“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

With Mother’s Day approaching we can’t but reflect on our day to day life.

The feeling of busyness seems ambient, in the air, even infectious these days. But what causes that feeling? Is it simply having too much to do? The answer is that the sense of overwhelm comes from a mismatch between all the things you’d like to do, or feel you must to do, and the far smaller quantity of things you’re actually capable of doing, and the gap is widening fast. Until we fall sick or tired or sick and tired, then we’re urged to take time off, relax, get enough sleep, but somehow the result is to turn rest and recreation into further items on the to-do list, silently reproaching us for not yet being crossed off.

Slow down, however wrong that feels.

The last thing you want to hear, when you’re drowning in to-dos, is that cultivating some “Me Time” might be part of the solution because our urgency-addicted culture is at the core of the busyness problem. We’re convinced that with just a bit more speed we could stay in control, so we grow unwilling to tolerate the discomfort of slowing down. When you’re already on this urgency treadmill, it can feel excruciating to attempt to slow down, but you may end up getting more done if you try. Experiment with doing nothing at all for one day or a few hours: the harder that feels, the more you may need it.

Try this five-item to-do list

  1. Stop the glorification of busy. Busy, in and of itself, is not a badge of honor. In fact, directed at the wrong pursuits, it is actually a limiting factor to our full potential. It is okay to not be busy.
  2. Cultivate space in your daily routine. Find space in your morning to sit quietly before starting your day. Invest in solitude, meditation, or yoga.
  3. Take a bath. One of the easiest ways to spend quality “me time” is to take a bath. Fill up your tub with warm water, add some salts or bubbles, if you like, and take a nice, long soak. Add to the relaxation by burning some aromatherapy candles and by playing some soothing music and enjoying a glass of wine or a cup of tea.
  4. Spend time with a good book. When was the last time you sat down and actually read a book? Reading is a great way to unwind. Not only is it relaxing, but it allows you to escape the stresses of your daily life that normally fill your mind so that you can escape for a little while. So, grab a good book and curl up on the couch with a blanket and enjoy some reading time.
  5. Go out to the ocean.  The ocean has healing and transformational properties. Take this opportunity to unplug from everything around you and immerse yourself in the magnificent outdoors, enjoy the tranquil wonders of paddling or kayaking across glassy waters on a sunny day.

The fastest way to move forward in life is not doing more. It starts with stopping the behaviors holding you back.


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