In a 24/7 world full of hustle, urgency and deadlines we become exceptionally good at pushing ourselves to or past our limits. The alarm goes off and immediately we do not want to get out of bed - just 5 more minutes... Twenty minutes later we realize we are running late, but before we even brush our teeth, we have checked the social media, news, e-mail, whatever. Didn't get enough sleep last night, drink more coffee!! There's not time for breakfast, just grab something on the way. Six hours worth of calls, texts, e-mails, work, meetings, and a few funny videos later, the afternoon headache, low-back pain, and acid reflux kick in. Take something for it and move right along! Did we eat lunch today? Was it anything healthy? Do we even remember? The afternoon/after school was jam-packed with activity. The commute was hell! Maybe we even cried a little under those sunglasses? Keep responding to those notifications and outside ques that grab our attention, even when we should be having dinner with family, friends, or that special someone. At some point we sat down long enough to dose off for a minute, but we are wide awake now! The day wears on and we are so tired, but yet, there's the laptop in bed with us. As we finally lay down to sleep the mind starts spinning. What did we forget to do today? What is on tap for tomorrow? We wonder if we said the right thing to so-and-so, maybe we need to reread those texts at 3am while standing in front of the refrigerator trying not to wake anyone up because we now realize we forgot to eat lunch and are starving for that other meal we didn't have. Sound familiar? Hopefully not, but this can be a very typical day for far too many of us.
What if the day looks like this? Wake up before the alarm because we are well-rested and feel ready to take on the day! Do the morning routine, meditate to set the intention for our day, have a nice healthy breakfast, start drinking our water and make conversation with people we care about. There's time to hit the gym before that commute or maybe we bike or walk to work? Have a very focused productive four hour morning, then go out to lunch with a few friends or collogues. Choose something healthy and eat slowly with plenty of water so we are hydrated, refreshed and have good digestion. Maybe today we even treat ourself to a small serving of dessert or just a dark chocolate or two? Take a few minutes to stretch, breath deeply, and set the intention for the afternoon. Be productive and efficient making high-quality engagements, so there's no second-guessing. Take a short break to go outside, walk, get some fresh air, and release the stress of the day. We are alert but relaxed. Maybe we listen to some music or a podcast, or hear about someone else's day on the way home. Eat something light and healthy that won't upset your stomach. We are calm and relieved that work is over and now there's time for a show or good book that we can talk about at lunch tomorrow. We take some time to be with our people, our dog, or just sit with ourself. We make a list of what's coming up tomorrow, journal, reflect. Maybe we have a spiritual practice or short meditation as part of the bedtime routine? Then we lay down, breathe deeply, releasing the day and sleep a restorative, restful night's sleep.
When you are able to relax effectively, quiet your mind, be present, and listen; that is when things really start changing for you! Being productive and focused during the day, sleeping through the night, releasing everything that does not serve your highest good is really possible. It is sustainable long-term and absolutely will change your life! Meditation, mindfulness, bringing balance to your life, social interaction, spiritual connection, good nutrition, all these things are within your reach. All you have to do is learn how to change your habits, let go of what you no longer need to be holding on to, and create positive
routines. Letting go of harmful or negative emotions can be a tough process with a lot of emotion, but it is so much easier than continuing to carry the pain. Eating well can be difficult at first, but when you make a lifestyle change, there's no diet to stick to. You have done the hard work, now all you have to do is keep going. When we sleep well our body can fix the majority of what accumulates within us that causes problems. If we are well hydrated, drinking plenty of good, clean water, eliminating addictive substances (stimulants like caffeine, sweeteners, etc.) our digestion improves, toxins get illuminated, the body functions as it is intended to function. When we have relationships with people we can trust, confide in, and love, we don't need the constant dopamine hit that comes from electronic social notification. Most of us underestimate the power of our mind-body-spirit connection and the peace that comes with it. If you live every day in the first scenario, chances are, you would much rather be living in the second scenario. Here's the thing - it is real, you can get there, and you are in control.