Wake up in the morning and here it comes: The daily onslaught of e-mail messages, nagging bosses, phone calls and car horns. Stop. Breathe. But work it in fast — the second wave is on its way.
Some ideas for finding peace in between the moments of madness of your workday:
It sounds counterintuitive, but some people find respite in the one time during the day when they aren’t in front of a computer, preparing dinner or dining clients.
Once thought of as a burden, this daily ritual can be used as a time for reflection between toiling at the office and chores at home. Listen to music or the radio, read a book (if you’re on a bus or train) or just sit back and catch some shut-eye.
A lot of meditation and yoga experts focus on purposeful breathing to help achieve a sense of mindfulness and stay in the present rather than worrying about the past or anticipating the future.
“I suggest using a breathing technique where you focus on the breath and allow thoughts and feelings to flow through without holding on to them,” says Zach Zander, 29, a realtor in Bel Air, Md. “Just taking the time to quiet your mind can be very rejuvenating.”
Sometimes noise itself helps quiet the brain. The hum of a humidifier, the rushing sound of water from a noise machine and even constant traffic on a busy road can help us reach a sense of peace and remove ourselves from the everyday worries that cause consternation.
Studies are showing that people aren’t getting enough sleep these days. Rest up with a 20-minute power nap.
It doesn’t have to be slow and easy. An upbeat, danceable track that gets you in the groove, maybe even up onto your feet, can do wonders.
Take an adult time-out.
The moment to take a breather is at the exact moment you feel like you couldn’t possibly do that.
At the height of frustration over a situation, take a “grown-up’s time-out,” says Sarah Susanka, author of The Not So Big Life: Making Room For What Really Matters.
At times, you need to see yourself as no different from a toddler who can’t see logic because he is too upset. You would give a four-year-old a time-out during a temper tantrum, and sometimes it’s a good idea to prescribe yourself the same exercise.
Being tied to a computer all day can be a physical detriment. If you work in an office, just getting up and walking around for five minutes can make you feel better.