This is for all those who are restless and trying to find a balance for their mind, body and soul.
Most of us fall into more or less a rat race, so obsessed with our virtual report cards that we forget the true purpose of life. We like having a list that has check, check, check... on it by the end of the day.
Waking up at 5am, getting ready for the day, boarding a crowded metro or driving in agravating traffic, addressing a million things at work, eating lunch with a spoon in one hand and phone in the other, reaching home with a body too tired to cook so we place an order for the tastiest option... Does that sound familiar? Yeah, that's a regular weekday for most of us. Multiply it by five and that's our week. It's a great week, no doubt but after multiple repetitions of this rush-and-run life, our body and mind start to demand a break.
We feel that resting is a waste of time. We ought to be productive, getting things done, or if nothing else, recovery is about 'doing' something else. The fact is that when you rest, the universe is working on your behalf. The universe is working on you.
So give your body permission to rest. Give your mind the permission to get comfortable and at ease. Give yourself permission to discover the magic of silence. What happens when you take away all the noise? What is left? New ideas, new lifestyle, new perspective. Who knows? Even when you feel you're left with nothing, take the leap of faith and know that creating a balance in life is one of the most powerful learning.
Our progress is mirrored in how sustainable we make our lives. We can be at a low or we can be at a high but how we hold on to our values, how we manage to place ourselves in a situation, measures our personal growth. And that's the only real progress report that supports our life's purpose in the long run. So how does one actually wind down and surrender at the end of the day?
1. Distance the screens and radiations: An hour before you sleep, keep your phone, tablet, iPad and laptop away and switch off the television and the computer.
2. Dim the lights: Start winding down your brain and body by dimming the lights. Engage in light activities instead like making the bed, cleaning your space, talking to your partner, spending quality time or walking around etc. Also, try to maintain a nice aroma in your room.
3. Excercise: No, I'm not talking about the high-intensity workout. I'm talking brisk walks or swift movements to ease your body and release stress.
4. Align your with higher powers: If you're a spiritual person, pray. If something is bothering you, talk about it while praying. Meditate to calm your mind and connect to the universe.
5. Practice mindfulness: A few minutes before you go to bed, allow your brain to practice focus and living in the present. Sit on a comfortable chair in your dimly lit room. Take three deep breaths. Imagine the outline of your body and slowly start tracing it from head to toe. Keep in mind to sense each part of your body from head to neck to chest until you reach the toes. Check if you feel a blockage or pain in any part of your body. Imagine a bright light that's trying to heal the pain in the area and focus. And then move ahead. Do this for about five minutes.
6. Learn to bring back the wandered mind: As you'll try to focus, your mind will wander. It'll bring up random thoughts about work, relationships, about something you forgot to do and so on. Realise that your mind is wandering and slowly bring it back to outlining your body.
7. Engage in deep breathing, consciously: In case, prayers or meditation is not something you're comfortable with, just try taking deep breaths. Sit still for ten minutes and breathe. Deep breaths are simplest and most effective way of calming yourself down.
8. Take a hot bath: A hot bath will relax your muscles and raise your core body temperature which is helpful for sound sleep.
9. Drink hot tea: Some teas like passionfruit and chamomile are very relaxing. You can even take rooibos tea if you want to stay away from caffeine. If you're not into teas, boil saffron in water and drink the beautiful-looking concoction. It'll make your body feel relaxed.
10. Visualise before you sleep: A vacation with no phone calls, a great job filled with appreciation, a loving relationship, whatever it is that makes you feel good. That makes your heart and soul happy, visualise. It's fine if your visuals are faded in the beginning, just use as many senses as you can feel the moment. Before you go into your after-sleep dreams, visualise your version of comfort.
Don't worry. We're blessed. A universe that can make us and break us, knows how to sustain us, how to give us what we truly want and need. The rules of the universe aren't flawed. Have faith. Take rest. We're always taken care of, we're always guarded and guided!
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