How to Stay Grounded in Your Busy Schedule
Jan 02, 2018
Are you an everyday #ladyboss who finds herself struggling to find time to catch her breath?
Between the commute to school or work, hitting the gym, cooking dinner, finishing homework, walking the dog and getting a load of clothes in the washer, you may find yourself hitting the hay every night before you even know what hit you.
And if you can add in being a parent, and you probably don’t even remember closing your eyes before opening them again the next morning.
Even when you’re juggling all your responsibilities like a champ, you might start to feel like you barely have time to stop and take a temperature read of your mental and emotional health.
But you can’t drive the car if the gas tank is empty — and you can’t run that meeting if you’re completely worn out.
Carving out a little bit of “me time” every day can help you stay grounded through it all.
Studies show that having some downtime can actually boost your energy and focus. And taking a mental break can also help you solve problems, process new information, and make stronger memories — all of which are great for your mental health.
Use these tips to relieve stress, find your focus and stay grounded in your busy schedule.
Say Hi to Mother Nature
If you find yourself stuck inside for most of the school or work day, make it a priority to get outside every day.
Spending just a few minutes outside can help you feel more centered and relaxed during a stressful day.
Studies have found that going outside, even just for short periods during the day, can relieve stress, improve concentration, boost creativity, and ease mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
When your schedule threatens to overwhelm, get out of the house or library and go for a 15-minute walk. Focus on your breathing and the pleasant sights, sounds and smells mother nature has to offer.
Feeling low on energy? Forgo that third cup of coffee for a quick bask in the sun.
Besides the boost of vitamin D, going outside regularly has been linked to reduced inflammation, better vision, and a stronger immune system.
Spend Time on Self-Care
When there’s so much going on in your busy schedule, it may seem like spending time or money on yourself just isn’t a priority.
But taking care of yourself helps you keep the energy and motivation you need to cross all those tasks off your to-do list. You can’t drive a car without gas, and you can’t finish that essay or meet those work deadlines if you’re in need of some serious self-care.
Beyond the obvious bubble bath or brunch with friends, here are a few creative ways to send some love your way:
- Choose one thing you can say “no” to this week. You can’t do it all, and overloading yourself is a quick way to burn out and lose energy for the things that matter most to you.
- See how long you can go being “unplugged.” The constant pinging from phones, email, and other devices can be a distraction that keeps you feeling overwhelmed and busy. Turn off the phone, iPad, and laptop to give your mind a well-deserved reset.
- Make art. Even if you don’t think you’re creative or artistic, you can still color in an adult coloring book or doodle on a page. Simply making something without worrying about the final product can help relieve stress and inspire your imagination.
When life becomes hectic, it’s tempting to feel like some of the wonderful opportunities that enrich your life are burdens rather than blessings.
A great way to stay grounded when you’re feeling overwhelmed is to consciously focus on the things you’re grateful for.
If you’re stressed from dealing with an unexpected house repair, remember how grateful you are for a cozy space to spend time with friends and family. Or if your homework pile seems never ending, remember how all those hours of studying for your degree will help you nail that dream job in the future.
A gratitude journal is a great way to build in some warm fuzzys throughout your day. Just like you would check out your to-do list in your agenda every morning, jot down 3 things every day that make your life amazing.
Studies show that people who keep gratitude journals report higher happiness levels. Gratitude has also been proven to be a powerful force for helping people recover from difficult times, including trauma and tragedy.
Allow gratitude to bring more joy into your life by keeping a gratitude journal. Soon you’ll be refocusing your attention on the many things you’re thankful for, rather than obsessing over any points of stress.
Tap into the Power of Mindfulness Meditation
You might not fancy yourself to be the spiritual type, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t reap the benefits of mindfulness meditation.
Less stress and anxiety, better memory and focus, and even more feelings of satisfaction in your relationships are just a few of the many feel-good benefits meditation can bring you.
And the only thing you need to meditate is comfy place to sit and ten minutes out of your day.
Here’s how to do it:
Find a comfortable place to sit where you won’t be easily distracted. Your favorite park or favorite room in your house can be a good place to start.
Sit with good posture and your legs crossed. You can allow your eyes to gently close or keep a soft focus on a point in front of you.
Focus on the physical sensation of breathing. Count to 4 or 5 on your inhale, and 4 on your exhale. When your mind wanders, return to counting your breath.
Start with just 5 or 10 minutes a day, and work your way up to longer meditations. Sitting still isn’t always easy at first — especially when your schedule is full-speed ahead from the moment you run out the door in the morning.
But like anything else, mindfulness and relaxation just takes practice. And the benefits of less stress and more focus are definitely worth it.Between juggling work, school and staying social, it’s not always easy to strike the perfect balance. Here are even more ways to find balance in your hectic schedule so you can say yes to what really matters (and shrug off what doesn’t) >