Sometimes I feel like I am drowning in my own thoughts. I feel like I’m running on an endless treadmill of consciousness, and I cannot get my brain to shut up. I am the kind of person who can get lost in my own mind sometimes. The only solace in this is those few moments when I make the intentional decision to turn it all off. Even then I find that thoughts still try to claw their way through. I try to envision these thoughts like clouds passing by in the sky. If the clouds tend to linger, I let out a deep breath and blow the cloud across my sky. If I cannot get the cloud to move on still I pluck the cloud from the sky and stick it into a file cabinet to later be revisited. This is how I meditate.
Meditation doesn’t have to be super woo-woo. It doesn’t have to consist of “ohms” or astral projections. It can just be the act of doing nothing other than existing at that moment. I am not an expert on meditation. I am at the very beginning of implementing this practice into my life, but I know that it has helped me with focus, motivation, and inner peace. My brain can be a chaotic place sometimes, and taking time to calm those oceans to be present at a particular moment has just felt so necessary. There are so many resources out there from guided meditations to mediation to music on YouTube, Spotify, Audible, and even apps specifically for meditation like Calm or Headspace. At this point in our BANG challenge, I encourage you to try it out. It is difficult at first. That’s why they call it a practice. From what folks who are more experienced than I say, it does get easier with time.
This is just one aspect of the Do Nothing principle, though. It also encompasses rest in general. This week I will be focusing on getting back onto a regular sleep schedule because I’ve really messed up my sleep schedule lately. I’ve been going to sleep late at all different times and sleeping past my alarm, which is already set for the exact moment I need to be up in order to get to work on time. Luckily my boss is flexible with my start time, but that aside I know doing this ends up making me more tired because I don’t have a regular sleep schedule. I also know that my day goes better when I have some time to myself in the morning and don’t have to rush right as I get up. Then I have time to do things like meditate! Sleep is such an undervalued aspect of our health and making time for sleep is important to help us be energized to chase our dreams.
Sleep isn’t the only important aspect of rest, though. Making time for downtime is essential. At least in my experience, I have found that if I don’t make time for downtime that my body finds a way for me to get it elsewhere by decreasing my motivation at work or at home. I still struggle with this, but I am beginning to realize that the solution to this may just be to be intentional with that time as well. Be realistic. Schedule it out. Seriously! I have started to put things like Netflix time or meditations on to my Google Calendar. This may be far fetched idea for some, but it is working for me so far. I am not saying you have to do this, but it can always be helpful to be more intentional with this time. After all, that is what this challenge is all about. Essentially, if you don’t make time for sleep, rest, and relaxation they will make time for themselves.
What are some of your favorite ways to rest and relax? How do you make time for rest and relaxation in your busy schedules?