4 Simple Ways to Create Space
March can be a challenging month here in northern New England, it usually still looks and feels like winter, but the calendar says spring is starting. We have survived the shortest, darkest, coldest days, yet we don't quite feel like we've made it to warmer days. However, the sun is feeling stronger and the days are getting longer! As we are in this month of limbo, creating space and finding time to "take a breath" can be really useful.
Overall our life can feel like we constantly move from one activity to the next with little time between; no space between and little time to transition. Sometimes this becomes all consuming and we can long for nature to move at our current warp speed. And that just isn't the way Mother Nature works, sometimes making the transition from winter to spring seem especially long. Read on for four simple ways to create some space in your day-to-day life.
1. Adjust your calendar and booking of your day to allow for gaps in the day where you can. This will help so you don't feel like you are always just on time or a few minutes late to EVERYTHING. Maybe you can do this each day or maybe there is just one day that you can make this work, either way it will be worth it. As someone who works in 55 minute blocks for most of my work day, I know how easy it is to cram in one thing after another. But I also know how frazzled I can feel after a full day (and week) of this. I do my best to always allow time to eat lunch sitting at a table, but I can certainly improve on allowing gaps in my schedule at other times. When I see that I have a full day, I have found that blocking time off in my calendar as if I had an appointment stops me from going overboard and overbooking myself. I've also given myself a buffer (even just 10 minutes) for appointments that I need to travel to, when I think it should only take me 10 minutes to get somewhere that's rarely the case, so having a few extra minutes to spare is helpful.
2. Spend 5-20 minutes a day meditating, doing breathing exercises, or _______ (you fill in the blank - but it must be something without distraction from the outside world, relaxing, and with as little mental and physical input as possible, consider this a mini daily digital detox - other examples might include: drawing/doodling/coloring, taking a bath, laying in a hammock day dreaming, or sitting quietly observing the world around you). Similar to allowing those gaps in your day, having some time each day (or most days) to unwind, not actively think or do, and just let go, can really do quite a bit to recharge your batteries, make you more productive and, most often, more pleasant to be around. There are quite a few helpful meditation and breathing apps, and if you turn your phone on silent or airplane mode you can still consider it a mini digital detox.
3. Create a sacred space somewhere that you can call your own. This could be a small space on a dresser or an entire room. You don't have to be religious to make this space sacred, but it should be a place that is yours, that you respect, and that you value highly. This space can have meaningful quotes, treasured trinkets, pictures of memories or people you hold dear, and really anything else that you cherish. As Brené Brown says, "We can't be brave in the big world without at least one small space to work through our fears and falls." This sacred space can be your place of safety, where you can find refuge, and where you can be just you even if just for one breath.
4. Clean up and declutter. Spend some time to do some
seasonal cleaning, go through your closets and get rid of things you haven't
touched in a year, or go through that junk drawer that keeps filling up. The relief
you can get from this can be so instant and gratifying. This can be a tough one
to start, but once you do the payoff is usually worth it!
What better way to create space than by literally getting rid of things and having more space?!
Give these four simple things a try and let me know what you think. And if the winter months have tightened you up physically, check out my last post on some essential mobility exercises.
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