This post is the third installment in my “Finding Rest” series. Make sure and read more about why I gave up the word “busy”, what are some symptoms of the hamster wheel of busyness, and five ways to break the cycle in your life.
If we aren’t careful, life can get away from us. Culture can demand that we are constantly connected, always say “yes” when asked for another commitment, and run ourselves ragged. But what if that wasn’t how we had to live? What if there was a better way to intentionally organize our days that allow more breathing room and opportunities to hear and respond to God? Today I’m sharing twenty-seven simple and tried-and-true tips that I regularly use to break the cycle of busy and overhaul my day.
Make sure to leave some of your tips in the comments section!
THE NIGHT BEFORE:
- No caffeine after 4pm. It’s not good (source).
- Set out your clothes and pack your lunch for the next day.
- Take a quick glance at your schedule, to do list, appointments, etc.
- Establish a bedtime routine. Carly from The College Prepster and Hannah from Just Bee have some great suggestions.
- Put on your PJs earlier than lights out. I usually put mine on around 7pm (or, who am I kidding, right when I get home!) and this seriously helps signal to my body that it’s time to start slowing down, finding rest, and preparing for sleep
IN THE MORNING:
- Don’t snooze. Get out of bed, brew some coffee, take a shower – whatever it takes to not roll over and fall back asleep. Pro tip? Use a timed coffee maker like this one so that the sweet smell is ready for you when you get out of bed.
- Two things I do first thing when I wake up: use the bathroom + brush my teeth. Two things that help make it easier to begin moving around and waking up.
- Turn on all of the lights in your home (or at least in your primary living areas).
- It is highly recommended to drink a large glass of water (and don’t check social media while you do it) – it gets your blood flowing, gets you hydrated first thing, and helps flush your system (source).
- Take a deep whiff of a Peppermint Essential Oil.
THROUGHOUT THE DAY:
- Focus on single-tasking. Multi-tasking really does not work (source).
- Make use of “in-between time”. Listen to a podcast while you drive to work, call a friend while you go for a walk, pull out a book to read while waiting at the doctor’s office.
- Don’t check your email when you’re not in a place to respond instantly. It’s way too easy to forget about the email, let it get buried in your inbox, and then that response goes neglected.
- Set alarms on your phone to signal break time. I have one that goes off at 10:00am each weekday to remind me to get up from my desk and go for a walk or do some yoga – a nice and easy morning break. Another one goes off at 2:30pm as a reminder to do some cleaning or picking up around our home, once again a reminder to get up from my desk and move around.
- Refer to your “Do Not Do” list when tempted to overcommit, say yes, or guilt yourself into doing something you really shouldn’t
- Listen to music. This depends on what I’m working on – sometimes I’ll play Christian music while I write as a way of centering my work, other times I’ll play light jazz or coffee shop music just to fill up the silence while I read. My favorite? Michael Buble while I cook dinner and dance around the kitchen.
- Express gratitude and encourage someone else. This could be a quick text message to a friend, calling your mom, writing a note to mail, or simply smiling and saying “thank you” at the checkout lane.
- Allow enough time to get to places. There’s nothing that increases my stress more than running late to something.
- Drink plenty of water, even when you want to reach for that fifth cup of coffee. I love always having my glass water bottle with me, maybe with a couple drops of lemon essential oil in for a light and natural detox.
- Say “no” to one thing. Seriously, do it. It’s so freeing.
- Take a deep breath. Step away from your work, computer, schedule. We typically don’t breathe deep enough so just being conscious of that for a minute or two can do wonders to being focused and centered (source).
IN THE EVENING:
- Set an “end work” time and stick to it. If you work from home, this is especially necessary.
- Before you completely step away from work (and by work, I mean whatever takes up a majority of your day – whether that is an office job, being a student, working from home, being a stay-at-home parent, etc), jot down 3 – 5 things you want to get done first thing tomorrow. This will help you hit the ground running tomorrow as well as clearing your mind for the evening so you aren’t worried about those tasks all night.
- Eat dinner at the table.
- Discuss evening plans with your spouse/roommate/family/etc. Don’t just let quality evening time slip away as you vedge in front of all your devices.
- Have a place designated for cell phones. When we are home, we try and intentionally leave our phones on our kitchen counter, away from the living room, so that we can practice being present with one another. It can be as simple as the kitchen counter, a lovely tray like this one, or a device docking/charging station like this one.
- Treat yo’ self. Take a bath, eat a piece of chocolate, go for a slow walk – just do something that is refreshing and filling.
// Your turn! What are some of your favorite ways to reset your day?
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