No matter how much you love your life and the people in it, there are times when everybody needs a short reset. Life can often become crowded and overwhelming, whether you’re dealing with the day-to-day responsibilities that come from caring for your loved ones or taking on more than your fair share of extra duties or stresses in your professional life. If you’re starting to feel just a little bit worn out before the day has even begun, then it’s time to take a step back and reconnect with you.
For many people, there is a sense of guilt attached to taking some time out from those daily demands and doing a bit of soul-searching. Often, we have been conditioned to believe we should achieve the best at work, play and home. The concept of “me time” can be seen as an extravagance when there are bills to pay, jobs to do and most importantly, people to care for.
But what we so often forget is that the best way to care for others, and give more to the world, is to take care of ourselves first. Life isn’t always about having and doing, at its simplest, life is an experience, and we all deserve to have happiness and serenity at least occasionally!
You may be wondering what it means to reconnect with you, and how to go about doing it. The truth is that it’s a completely personal experience! Just as we all have individual needs and preferences, we can let anything be a practice in self-discovery if we let it. It can be easier to start with something that takes you out of your current daily routine and requires you to experience something new like taking a short weekend getaway.
Luxurious holidays in a paradise location are the dream of many, but a short city break can be just as rejuvenating for body, mind and soul. If you’re reading this from the U.K., then you are spoilt for choice when it comes to weekend destinations.
The Pennines of North West England and the Moors of Yorkshire always make for soul-soothing destinations while cities like Edinburgh, Brighton and Cardiff offer exciting atmospheres. Although it may be known for its tavern tours Ireland’s “fair city” of Dublin is a charming city that makes an ideal destination for a quick getaway.
You can also change your daily routine with something a little closer to home, such as starting a new hobby or learning a new skill. Dance is one of the oldest and most profound means of self-expression, and there’s such a wide variety of dance classes and workshops tailored toward adults that you’re sure to find something that appeals to you.
If you believe that you have two left feet, then another less-daunting way to connect with your self is to explore awareness-based movement practices like Yoga, Pilates or Feldenkrais. An ingenious practice devised in the latter half of the 20th century by former engineer Moshe Feldenkrais, the Feldenkrais Method aims to improve self-awareness through gentle and often pleasurable movements. Classes with trained practitioners take place all over the country, and it’s even possible to try some free online lessons thanks to The Feldenkrais Guild.
Meditation is also a practice that when done on a regular basis creates a sense of mental space and calmness, but it doesn’t have to be a timely or inconvenient thing to do or follow. Just spending five (or 10) minutes tuning into how you are breathing in the present moment, a process called watching the breath, is enough to send signals from the brain to the body that its ok to slow down. Give it a try when you’ve finished reading this!
There’s also the increasingly popular mindfulness method, which requires you to pay attention to your inner sensations and the external world around you. If you’re thinking to yourself as you read this “I’m not the type of person to meditate,” then you should give it a go!
Though the list of ways and methods in which you could connect with the inner you is endless, the most important thing is that you find something you can do little and often and can stick to it. Even something simple that we often take for granted like a short walk in nature or switching off all your electronics for 10 minutes at a time can have the most profound effects.
As we move forward into 2018, just make that simple commitment of opening a little time and space in your daily life to allow you at the heart of you to shine through!