Reduce Stress and Relax for 2 Minutes A Day
Become more productive and less stressed by taking 2 minutes a day for you.
When I lived in London, a grocery chain called Tesco had a slogan of ‘every little bit helps’. Of course they were talking about saving a bit of change off your bill, but it translates well to so many things. Every little bit helps when thinking of taking a moment for you. That moment can vary from a relaxing bath, a 2 minute meditation, or taking a yoga class and really letting yourself fall into it.
I'm sure you may already be thinking that sounds great, but you don't have the time. It gets pushed off because there are 193 other things you should be doing. I’ve been there too and always kind of secretly wanted to be the busy person, and I was, until I realized this is not the life I was looking for. Taking a few minutes for yourself can help you see your real priorities and get that life you are looking for. You may still be busy, but less frazzled busy.
How do you start this? We all have moments we can take better advantage of. Don’t get me wrong, my work day is hectic. It’s supposed to be somewhat planned, and there are always many planned meetings, but fires come up, calls run long, and there are always more emails urgently awaiting my attention. One job I had there was a small sense of pride in the fact that we were so busy and dedicated that we frequently ran to use the bathroom. By finding precious minutes we can take advantage of, it allows us to deal with and more efficiently capture the rest of our day. For instance, my office began having yoga lessons which helped me change my perspective. We have a quick 30 minute session to relax and unwind in the middle of a chaotic day. It makes a huge difference in my ability to plow into the constant stream of emails and participate in meetings. For me to take part in this yoga session though, it had to become a priority, a part of my day that I held off from meetings whenever possible. It became a priority I planned ahead for, so I could make this time and I became a better employee for it.
By taking this 30 minutes and deciding that I’d rather get in a little earlier or leave a little later if needed, I had the time to balance myself and refocus my day. When I come out of the stretches and short meditation I am more confident in how to handle the issues that come up and calmer while blazing out emails. In short, I’m more productive! My focus has been rejuvenated. Frequently I found it helped me be more efficient and I didn’t miss the 30 minutes I spent in yoga.
Taking advantage of those moments is key. A yoga session is great, but your moment can be anything that is down time to be with your thoughts – digital entertainment not included! I like walking so I sometimes walk the long way back after picking up lunch – but I still eat and work at my desk. When you do have a moment, recognize it and spend it thoughtfully. Close your eyes and relax –maybe not sleep, just relax while on transportation. Did you arrive someplace early? Then wait the old school way and just daydream. Daydreaming has been shown to make us more creative. If you are more creative that will help you solve the many puzzles that come up during your day. Meditate when you wake up or before you go to bed. I can’t bring myself to wake up earlier, but I do meditate before bed – sometimes just for 2 minutes.
Schedule classes and go even when you don’t want to. Again, make it a priority. Maybe this is yoga once or a few times a week, or maybe it’s painting or golf. One time per week or more, do something for you that is longer than just capturing the ‘moments’. If you have kids playing sports try taking a walk around the park while you wait.
Those moments you spend staring at water flowing or trees swaying in the wind has been proven to restore you – even if you’re a city bird like me!