Hey there, how are you?
We often hear people around ask us that out of habit. Be it a good or bad reply, we never quite pause on that question for a bit: how are YOU really doing today? Do you have time to breathe today? Or are you in ‘survival mode’ or 'auto-pilot mode', wondering how to last till your next break.
Like everyone else, I get into the 9 to 6 routine and end up trying to get through each day. Keeping my fingers crossed that if today turns out to be a super long day, that it is for a good reason and would be worth its while. On certain days, the thought incline towards partial envy on how others do it!
When you and I are surviving, the day gets away from us. We feel like we’re getting further behind with every new thing we have to deal with. So what can we do when we’re in the middle of a busy season? I like to share with you 5 steps to unplug and reset our lives for a very good reason – so that each day may be authentic and not become one driven into auto-pilot mode.
1: MAKE TIME FOR A BREAK
On a daily basis – Unplug and recharge your batteries. We all know that as a theory. Now, let’s put that to practice. Right this moment, close your eyes or stretch for a few minutes. Keep doing this set throughout the day to keep you alert. A study has shown that closing your eyes boosts memory recall. That way, you can more productive after you snap back into work.
On a weekly basis – Keep a day each week for yourself. No matter how hard, block off an afternoon in your calendar for that. If anything comes up at the time you’ve scheduled in, kindly let everyone know you already have something planned. This time is important to you, just like any other dates with others. Avoid breaking this date unless there are emergencies and for busy mothers, I recommend this before school holidays start.
It’s a small secret but it will help you set time for yourself.
2: LEARN TO PAUSE
Accept that there are too many things to juggle, and there’s too little time to do all the things. You’re so stressed that even taking care of the little things is hard. Not because you’re doing less than your best. So press pause on your overwhelmed mind. Realise being busy without a choice to pause isn’t helping with what’s important to you and it’s just making you tired.
Tiredness will get you nowhere too far from where you are.
3: QUIET YOUR HEART
Go somewhere you can think without distractions for your ‘me’ break. It could be crafting a relax corner for yourself within your house, where your family knows when you enter that zone, they give you your space. For me, I like making myself a mug of tea and sitting quietly with my magazines and just enjoying my visual treats. Sometimes, I’ll go sit outside for a short ride on my bicycle when it isn’t too warm. Other times, I might visit a coffee joint to soak in their music and take in that constant smell of a fresh brew.
Some might go for a walk in the greenery we are blessed with in Singapore or cuddle with their pets or play their favourite instrument. I have friends who do these and come back happier to add more stress to themselves because they are at peace with themselves and know what matters to them.
Find your little piece of quiet, start your break there to clear your mind.
4: LET THIS MOMENTUM FLOW
At this point, you’re getting motivated to be extra mindful in this season of your life.
Spend some quiet time mapping out these:
- Make new habits to replace old ones
- Remix your everyday routine
- Add time for family and friends
With me, I always seem to skimp on sleep when I’m busy. I sleep later and later, then I wonder why I have trouble getting up in the morning. Unplugging showed me that having enough sleep helps me face the day. So I’ve included setting a consistent bedtime as one of the first steps to take.
Your change need not be big and you don’t have to have everything figured out. It’s all about moving towards where you want to be.
5: TIMING TO RESET YOURSELF
When you are ready to dive back into your regular routine, prepare a set of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations* in your mind first. The minute it gets crazy again, you are able to execute it instead of stressing out what to do to relax.
As you move forward bit by bit, you’ll find that getting a hold of yourself will make every day better. And that awesome feeling will motivate you to keep going.
You’ll soon find you’re more mindful regardless of how busy you are.
* To elaborate on intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Intrinsic motivation refers to doing something because it is inherently interesting, exciting or enjoyable. Extrinsic motivation refers to doing something because it leads to a separable outcome, like an award or profit. These two motivations can be tightly coupled. These can change over time to suit your lifestyle too.
LET’S WRAP IT UP
Now you’ve calmed down, let’s find out why you’ve mindlessly entered ‘survival mode’ so you can stop doing it:
- Why aren’t things working out exactly as planned?
- What’s making me so busy?
- What do I want from what I do and is this daily madness getting me closer to what I want?
When you take a long look at your busy life, the reasons you’ve stopped living mindfully can often surprise you! We hope you find this article useful and share with your loved ones.
Have a Hygge mid-week!