Lately I have had to quit some things in order to better my sanity. Well not quit, but just put on hold.
I felt like I had too many things on the go. Too many quests, too many books, far too much work, plus, you know, family, food, and travel…
Since I can’t quit or postpone those last things, it was time I put some of my own things on hold. And you know what? I feel better for it. Lighter even.
The pressure to finish things is gone. Yes, I still want to finish them but I acknowledged that I have too many other things on the go and something’s gotta give.
Two things that I’ve found super important and I’m unwilling to part with: meditation and my daily walk/run.
Every morning I get up at 5am. I used to use this time in the morning to write and get ahead on blog posts, followed by doing coursework until it was time to get the kids ready for school and myself ready for work.
Then it was a busy work day, followed by taking the kids to their activities, and finally rest.
I stopped exercising. I stopped reading for pleasure. I basically cut out all the things I enjoy and tended to the busy lifestyle mentioned above.
After a few months of this, I realized this was unsustainable. I couldn’t live like this permanently. I was burning out.
So I swapped out my morning routine.
Refreshing Your Approach to the Day
Now, I still wake up at 5a, but the first thing I do after “freshening up” which is the polite way of saying “bathroom stuff”, is meditate.
To start meditating, I followed a course, and every morning I’d listen to 20-30 minutes of guided meditation. Now I feel I can do this without words. It’s pretty exciting.
I sit in my reading chair, close my eyes, breathe, and think. I know this is the opposite of what is commonly known as meditating… I heard it coined as ‘think-itating’ once.
The thing is, I still like to clear my mind, and practice mindful awareness… mindfulness while meditating.
I’m aware of my thoughts though and instead of punishing myself for having them, I sort of guide myself through them.
Roughly 30 minutes later, I’m feeling refreshed and ready to start my day. Now I can’t picture any other way to ease into the rest of the otherwise chaotic day.
Part of this meditation practice is also gratitude, and I’m finding this a wonderful practice as well.
I’ll talk more about this in posts to come.
After meditating, I go for a walk. I do this before breakfast and before coffee. I make sure to drink about a litre of water and then off I go.
Lately I’ve even started running again, but I do it in intervals.
Before I even start my work day I’ve done at least 10k steps.
Learning It’s OK to Postpone
These are the two things I do for myself prior to anyone else waking up. I do this seven days a week, not just work days. It’s super important.
While I know that I’ve put a lot of my educational learnings on hold, I’ve promised myself that this morning routine is so important, that I cannot put it on hold.
Meditate and walk. If I accomplish nothing else for myself in a day, these two things are enough.
You know what else is important for your sanity and overall health? Taking the time to enjoy life.
It’s summer now and I want to enjoy the sunshine while we have it. Regardless of my never-ending list of things to do, I take the time to go swimming with the kids.
They need this. I need this.
It gets me outside. It keeps me active. It gives me wonderful bonding time with my kids. And I get a little sunshine to boot.
So you know, I don’t actually feel guilty for putting some things on hold. I’ll get back to them. Most likely in the fall.
There’s no need to feel guilty about putting things on hold as long as you’re taking the time to appreciate what you are accomplishing.
I am appreciating my meditation time, my runs on the treadmill, and most importantly, the quality time with my family.
If you look at my list of tasks that I accomplish in a day, it might seem low, but I’m doing the things that matter most.
I wouldn’t be able to appreciate any of this if I was still trying to juggle ALL of things I was doing before.
I’ve learned the hard way that it’s ok to quit or postpone. Neither make me a failure.
I’m working on a hard balanced lifestyle which is far more important than a busy lifestyle.
Pause and reflect. For those feeling the anxiety of chaos, take a moment to breathe.
Life doesn’t have to be this crazy, and for the times that it is, you can still appreciate it. It takes effort, but it can be done!
Just writing about meditation is making me want to take some extra time today to do it again.
I’m never too busy to meditate, and I don’t feel like you can meditate too much.
I always feel better when I’m done, and so, I’m going to go ahead and do it now.
Maybe I’ll go for a second run today too… probably not. There is totally such a thing as too much running!