We all have days (or weeks!) that we know are going to be non-stop. You may have a barrage of meetings at work, you might have family commitments or simply a lot of errands to run.
Knowing we have days like this coming up can make us feel stressed. By taking a little time to prepare for these days however and schedule ‘pit-stops’ where you can rest, will help you keep on top of things. Take a look below for some ideas to stay sane and stress-free:
Recognise where your energy is going
You may know where your time is going on certain days (an hour meeting, a 45-minute dental appointment etc.) but have you ever stopped to think about your energy and where that’s going? Taking a closer look at your energy can help you make incremental shifts to add in rest when you need it most.
- Mentally walk yourself through the day and think about how you will feel, energetically at each point.
- Highlight the times you think you will feel the most depleted.
- Highlight the times you think you will feel the most energetic.
Schedule in rest
Building rest into your schedule should never be considered selfish or lazy – it is essential. This is about shifting your focus and taking back those simple moments that often get lost in mental busyness. Intentionally bringing your focus to these ‘in-between’ moments allows you to be more mindful and able to rest.
- Write a list of things you do every day (shower, eat breakfast, commute to work, buy a coffee) and keep the list with you. This will help you become more aware of potential rest opportunities.
- Add items to the points in your calendar when you predict you will be most depleted and highlight them as an opportunity to pause, breathe and relax your body.
- If you have a long period of time without these opportunities – make one. Go for a short walk or take a bathroom break.
- Use visual prompts (like post-its) to remind yourself of these moments.
Lean into rest
When you encourage your body to relax in these moments, your mind will follow suit. If you can, close your eyes when you do this.
- Focus your attention on your breath, just notice how you are breathing at this moment.
- Notice any part of your body that’s holding tension and invite it to relax.
- Move your attention to your head and invite your head, jaw, tongue and neck to relax. Move down your body until your whole body is relaxed.
Keep practising these steps until they become second nature. Getting into the habit of relaxing will help you better cope with stress, especially on hectic days.