“Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event control your emotions.” Anonymous
It’s easy to be in over your head with all that you have going on in your lives. There’s never enough time in the day. You want to be in five places at once, but have trouble figuring out how to get there. You say yes to everything because you want to be liked and feel guilty otherwise. You’re stressed, restless, not getting enough sleep, and are getting sick more often than you like. You may have put on some unnecessary weight gain because you’re too busy to exercise. Sound familiar?
It doesn’t need to be that way. Sure, this is easier said than done but there’s a method to the madness. You just need to figure out what works for you. Here are some suggestions.
1. Learn to say “no” and put yourself first.
The first step is by acknowledging that you do not need to please everyone. There are priorities of course, but you also have choices. There are differences between obligations and demands. If you don’t take care of your own needs first, what good are you to everyone else? I know you may want to be helpful and agreeable, but eventually you will have a meltdown if you take on more than you can handle. Your true friends should always understand your situation and never hold your circumstances against you. Family may be another issue but you need to find a good balance in taking care of your wellness first.
2. Plan ahead
It never ceases to amaze me how some people can be so rigid when it comes to their professional life that their health ends up taking a back seat. Unfortunately the constant level of extreme stress will often result in illness and health issues. You don’t need to be a gym fanatic, but you are responsible for your mental and physical well being. Being healthy is a lifestyle and there is always time to schedule in a workout whether it’s 10 minutes or half an hour. You just need to move! What can you do to simplify things and live a healthier lifestyle? Exercise needs to be planned at a time of the day which works best for you. My morning clients are usually the most successful clients in achieving their fitness goals because they schedule it first thing in the morning. If midday or evening works better, go for it! Set aside at least 3 days at a minimum to stay active. The less you are sitting on your tush, the healthier you will be. The same can be said for your eating. Either prepare or buy your meals ahead of time or know where you’re going to get your meals throughout the day. That way you’re not running around like a chicken without it’s head nor making bad decisions. Take the guess work out of it so you have one less thing to worry about.
3. Enjoy, Laugh, Live, Meditate
Life can and will always be busy. If you lose sight of things you enjoy in life, you may end up resenting your loved ones or your job. Do something you love at least once a week. Go take a dance class, watch a show, take guitar lessons, learn a new language, or whatever your heart desires! We all need to zone out sometimes in order to find a good balance in our lives. What have you always wanted to do but never gotten around to? If you wait too long, it may never happen. I am guilty of that! Stop procrastinating, take action and do your research. Inner peace and happiness is good for the soul. Life is a lot better when you’re laughing and smiling. You don’t need to be a constant ball of stress unless you want to be miserable all the time. Meditation is also an excellent exercise to help free your mind and bring you back to zen. You can spend at least 5 minutes a day to practice breathing. Close your eyes and try your best to shut out all the noise in your life. It will take practice, but you will eventually get there. If you need guided meditation, Deepak Chopra is a good place to start.
If you’re losing sleep over the million things you think you need to take care of right now, stop! There’s only so much you can accomplish in a day. You’re not superhuman so be realistic. Everything and everyone is not always an obligation. Some things can wait. You need to learn how to prioritize your life. First and foremost, you need to put yourself first. Otherwise, any resentment or negativity you feel from within will be projected to the other areas in your life. You are never “stuck” whether it’s an unhappy relationship or your profession. I never said it would be easy, but you are in charge of your own happiness and your path towards a fulfilling life.
Stop being so hard on yourself. Years of accumulated stress will wear you down and can catch up to you in the form of illness and disease amongst other possible health issues. Life is too short to constantly be at war with yourself. Take a step back, re-evaluate and breathe. There is always a way around obstacles. It is up to you to make your own way.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Nelson Mandela.