Sometimes life gets a bit hectic, and you loose track of your routine, those things that keep you balanced and sane. But when you don’t have time you have to just let go of certain things. And not feel guilty for it.
Hopefully the time comes when you can return to those things that matter. And possibly weed out those habits that aren’t serving you.
Life got a bit crazy for me over the month of May, and I let quite a few of my favorite things slip away, knowing I’d make my way back to them. But now that I’m getting back to the point of having the time again I have found I have to rebuild those connections to those habits.
The three habits I’m referring to, and am frankly always talking about are:
Simple, daily tasks that can take anywhere from five minutes to an hour, depending on the day. But I know the benefits from each.
Journaling is a way to cleanse my mind each morning. To clear out the junk as well as jot down those important memories and thoughts worth remembering.
I journal in a few different forms. The most beneficial is morning pages, three pages of handwritten, streaming conscious thought. It is a way, like I said above, to excavate those things lingering from the past. Things that need to be addressed, talked about, thought about. It is a way to work through difficult things, annoyances, and to give light to moments that have really made my day.
After I have taken the time to sit down and do morning pages (15-45 minutes) I am noticeably more focused, and able to stay on task throughout the day. Because often times the things that distract me from what I have at hand is something from the past, some thought or memory that has been nagging at my conscious.
In a way journaling is a form of therapy for me.
I also keep the type of journal that comes to mind when you hear the word "journal".
Beyond that I also have two pages for each month in my bullet journal for what I call my “sparkly bits”. It is my daily gratitude. And from continuously practicing daily gratitude I am more in tune with the daily moments that bring me joy.
Journaling is something I dabbled in starting at 8 years old, but didn't really pick up on at the age of 19. And it is something I no doubt will continue to do until the day I die.
Next up, yoga.
I first tried yoga in college. There was a free class for students a couple mornings a week. After graduating I hit a rough patch (ended a relationship and was lost with where I was supposed to head with my future). I rediscovered yoga, and it was more than I could have asked for at that point in my life. Over the next six months or so I did almost daily 6 a.m. hot yoga classes, all the while working 16 hour days and struggling with what to do with life.
I have done yoga on and off since then. Not being able to afford classes (seriously, they are expensive), but knowing the benefit I have begun to do a daily practice from home. Either I move through sequences as they come to mind or I follow a video I’ve found online. Whether it’s five minutes, or 90 minutes, yoga feeds my soul. I come out of it feeling renewed, refreshed, incredible.
And finally, the most recent addition to my life — meditation.
Here is something that I’ve wanted to do for years, but could never quite figure out.
I spent so long thinking it had to be one way, when in reality there are so many forms of meditation practice.
And I found my form in guided lessons via the Headspace app. It came at a time in life where things were coming together but I felt lost, I felt off balanced and in a way out of control. I needed something to bring me back to center, and for whatever reason I knew my answer was meditation.
I had heard of this particular app here and there. To be quite frank, it kept popping up, almost as if telling me I needed to give meditation another go.
Meditation is another form of therapy, similar yet different from journaling.
When I have a good daily meditation practice going I am so much more balanced — emotionally, mentally and it gives me that sense of spirituality (that I also get from yoga) that I could never find in organized religion.
And the trick to all of this is timing. Creating space for it in your day. For me, in the past, that was journaling first thing in the morning for around an hour, then taking another hour around 2 p.m. to take a break from work, roll out my yoga mat, choose a video from online and end it with a meditation session during savasana.
These three habits combined are a trifecta of mental health for me. And I hope from reading this today you can feel a burst of inspiration to rekindle that flame with those habits that nourish you.