Describing a typical day one of my clients started our session complaining that the alarm hadn’t gone off that morning so she’d overslept by 20minutes, the children then missed their bus to school, all the traffic lights had been against her on the way to work and her boss had brought a meeting forward so her report had to be rushed through and was far from the masterpiece she’d hoped for… and as it went on. Every day we all face a barrage of things designed to threaten our mood and affect the smooth running of our whole day. On a good day we can smile, accept and deal with it. But on a bad day, as in the case of my client, it may well be the last straw that turns us into irritable and rather unpleasant people to be around. So, how can we ensure every day is a good day?
To begin with it’s really easy to look from the outside and realise that my client has such a tight schedule that 20 minutes can ruin her whole day. It seems to be solely her responsibility to get everyone up and the much needed report was obviously left to the last minute for completion. She’s lacking a support network, is over stressed, life is out of balance and the fun and sparkle left her world long ago.
Is your life out of balance?
The good news is that for my client and thousands like her, all this can change. First of all, however, you need to be able to answer ‘yes’ to the following:
1. Are you feeling stressed and out of balance?
2. Do you want to change and lead a calmer, more energised life?
3. Are you willing to take action to make change possible?
Provided you’ve answered ‘yes’ to the above you can take action and begin to reap the benefits. You will have more energy and be able to live with more joy and fun in your life. Furthermore, all the changes you need to make are easy and are designed to fit in to your daily schedule.
Aristotle said that ‘we are what we repeatedly do’ and it has been shown time and time again that if something is done daily for a period of 28 days it becomes a habit. How much better if that thing is something you enjoy, that energises you, and makes you feel positive. Here is my 4 point plan to get you started, to break the stress cycle, and to make your heart sing again….
Spend time with those people who make you feel good. The ones that encourage you, support you, have fun with you and honour you. Ditch, or keep at arms length, those that drain your energy. When your life is more in balance and you have excess happiness resources you can reconsider your relationship with these people, but for now you need to surround yourself with positive energy.
2. Start each day with an energy boost.
This is so much easier to do than you think. Set the alarm half an hour earlier than usual and spend the first half hour of each day doing something you enjoy. This may be exercise, meditation, sitting quietly looking into the garden with a cup of tea, whatever is your thing. But it must be for you…..because you’re worth it.
3. Self care.
Sit down now with a pen and paper… go on…. I’ll wait while you get it! Now, write down 20 ideas of things that make you feel good. Here are a few to get you started:
Listening to music, dancing, painting, gardening, walking, funny films, massage, candlelit bath…..
When you’ve completed your list take out your diary and schedule in one thing for each day. Come on, I know you’ll think you’re too busy, but imagine if tomorrow was your last day…. If you’re too busy to take 20 minutes for yourself give me a ring and we’ll do some coaching to prioritise. Who is more important in your life than you? (and for those of you who chose a child, partner or anyone else then remember how much more fun you can have with them if you were calm, positive and energised. It really is about ‘you’!) Do something fun for you every day.
End your day by spending 10 minutes writing positive thoughts in a journal. These can be something you’re grateful for, someone you love, a place you love to be, anything that leaves you feeling good. This is a lovely, calming and positive way to end the day.
Remember, any change in behaviour needs to be done for 28 consecutive days to become a habit.
Make the commitment to change and find the support of a friend or coach to make it real. Expect there to be some days when things don’t go according to plan, we are only human after all, and plan in advance how you will encourage yourself to ensure you get back on track.
I’m going to leave you with a visual that’s just popped into my head and may help you focus, be still and feel the calm energy I wish for you…
I see a lake. It’s a beautiful still and deserted summers day. The only sound is the soft rhythmic humming of bees busily working, birds singing and darting around playfully but, mostly, it’s silent. You take off your sandals, sit on a protruding rock and dip your toes into the cool clear water. You watch as the ripples from your toes chase each other across the surface of the lake, the only movement for miles, and time stands still….
Enjoy your life…