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How has your schedule been lately? Mine is somehow a mix of overwhelming, tiring, and going stir-crazy during this long and gloomy winter. I have taken some steps to incorporate healthy, self-care habits that add space to my life. While these ideas take 10-20 minutes of my time, I’ve noticed that they significantly lighten the pressure of the rest of my day. When was the last time you took 10-20 minutes to simply rest, with no electronic distractions or to-do list writing? This week, when you feel your day getting away from you and the stress of expectations weighing on your shoulders, try one of these three ideas to add space to your life. Then, come back here and let me know if they helped you as much as they help me!
I started meditating in February. I don’t know what took me so long. It has been an enormous help to my mood, patience, productivity and anxiety levels. I tried a couple of apps and found one that I really like. For 10 minutes each morning, I sit and follow a guided meditation recording. It can occasionally be hard to feel like I can justify 10 minutes of simply sitting, especially if I hit snooze too many times that morning. But every time I hear the end of the session, I open my eyes and am so glad I spent time checking in with my body and letting go of my stressed out thoughts.
Now that I’ve gotten the morning routine down, I’ve also started incorporating what I am learning throughout my day. If I’m home after a stressful day or I’m still at the office, everything feels a little overwhelming and I notice my patience running thin, I’ll even turn my app back on and let myself have a few minutes of space before I expect anything else for myself. I’ve noticed meditating before bed even helps me sleep a little better, probably because I’m not still running through the events of the day in my mind!
2. Sit Down and Simply Enjoy a Cup of Tea
I talk a lot about coffee, but I also love a quality tea. I am more likely to be drinking tea later in the day, as opposed to my morning cup of joe. Because of this, I associate tea with relaxing, decompressing and taking a moment for a treat.
I feel like good conversations are held over cups of tea. When I drink tea, I don’t want to talk about work, or bills or how well I’m sticking to my workout plans. I want to talk about life, goals, dreams and hopes. I love sitting down with a friend over a cup of tea and just getting down into the nitty gritty of what’s going on in her life.
Bigelow Tea released a new line of teas this year, called Benefits. There are 7 flavors, 6 of which are caffeine free. So you can enjoy the everyday wellness support any time of day without having to worry about being up all night.
One of my friends always has tea when I come over, and it feels luxurious pouring the tea kettle, and then plopping a sugar cube or two into a teacup. With the Cinnamon and Blackberry flavor, you can skip the sugar cubes entirely!
I recently bought the three flavors for sleep, wellness and balance. A friend of mine told me she doesn’t like lavender teas because they, “tastes like flowers.” I was excited to text her the great news that the Chamomile & Lavender Sleep Benefits flavor is absolutely delicious.
Bigelow Benefits blended and produced their teas in the USA (you know I love that), with the goal of producing exceptional flavor. I wish my local retailer had all of the flavors so I could try them all, but the ones I did were super yummy! Plus, I felt so relaxed after a few minutes of just me and my cup of tea.
3. Go for a 20 Minute Walk
It has rained almost every day for MONTHS here. All of that sitting inside can really start to get on your nerves, meaning that any other wall you hit throughout the day can feel even worse than normal. Getting outside for a 20 minute walk can make a huge impact on your mood and health.
I promise you don’t need your yoga pants for a walk. In fact, if you’re sitting in your office and in your work heels, don’t worry if your sneakers are at home. Just watch your step. The next time you feel like the day is pressing in on you, take 10-20 minutes to yourself by getting outside and go for a walk in your neighborhood, near your work, or even at a local park or attraction, if you feel like putting in a little more effort.
Sometimes I avoid getting outside because I feel like I don’t have the right clothes on, but don’t worry about that. Add space to your life by walking away from what you’re doing, breathing fresh air, and moving your body. Just remember, ignore those smart phone notifications and take this time for you! When you get back, things will be easier.
Actionable Step You Can Do Right Now: Create a “Bad Day Emergency Mug” for Yourself and for a Friend
Sometimes the best way to add joy, space, clarity or calm to your day is to start thinking about someone else. You know that girlfriend who is frazzled by her job, too? Or the one who has three kids and still manages to somehow wash her hair? (Seriously, ladies with kids, how do you do it?!) Then there’s the friend who has a sick family member but she’s trudging along with grace and some sort of super human stamina.
I am certain that we all have friends like that. We are inspired by them. We admire them. But I know that sometimes I’m guilty of not doing much more than sending good thoughts their way. One way you can show your appreciation of their friendship and all they have going on, is by making a “bad day emergency kit.” You can buy a cute or inspiring tea cup/mug, fill it with tissue paper, and load in a couple of teas.
You could also fill it to the brim with tea, and wrap the whole thing in tissue paper instead.
While you’re at it, write her a little note with a guide about how each tea can add a bit of joy and space to her busy life. Don’t you just love getting hand written notes from your friends these days?
- Ginger and Peach: Calm Stomach
- Lemon and Echinacea: Stay Well
- Chamomile and Lavender: Sleep
- Turmeric Chili Matcha Green: Refresh
- Blueberry and Aloe: Radiate Beauty
- Cinnamon and Blackberry: Balance
- Chocolate and Almond: Good Mood
You can find Bigelow Benefits Tea at grocery stores nationwide, as well as amazon! As you can see, they’re really reasonably priced, so don’t limit yourself to just one flavor. Be proactive and pick a couple of boxes that will allow you and your friend to make little changes to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
If you have a spare cup handy, you can even make one for yourself in anticipation of the bad day you may have in the future. Future you would thank you, when that cup of tea is ready and waiting to sip away the stress of the day. And I wish I could be there to put the tea kettle on the stove and laugh with you about all that life throws at us.
We are in this busy, chaotic world together. So let’s help each other add space to our lives. What self-care action do you take when it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders?
As I was writing this post, I felt like someone here would love to win a Bad Day Emergency Kit of their own! As a result, I’m giving away a Hello Gorgeous tea mug and three packs of Bigelow Benefits Tea + a $25 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner! Use the rafflecopter below to enter.
This giveaway is run by my site alone. Bigleow and Collective Bias are not responsible for running this giveaway in any way or the prize fulfillment.
USA only. This giveaway is run by my site alone. Bigleow and Collective Bias are not responsible for running this giveaway in any way or the prize fulfillment. Contest will end at midnight on 04/05/2017, meaning 11:59 pm on 04/04/2017 will be your last minute to enter. Winner will need to accept the prize and provide their mailing address within 24 hours of announcement.