How do you stay balanced in today's always-on world? Picture this: while you're quickly ticking off a few deadlines to join your online workout class on Friday, you're simultaneously scoring an original gift online to go on a 'window visit' to see your new nephew. Recognisable? We experience a sense of satisfaction from getting as much done as possible in as little time as possible. Ticking off to-do's causes happy hormones to be released. It's satisfying to be so productive, but don't lose sight of the importance of doing absolutely nothing. Discover, with the tips below, how to 'switch off' for a while and the benefits of doing so.
Your own Earth Hour
Every year, millions of people around the world 'celebrate' Earth Hour on the last Sunday of March. At 20:30 sharp, millions of participants from more than 180 countries switch off all the power, giving Mother Earth a moment to catch her breath. By literally turning off the power, a moment of rest is built in. Earth Hour was created to raise global awareness not only for the climate crisis, but also for our own health, happiness and self-care. So, why not build in your own Earth Hour? A moment when you literally turn off the world around you and recharge yourself.
Organise your thoughts by not thinking about anything
During the day, we constantly have to switch gears. For example, between answering emails, having conversations, discussing new projects, playing with our kids and using apps. No wonder it sometimes feels like your 'bucket' is overflowing. By disconnecting and literally turning everything off, we give ourselves the chance to put our thoughts in order. By bringing peace to your mind, you will be able to better distinguish between what is important and what is not and your productivity will increase.
Try the following meditation, preferably in the morning. It will calm your mind, bring order to your thoughts and give you a sense of pure stillness.
Step 1: Sit up straight in bed, with a soft pillow supporting your back.
Step 2: Close your eyes.
Step 3: Imagine a beautiful blue sky.
Step 4: Visualise all thoughts as clouds. If a thought raises, just let it be, let it float by.
Step 5: Enjoy the calmness.
Open the door to your imagination whilst doing nothing
Are you in a creative profession? Then it’s likely that your creativity has faltered during busy times. Because your mind has to work hard to process all the details and information, you deprive yourself of the peace and space to be creative. By doing nothing for a while, you literally open the doors to your fantasies.
Try this: stare out the window while drinking an energising cup of coffee, take a moment to smell the coffee, notice feel the warm sensation of the cup in your hands and really take your time to taste and enjoy the brew. It’s an instant reset for a clear mind!
Change your muscle tension
Because, nowadays, we spend a lot of time at home and most of us work at the kitchen table, it is a challenge to build in moments of total relaxation. It is more difficult to take a break and get out of work-mode. No wonder that, at some point, your muscles protest and you can no longer find a comfortable position! Tense muscles are not only painful, they also cause a lack of concentration.
Give your body a recovering boost by lying down and thinking of, you guessed it, nothing at all. Discover how your tiredness flows out of your body and how your stiff muscles relax while you rest.
Tip for a relaxed posture: lie on your back on a soft surface (for example a blanket or a fluffy cushion) and put your lower legs on a chair or a sofa at a 90-degree angle. This position automatically tilts your pelvis, stretching your back muscles and allowing you to sink into a wonderful state of total relaxation. Lie like this for 10 to 15 minutes, close your eyes and enjoy a blissful moment for yourself.
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