“What do you mean the summer is over??!”
If you’re like me, you galloped towards the mid- year point with an equal measure of frenzy and excitement as the children finished school. The summer was a cocktail of work commitments, play dates and a fantastic but ‘intense’ overseas holiday. We’re now at the end of August, on the verge of the autumnal transition, immersed in the hive of activity that is back to school, more work deadlines and let’s throw in a bit of home decoration for good measure!
The dawn of a new season can often feel like an opportune time to trial and embrace new routines and habits, that will boost our resilience for the invariable hustle and bustle that this time of year brings. I read recently, that “what we think, we become”- if that’s the case, this ‘busyness epidemic’ is preventing us from taking a leap or doing something differently. By missing out on pausing, we are missing out on the opportunity of getting ‘unstuck’! By ‘stuck’, I mean immersed in that task list; the one that features, the things we ‘have’ to do, the things we ‘need’ to do and of course, the things we ‘should’ do. Do you ever find yourself saying “There’s just not enough hours in the day” or “I need space to think!” or even” I need a break!!!”
Here are my tips for new habits to embrace to help you revive and survive (and they don’t involve a sun lounger!)
- Change your Routine– be proactive and look at clawing back nuggets of space in your day. Would you consider getting up an hour earlier? Wouldn’t an early morning walk or a cup of tea in peace where you have time to think be blissful before the carnage of the day?! See my previous blog for more on this: https://gillianmcgrath.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/visit-your-mid-year-mind-spa/
- Switch off and reconnect– enforce a digital detox for a morning/ afternoon or a day if you can manage it! A conscious decision to put away your phone and tablets because you want to be more present and engaged with yourself/ your family / friends can be both empowering and transformative. Our connection with ourself and our closest relationships are key in surviving life’s challenges.
- Do less to achieve more– multitask less – experience has taught me that this is an incredibly ineffective way to function. When we multi task, we ‘skim’- we cover quantity and not quality, and our mind is always on the next task. Slowing down can be challenging but is key to nourish and replenish yourself.
- Get creative– the change of season often inspires and the benefits of engaging our creativity are well documented and include relaxation and escapism! Don’t worry- you don’t need to be arty, it could be crafting, photography or anything else! Last week, I took the children to the local beach where we picked stones and painted them! (see pic. at top of blog)
- Declutter – for some, decluttering a space can be enormously cathartic/ therapeutic. Pick a cupboard, start small. You’ll soon see the benefits of these teaspoon size changes.
- Practise gratitude – helps to refocus especially if you’re feeling a little frazzled or stressed. Distill your thoughts and focus on 3 things that you are grateful for (perhaps buy a gratitude diary to write in a few times a week) This helps to cultivate a positive outlook and reminds us that all is well in our very busy world!
Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business Coach and Master Trainer and is founder of Change Grow Succeed. For further information, please contact her on Gillian@changegrowsucceed.com