For many years, I used to think that in order to be someone I had to work myself to exhaustion. I held down a full-time busy office job, I also taught yoga several times a week. On top of that I wrote novels, exercised, went to night school amidst trying to conceive and also aspired to be the perfect partner.
I thought resting was idleness and that to allow myself such an indulgence outside of Savasana-relaxation on the yoga mat, was a sign of being lazy.
Though I’m only forty-two, looking back I’d rushed too much through my life and forgotten how to smell the grass. It was like my past was a crowded field of force-grown half-sprouted dreams. I realised that I had spent half my life reacting to my fears instead of fully acting on what I wanted to achieve.
It was during my morning meditation that I realised that the one person that I’d forgotten to care for was me! The yoga had to come off the mat even more, and I needed to embody one of the five yoga Yamas-which is to live a life free from violence.
Non-violence includes no more self-bullying, no more thoughts telling me that I’m not good enough, no more pushing myself too much and instead being kinder to myself by doing less. So I left my job and am now concentrating solely on my business.
So here are my top tips on doing less and achieving more including better self-care.
- Go through your life and scale down what you think needs to be done
Through experience I feel there are three lists in which you can make to improve life.
List number 1: is made up of what needs to be done, like sleep, take the kids to school, food shopping, go to work/college etc.…
List number 2: can be a lot trickier as this is made up of things we think we should do rather than what is essential. The transformation comes when this list is eliminated and things are dropped, or moved to list number 1, or added to list number 3. A tip on how to prune this list is to take at least a week if not longer deciding and writing out what it is you want to achieve. Enhance this further by working on one career wish, one personal wish and one recreational wish only at a time. When you have the completed list you can strategise one thing you can do daily, one thing weekly and one thing monthly to help you achieve each goal. Shave off wasted time doing stuff that is not inline with your life’s mission. See my article http://thewordsprite.com/2016/01/how-understanding-your-destiny-can-be-a-map-to-happiness/ for further inspiration.
List number 3: Can be things you would like to do but in the future. Only go to this list once you have done everything on list 2.
- Make time to at least once a week to do something calming.
Put it this way, if you don’t make time to care for yourself then who will? An example is fitting in a walk in nature; if you live in a city go to your local park. Walking is a free healthy form of exercise and it is how I personally connect to my creativity. Doing Tia Chi, yoga, or a dance class, or even relaxing in the bath are other ideas.
- Never stop learning
Swap watching TV or the computer to reading motivational books. By developing yourself you make the world a better place. Reading can be relaxing. Try making your favourite healthy drink and curling up on the sofa.
So by making time to relax, dropping stuff not in line with your purpose and working on your personal development you should find life easier. Less is more.
I hope this article adds something to your life and it inspires you to take better care of yourself.
“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” ― Lily Tomlin
Janey Bowyer of www.thewordsprite.com
Ready to make positive changes? For a free meditation guide, please visit Janey Bowyer’s blog www.thewordsprite.com
Janey Bowyer’s new The Busy Person’s Guide to Every Day Enlightenment is out now worldwide on Kindle and in paperback from Amazon. Her book offers easy-to-follow yoga and creative holistic solutions to help reduce stress.