Creating Stillness in a Chaotic World
Can you think of the last time you were completely still?
Both your body and your mind?
Let’s do it together right now. Close your eyes and quiet your mind for about 30 seconds.
How did that feel?
Did you find it difficult?
The answer is probably yes, because unless you practice, quieting both your body and mind is very difficult.
There are so many things going on in the world around us that it is easy to get consumed with it all. So now, maybe more than ever, it is important to remain grounded and add “stillness” to your routine. Here are a few ideas that you can try!
Being outside can have a huge impact on your overall wellness. It not only can lift your mood, but also can provide important vitamins, like Vitamin D! Getting outside during the winter months can be an added challenge, but thankfully spring is right around the corner. Maybe you start taking some time outside during your lunch break. This could look like walking a lap around your building or just stepping outside to eat your lunch. Your time outside doesn’t need to be complicated, just a few minutes to soak in some sunshine and fresh air.
We all breathe, all the time. So, thinking about the importance of breathing can seem silly. However, breathing exercises can lower your heart rate and signal the parasympathetic nervous system, sending your body into rest and digest mode. A very simple exercise to start with, is breathing in for 4 seconds and breathing out for 8 seconds. Or, pretend like you just pulled a pan of fresh baked cookies out of the oven. Take a deep breath in through your nose to smell those fresh cookies and then breathe out to cool them off. Do that a few times in a row and see how you feel. Maybe you start incorporating this a few time throughout your day.
How much time do you spend on your phone a day? If you have an iPhone, take a look at your average daily screen time. Are you surprised by this number? The CDC found that kids between the ages of 8 and 18 are spending 7.5 hours on a screen a day, while other sources report adults are spending close to 11 hours a day in front of a screen. Large amounts of screen time are linked to headaches, insomnia, and decreased physical activity, according to research by Reid Health. Therefore, it is important to find time during your day to intentionally be away from screens. Maybe you designate the first 30 minutes to an hour of your day to be screen free. Or maybe you turn off screens an hour before bedtime. There are many ways to incorporate screen-free time into your day, which can help you disconnect from stressors like work, social media, or the news.
You might have an easy time physically being still, but can’t seem to get your mind to be still at the same time. Brain dumping can be a helpful way to “dump” all those thoughts out of your head! Ready to try? Grab a journal and write down everything on your mind. Yup, that’s it. Sometimes just getting thoughts down on paper can be the most helpful skill. This does not need to look pretty or be organized in any form, just start writing. This is a great practice to do at night or during the day when you feel like your thoughts are racing.
There are many other ways to incorporate moments of stillness into your day, so feel free to try a few out. We would love to hear more about what works best for you.