Keeping Calm—during busy times of the year

This year seems to always be CHAOS. Maybe that’s just the mom life talking, but end of the school year, planning summer vacations and figuring out how to fit kids into camps along with fun days and work and family seems to be quite a feat in the midst of all the other hundreds of things you are already doing.

Teachers are wrapping up school work and end of the year parties, work doesn’t slow down, traffic towards the beach is a nightmare, and all in all we are just trying to keep our heads above water til summer hits and we can (hopefully) press snooze a couple times and CHILL!

I

FEEL

YOU.

So, how can we find some peace and quiet and stillness in these crazy times? My advice to you—wake up early, go to bed on time, and give yourself that time in the mornings to start your day doing whatever it is that makes YOU happy. I’m not just talking ‘yoga’ or ‘meditation’ or the things that work for me…because truthfully, I have neglected those things as of late (I’m admitting it). I’ve been diving into self care—enjoying a quiet hot shower instead of rushing through rinsing off (which I do about 2 to 3 times a day because of my class schedule, practicing a more diligent skin care routine, finding books that are light easy reads and just enjoying a few pages here and there, REALLY cleaning my kitchen, sewing for my daughter, making fresh juice in my juicer we all know I’m obsessed with, fitting in a quick gym workout after a class or maybe stretching a bit or taking a walk outside…it’s different every day but I’m learning to listen to my body and take a little time for myself—and it makes a huge difference in my day and how much more I can give of myself to my kids and those around me.

The things that work best for me when I seem to be ‘at my best’:

  1. Wake up early. Period. It’s the one thing I find every successful blogger, self help expert, millionaire, etc. to have in common. The morning time is glorious—it’s light and inviting and a new start verses the night that is dark and ending. Embrace a new beginning instead of another closing.
  2. Live by my planner—plan every day and write down all the things I need to do. There is something so satisfying about marking things off a list! My first husband actually used to do this and it has stuck with me.
  3. Maintain the house just a little bit each day—when you wake up clean up what you see that you CAN in 10 minutes. Do it again at the end of the day. At least rinse the dishes and put them in one side of the sink so that next ten minutes you can just wash them or load the dishwasher—or have one of the kids do it! Start a load of laundry or change out a load in these 10 minutes—that can be a load a day which will make your weekend or catch up day drastically lighter on the workload!
  4. Turn off notifications on your phone. I have been TERRIBLE about letting myself be too available in some of my work and it has caused so much stress, anxiety and over committing. Not I have to actually CHECK to see who has contacted me (I do make myself available for those that would be trying to reach me for my kids). This has been life changing.
  5. Lastly, do make time for yourself. WRITE THIS IN YOUR PLANNER. Whether it is a workout class, a daily walk, that time to wake up and get ready and make yourself feel your best, or even just treating yourself to a healthy meal or a coffee—PLAN THIS and DO IT and ENJOY IT!

You are responsible for your own happiness; make it happen! Don’t let the chaotic responsibilities we all have get you flustered!

And if yoga or meditation IS your thing, try these postures to help maybe ease your mind and help you start your day calm, cool and collected—or wind down to rest for the night! Remember that our yoga practice is not always about the sweat—it’s more about connecting with your breath and your body. Some poses are meant to stretch you, some are meant to bring fire and heat and intensity to your movements, and some are meant to detoxify or even just slow your blood pressure and help bring ease to your body. Use these to relax!

Downward dog—but walk the hands back to get your hips higher and heels closer to the mat. This will help you tap into your breath, stretch your side body, engage your core and help stretch your legs.
Waterfall—or do against a fall for feet up the wall—this helps reverse the natural flow of our body from our usual upright position during standing, sitting, walking, etc. It is calming, grounding and restful.
Standing forward fold—you can press your fingers to the floor or relax and let your upper body drape forward. This let’s gravity bring some length to your spine and also stretches the backs of the legs; keep your weight moving slightly forward instead of into your heels.
Peace pose; a gentler version of pigeon. This is sometimes called pretzel in other practices; bend each leg at 90 degrees and sit up right trying to ground both thighs or fold forward. If you are naturally more open here, you can shift into pigeon by extending the back leg and turning the front of the thigh to the floor. This is calming, grounding, and peaceful and you can also add a twist over the front leg by walking your hands to frame the front thigh.
Stack the ankles—or sit in any posture with legs crossed that help you relax. You may want to sit on a blanket or block to bring ease to the lower back. This is a great way to just sit, bring awareness to your breath and give yourself a moment of quiet. Focus on breathing more than anything else and you just may find your mind taking you somewhere else!

Published by barre-yoga

Hey! I'm Mary. 31 and growing a community of strong female leaders through The Barre+Yoga Room in Effingham County Georgia. This blog is for my own personal connection with life and others, a platform to share things I love, and a way to put my thoughts in the universe.

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