Living in a world that keeps changing almost faster than time itself, there is an almost constant time squeeze to get things done. The pressures at work can easily carry over into your personal life. A forty-hour week is only a dream for the majority of working people. While this is true for almost everyone, parents, especially, find themselves drained physically, mentally, and emotionally at the end of a day.
When you have so many things to accomplish running around in your mind, you can easily feel overwhelmed. To remedy this, it is important to strive for balance and stay focused for optimal emotional strength. However, sometimes these two goals are in conflict. When this happens for you, practicing mindfulness is a new trend that can help you center yourself and focus on the things that are most important.
Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to what is happening within you without criticism or judgment. You often begin by focusing on your breath with a keen sense of awareness, curiosity, and acceptance about what is going on in the present moment. When mindfulness is practiced, it can be an approach to daily life that decreases stress, anxiety, and even depression. It is a trend that is gaining momentum in the work setting, schools, and at home. Even retirees are benfitting from practicing mindfulness.
In addition to mindfulness, there are other things you can do when there is not enough time to accomplish as much as you had hoped to do in a day. By selecting one or two of the following suggestions, you can also create a feeling of inner balance:
- Take care of your emotions by decreasing your stress level. Ten or fifteen minutes of exercise and/or meditation can release tension.
- Get plenty of sleep, and make healthy food choices to have the energy you need.
- Limit alcohol consumption and stop any problematic behaviors that prevent you from connecting and building supportive family relationships.
- Spend time and energy with family and friends. Strong personal relationships bring a high level of satisfaction with life.
- Practice "savoring" the joys of life instead of "stewing" on problems. Notice an increase in energy when you are savoring even momentary pleasures.
- Count your blessings by writing down three things you are grateful for, appreciate, or that went well and why (because) at least three times a week. It helps the most when you are having a tough day.
- Write a gratitude letter to someone whom you are grateful for in your life. If possible, visit the individual, and read the letter to him or her. If a visit is not possible, you can email it, call the person, or send it by mail. Notice how you feel after doing this.
- Be sure to find time to laugh and catch yourself smiling. It is contagious and lightens your load.
Choosing to do several of these ideas will help bring some balance back in your life. When you make it part of your routine, it will be renewing, increase your energy, and help you focus on things that are important to you.
I would love to know how this works for you.
Until next time,