Happy Labor Day to You!
As a celebration of life's labors, this holiday also marks the unofficial end of summer. For children, summer seems to expand time, days roll out forever.
Personally, summer days shrank from 24-hours to 15 or 16, tops. My days evaporated. I began a mission to get my hours back. The results follow. I'm a work in progress. But, surprise! After months, there's a sense of expansion within this quickening. My "metrics" for what worked: Do I feel better? Is more getting done? Do I have more time?
What worked well ~
1. Take a Deep Breath.
Really. Breathe into your belly as a baby would breathe...in through your nose, belly soft, and gently out through your mouth. It signals mind and body to take a moment and step back. Do this five or six times.
2. Make a List.
Organize your days in ways that work for you. My husband, John, jots lists within lists. They're on the backs of envelopes that he fills with coupons and a pen. His lists are long- and short-term. They work. Me? Sunday night, I use large lined Post-It Notes and my computer calendar to coordinate the week's appointments and long-term "life stuff." Whew. I can sleep better...
3. Get Good Sleep.
For me, this meant dialing back bedtime from 11 p.m to 10-10:15 p.m. It took some adjusting, but now I get up earlier...between 6:30 and 7 a.m. The room is dark and free of cell phones, tv. I feel more rested...and there are lots of studies on the health benefits of getting to bed before 10:30 p.m. The body repairs itself. Sleep is deeply restorative.
4. Make Your Bed!
According to an article in Domain, It is a way of literally putting yesterday to bed and making way for the opportunities of a new day. Years ago, as a single mom raising three sons, I'd make the bed before flying out the door to work. Returning home, the room looked orderly, calm. I've started doing that simple task again.
This has proven to be the biggest time expander for me. In the past, I'd fit it in fairly often. Now? I schedule it. First thing in the morning, 20 minutes. A beautiful bridge between sleep and bringing the soul and body into the new day. I'm more efficient, if I do this in the morning. I'll do another 20 minutes before bed, if I do have time.
6. Say No.
Healthy boundaries are a big gift to yourself, as I'm learning. If asked to do a favor, check with yourself...do you have time? Could you do later? Or, do you want to do at all. If yes, great. If no, shake off guilt and say there are other things requiring your attention. It does take practice.
7. Have Fun.
Do what you love shared with those you love. Put it on the list :) Ahhhh….there's my endless summer!
Write me and let me know of your own effective time expanders!
For those who haven't been in for awhile...I'm at a new location!
Sessions are by appointment Tuesday & Friday at Oriental Family Medicine, 901 North Hercules Ave., Ste. F, Clearwater, FL 33765
Wednesday at 402 Engman Street, Clearwater.
Can't come by in person? Phone sessions also available Monday-Friday.