It’s 2.50pm and I’m on a mission to get to the school pick up zone in time where my seven year old will (hopefully!?) be waiting. My mind is racing as fast as the little wheels on my car, as I mentally tick off the impossible list of things I need to do between now and when my head hits the pillow.
I’ve barely had time to tick boxes on my business list, let alone finish all the chores and responsibilities my household demands. And now the afternoon madness begins! To say my day is exhausting is an understatement. I am both impressed with the way my mind strategises, plots and plans its way around the intricacies of my day, and mildly scared that all those balls are not only going to drop – but explode into a million pieces.
Does this sound at all familiar?
As a woman/mother/business owner in 2018 I suffer from what is commonly referred to as “busy brain syndrome”. If I had to describe my mind – I would liken it to a big slippery bowl of spaghetti, that makes all sorts of twists, turns, loops, and slides effortlessly into tight spots that either don’t exist, or seems impossible to fit into. It might appear to be messy inside, but make no mistake – the end result is nothing short of phenomenal.
The problem with having such a busy mind is that, firstly – it just never shuts up, or more to the point, shuts off. It also doesn’t do very well at putting my personal needs anywhere near the frontline, which can really fly in the face of finding balance. How can I find that precious balance in my life, if I can’t even sort my mind out!?
So, that being said – it stands to reason the first thing we need to look at in this Balance series – is our big beautiful minds. Trust me to start with the most difficult thing!
You know ladies, we actually have the power and authority to govern our own minds. If our mind is out of whack, we CAN do something about it. First we must acknowledge how amazing it is, and honour the fact that our minds are kind of legendary. Go on – do it! Allow yourself to feel proud of that big beautiful mind of yours and compliment the heck out of it! Why? Because something amazing happens when we start being kind and believe/speak positive affirmations over ourselves. This isn’t some new-age hippy mumbo jumbo. It’s simple: The power of positive words, thoughts and intentions over ourselves has been proven to be a game changer.
If some re-balancing or realignment needs to happen in order to calm that busy brain syndrome, then there are some extra action points and strategies we can use to help.
The mind is where it all starts. You think a thought, it becomes a feeling then nine times out of ten it becomes an action. Simple right? And yet most of the time we run around chasing our proverbial tails, trying to figure out and solve the behavioural issues, or the ‘feelings’ side of things.
That is where the strategy and practice of mindfulness can really make a difference. The universal (and summarised) definition of mindfulness is:
To be fully present and aware of what is going on around us and inside of us, at any one time.
In other words, it’s a focus strategy and the good news is many experts believe that mindfulness can be used as a way to develop wisdom. And who doesn’t want more of that good stuff right?
There is a lot to be said about mindfulness, but the guts of it is: You have to learn how to focus on one thing at a time.Filter out everything else and be fully present in that one thing.
Practicing mindfulness has been proven to alleviate a variety of mental and physical conditions. So if you’re stressed, anxious or depressed then try this mind-job on for size!
Switch off purposefully
I personally love this one the most. To firstly give myself permission to switch off, and then refuse to feel guilty when I do it so well!
Whatever helps you switch off – do it and when that guilty feeling tries to smash down the door of your private retreat, learn the art of eviction. Tell it to bugger off and remind yourself that you are too important (yes you!), and everything else can just wait.
For me I get great ‘switch off satisfaction’ by mindlessly watching (questionable) TV programs. It used to be Shortland Street but since the rise of Netflix and online streaming I’ve upgraded my game! It doesn’t have to be watching TV either – that’s just my thing. Maybe you’re into walking, surfing, sports, arts and crafts, shopping (another one of my favourites!). Sometimes I’ll duck out at 9pm just to go wander around Kmart by myself. BLISS!!! Whatever it is for you, make sure you do it.
You may not have nailed everything that day, but you would have accomplished some things in your business or at work, your home and that washing pile will probably always be there, and your kids are fed and in bed. Now go grab yourself some chocolate, a hot whatever, and give yourself some switch off time.
Renew your Mind
Every morning we wake up is another day we get to reset and renew our minds. I know, I know, it doesn’t always feel that way right? If you’re anything like me, your feet are already hitting the floor and sprinting to get everyone and everything sorted before you even get a chance to just STOP and think such lovely thoughts. But that is EXACTLY what you need to do.
Give yourself a chance to set yourself up well for the day. Make yourself lie there for a few precious minutes first thing in the morning, and do whatever you need to do to give that renewal process a chance. You might want to read something inspiring, focus on positive thoughts and affirmations, give yourself a little pep talk, listen to an inspiring song, or pray a little prayer. Whatever works for you is good enough for you right? Just make sure you give yourself and that busy brain of yours a chance to renew, because we all know that life can get pretty crazy, very quickly, and let’s just agree right now that your life deserves a better shot!