Our favorite ways to find calm in the crazy.
Here’s the deal: we realize that in the midst of busy weekday mornings flanked by commutes and meetings or getting kids to school and making a morning workout, taking 10-20 minutes for an uninterrupted meditation or mental pause might sound pretty far-fetched. But creating time for yourself to briefly reset doesn’t have to look like a traditional meditation session in order to feel some calm! While busy, stressful moments are pretty much unavoidable, this is what works for us to keep grounded throughout each day.
Take a Lunch Break Without Your Phone
It’s become the norm to not only eat lunch at your desk, but to continue working while eating lunch at your desk. Even if you only have 30 minutes to spare, try taking a lunch break away from your typical surroundings, and leave your phone behind. Sitting down to eat a meal alone or with a friend without the distraction of phones buzzing between you is an easy way to soak up the person you’re with or the surroundings you’re in.
Take a Solo Walk
Aside from being a great way to get your body moving, taking a walk around your neighborhood or through a park without a podcast or music in the background refocuses our attention on what’s naturally happening around us. Walking without an agenda helps us get into the flow of our surroundings and lets our brains wonder and our bodies relax. Even if it’s just stepping out of the office for a quick five minute walk, this always seems to helps us get re-energized and ready to finish the day strong.
Breathe Deep, Literally.
There’s a reason we encourage others to “take a few deep breaths” when we’re feeling totally overwhelmed or overworked. Deep breathing increases oxygen flow throughout the body, effectively de-stressing our minds and reducing cortisol levels, the hormone responsible for feelings of stress or danger. When we’re feeling completely at the brink of crazy, we’ll take a brief moment to pause and do some deep breathing exercises. We’re always surprised by how much clearer our minds and bodies feel just by inhaling and exhaling deeply.
Engage in an Activity Without Considering Whether It’s Productive
This past year, the critic and artist Jenny Odell released a book called How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, which is mainly about how our value is determined by how productive we can be on a daily basis. She argues that when we choose to detach from distractions and engage in an activity regardless of whether or not it’s considered “productive”, we can find some calm in our otherwise crazy lives. So...try an activity simply because you like it without weighing whether or not you’re accomplishing something! We like to take low-key bike rides, bake something new, or chill in the park.