Coach Mary Allen
America’s Inner Peace Coach at LifeCoachMary.com
If you’re working harder than ever, with demanding schedules, demanding workloads and demanding ambitions, it may feel like there is little to no time to balance life out.
The good news is it doesn’t have to take hours, days or weeks to minimize how overwhelmed you feel and allow yourself to refuel – almost instantly!
Many of the proven tips I’ve outlined today only require a few minutes to reward yourself with a burst of energy that will pay you dividends.
Take a deep breath. It’s free. It’s easy. It takes a few short minutes.
Take a deep breath in….. HOLD 1, 2, 3, 4…. and exhale …..ahhhhhhhhh, as you drop your shoulders.
Repeat 4 times.
One of the fastest and most effective ways to bring yourself back to the present moment.
Since most people hold their breath unconsciously when they’re stressed, this is the perfect remedy.
[Also read: Anxious Wholesaler Syndrome ]
Take mini-breaks. Stepping away from the computer or phone for as little as 5-10 minutes can be enough to balance your energy, and remind you that work isn’t the only priority in your life.
This is especially effective if you’re feeling blocked on a project.
The shift of attention often opens the space for answers to arrive after your mini-break.
Get a snack.
Filter distractions. Personal phone calls, non-business or irrelevant email or office drama can zap energy and add stress to your already maxed out nervous system.
The best remedy is to make a commitment and filter out the distractions that are sucking up your valuable time and energy.
Connect with loved ones. A quick text, phone call or hug from a loved one can be all you need to elicit those nourishing feelings of love and support.
Even gazing at a picture of your spouse or children is effective.
The most important part is really connecting with those feelings of affection, both in the giving and the receiving.
Engage the senses. Overwhelming feelings and the experience of chaos live in the mind.
When you shift your attention to your senses, you’ll immediately experience relief.
Stop and smell the roses.
Indulge in a soothing Jacuzzi or hot shower.
Enjoy watching a breath-taking sunset.
Savor a glass of wine, a decadent piece of chocolate, or a delicious meal.
With each of these experiences, the key is to s-l-o-w down, and really engage each of your senses.
What are you seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting or touching?
The more you practice engaging the senses, the faster you’ll become at finding instant relief.
Exercise. Even 12 minutes of cardio is enough to give you huge health benefits to boost energy and squash your feelings of being overwhelmed.
Nap. Just 5-10 of lying down with your eyes closed can help you instantly find fresh energy, wiping out being overwhelmed and exhausted.
If you can take more, do it!
Be sure and set your phone to wake yourself up before your next appointment.
Sometimes I do this between coaching appointments or even at airports.
The only thing people will notice is your refreshing attitude after the nap!
Meditate. If sleeping isn’t an option, meditate. (have you visited headspace.com?)
Give yourself permission to not think for 5-10 minutes.
Swap out your office chair for an exercise ball. If you spend a lot of time at a desk, consider getting an exercise ball and put a little bounce in your day (click image to view at Amazon).
One of my clients, an accountant, meets tax clients from his second chair.
It becomes a great conversational piece while giving him an extra zip!
Get a massage. If you’re overworked, overloaded and overwhelmed, I guarantee your muscles are tight and filled with tension.
Gift yourself with a deep tissue massage to support relaxation, as you give yourself a time-out.
You deserve it! Schedule one for yourself today.
10 minutes of sunshine and fresh air. Not only is this strategy simple, free and effective, it’s the perfect way to engage your senses and take in an extra dose of Vitamin D.
Hydrate. Water is your friend.
How about taking a few healthy and balancing swigs right now?
Give yourself premium fuel. The brain consumes 20% of your body’s energy, so even working at a desk all day requires calories!
A quick way to rebalance is with a high quality snack or meal.
Junk food doesn’t count.
Hug your furry one. If you have a cat, dog or any other furry creature, you’ve got a built-in source of rejuvenation.
Take a few minutes and pet, cuddle or receive kisses from your furry one.
Allowing yourself to receive the unconditional love from your pet is underrated!
S-T-R-E-T-C-H. A few minutes of stretching does wonders for your body, and it provides the balance you’re craving.
Join a yoga class.
Or simply do 1-2 simple stretches for a quick break.
Even gentle neck rolls calm the chaos.
Plan a vacation. As fabulous as quick balancing strategies are, it’s good to unplug completely 2-3 times a year.
Take a few minutes and plan your next vacation.
Knowing you’ve got a break coming up is a fabulous energizer.
I invite you to select 5 or more of these simple strategies and commit to them!
Target at least ONE each day, and make it a habit.
You’ll quickly see which tips work best for you, and understand how even a few dedicated minutes away from work can build balance, even amidst the chaos.