We live in a world of instant communication, instant delivery and instant gratification. Life has gotten considerably faster, and the speed at which we do things continues to increase. While convenience and technological advances have many benefits, they are also in direct conflict with the rhythms of nature. We must consider this if we want our mind body to thrive in a world that continues to pull away what is natural to us.
Consider this: while we have been accelerating our lives and how many things we can fit into our daily “to do” lists, how many emails we read and write daily, nature has been going at exactly the same rate as always.
- It takes 9 months for a human baby to develop from conception to delivery.
- Developmental milestones (e.g., walking, speech development, fine motor skills) in a child still occur at the same intervals as they always have.
- Plants naturally grow at the same rate as always.
- There are 24 hours in a day.
- There are 365 days in a year.
- We can’t squeeze those much needed 8 hours of sleep for optimal health, immunity, cognitive function and mood into a shorter period of time.
We need to find a way to be in sync with nature despite these big gaps in how nature designed us and our lives today.
While keeping up with the demanding pace, there are things we are in control of, that can help us achieve greater wellbeing while being effective and efficient.
How to honor the natural rhythm to improve your wellbeing in less than 30 minutes a day:
- Wake up with sunrise. Aim to get exposure to the sun️ first thing in the morning.
- Take 5 deep cleansing breaths when you wake up every morning, before you get out of bed.
- Practice gentle yoga or stretching, even if for 5 minutes only.
- Meditate, even if for 5 minutes only.
- Write in your gratitude journal. This can be one sentence, or a page.
- Don’t check your phone before steps 1-5 are done!
- Do at least one kind thing for your self and one kind thing for someone else every day.
- Have your last meal no less than 3 hours before bedtime.
- Unwind before bedtime. Whether you unwind with a cup of camomile tea, a book, a bath, or something else, is your choice. Avoid electronics and multitasking!
- Aim for at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
What you must do to optimize your performance:
- Plan what you are going to accomplish for the day. After you write down each task, ask yourself: Is this in alignment with my values and goals? If not, consider why that is and what you are going to do about it. If yes, consider whether this is important enough to be done and how time sensitive the task is.
- Do 1 thing at a time. Multitasking slows you down.
- Between each task, stop and take 4 deep, slow breaths. Set your intention for each task, each conversation of your day.
- Don’t say YES to everything, especially when a YES to something means a NO to yourself.
- Instead of back and forth emailing, when appropriate, pick up the phone to communicate clearly and succinctly to get things DONE.
It is also important that, in a time of crisis, such as the current Covid-19 pandemic and the constantly evolving situation, we cultivate calm focus, reason, flexibility, and stay up to date on the CDC recommendations regarding Covid-19. Panicking will not solve anything, but acting responsibly and making informed decisions is all we can ask of ourselves.
During this time of recommended social distancing, perhaps we can take an opportunity to be introspective and start (or reinforce) a regular meditation practice.
You may start a simple practice by sitting comfortably, and putting one hand on your heart. Close your eyes if it feels comfortable, or soften your gaze. While breathing in, silently say, “Let”, and while breathing out, silently say “Go.” You may repeat this for several breaths, or as long as you desire.
Stay safe and healthy,
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