Since moving my business from home to an office, I have had to find new ways to support myself through creative overwhelm, busy periods and at times stress.
When I worked from home I took frequent breaks to stretch out on my yoga mat, do a dance session, go for a swim or even take a nap. But as I have now created some new boundaries between work and home, I have had to explore new ways to support myself.
There are always going to be positives and negatives to every situation. While I loved the flexibility I had working at home to draw on self-care practices whenever I wanted, it also brought with it huge amounts of procrastination and avoidance.
Since moving my work to a separate office, my time there is short and powerful. I can sit down, get super focused, ride a powerful wave of creativity and then head home feeling deeply fulfilled and proud of what I was able to achieve.
Now my practise is all about deep self-care and balance. I am learning how to support myself more powerfully outside of work hours, while also integrating soulful, self-loving and supportive practises through my work day.
And so today I want to share with you 9 of the key practises that have been supporting me and ensuring I can show up in my office and be productive, while also feeling calm, balanced and nourished.
9 Practises To Keep You Calm & Balanced
#01: Begin Your Day With Stillness & Meditation
My day unfolds radically differently based on whether or not I meditate.
Personally I love to meditate as soon as I wake up and simply sit in bed with a guided audio. Other mornings I will shower first and then set a timer so that I don’t have to worry about running overtime and being late for work.
Even if you can only find 10 minutes each morning, it makes a huge difference to centre, calm and ground your energy before you begin your day. Simply sit still with yourself and focus on your breath. Afterwards you may also want to pull out your journal and set some intentions for the day ahead.
#02: Stay Self-Connected & Self-Aware
Through your day there will be endless noise, distractions, demands and people pulling you outwards into the world. You will find the times that you feel stressed, overwhelmed or anxious are the times where you are in your head and disconnected from yourself. In these moments your attention has drifted off yourself, off how you feel and you have got lost in the external world.
Pay attention to your warning signs are that you are getting stressed – is it reaching for coffee or chocolate? Or a tightness in your chest, knot in your belly, racing heart or tense shoulders? Begin to become aware of your signals and watch out for them.
If you deviate from yourself and get pulled into stress and reaction, don’t beat yourself up, just practise coming back. I do this in three ways;
- Deep belly breathing
- Asking myself; “How do I feel?” and “What does this feel like in my body?”
- And then asking; “How do I want to feel?” and “What can I do for myself right now to help me feel that way?” and then giving it to myself.
#03: Create Self-Care Rituals
I have filled my desk with a range of things that nourish me and I love to keep them within easy reach so that I can soothe and support myself when I need it. My little toolkit includes;
+ Rose essential oil facial mist – Spraying this on my face or even around my body and desk instantly shifts my energy.
+ Rescue remedy homeopathic drops – A few of these under my tongue keeps me calm and grounded.
+ Snacks and water – I keep almonds in my desk draw and a one litre bottle of water on me at all times. Keeping my blood sugar balanced and my body hydrated makes a world of difference to how I feel.
+ Herbal tea – A beautiful herbal tea blend can calm me instantly. My favourite brand is Pukka and I love the Detox, Fennel and Love tea blends.
#04: Use Inspiring Audio’s To Ground You
The minute I leave home in the morning and the minute I step out of the office in the afternoon I plug in my headphones.
I choose to fill my mind with positive, inspiring and grounding guidance rather than with the noise of the hustle and bustle around me.
Those of us that work in a big city know that there is a lot of stimulation, people rushing and distractions. If you are energetically sensitive can be really affected.
I love to have a selection of audio’s, podcasts, meditations or just music that helps me get into my own space, my own world and stay connected to myself despite the crazy energy around me. (Note: stay tuned for a future post coming soon where I will share my favourite audios and podcasts).
#05: Get Your Thoughts & Worries Out
Sometimes I get really overwhelmed by ideas, thoughts and things I want to get done. I may also have different things going on for me personally that I am processing. I find the best way to create some inner space and find clarity is to get it all out of my head and onto paper.
Overwhelm arises when stuff builds up and is not felt, acknowledged or processed. But we create calmness and space by facing it, feeling it and releasing it.
No one will know if you pull out a notepad at work and take a moment to just write down everything you are thinking and feeling. Simply jot down out everything that is racing through my head and you will find it brings you instant relief and clarity.
#06: Use Music To Shift Your Mood
As simple as it sounds, playing music when I need to shift my energy or mental state works wonders for me. I find I can shift my whole energy state by choosing music to carry me into a new feeling.
When I need to calm and settle my energy, and focus myself to write or create, I love to play soft, classical or piano music. Or, if I am wanting to feel more inspired, uplifted or energised I will choose something that has more energy to it such as tracks by Odesza, Banks, Lapalux, Jamie xx or Caribou.
#07: Be Aware Of Over-Stimulation
Firstly I do my best to single task as much as I can. The times where I get caught in overwhelm are the times when I have 10 tabs open on my computer somehow trying to split my attention across 5 projects at once.
I find social media incredibly stimulating and it takes me into an unconscious and unproductive mental state. I have realised that mindlessly scrolling is often a way to distract myself from those creative tasks that need my attention or it keeps me up in my head avoiding what I am feeling.
All I do is simply notice these habits, and try to catch myself when I am giving my attention to too many things, or when I am avoiding something or procrastinating by being on social media or hanging out for too long in my inbox.
And rather than scrolling or checking emails on the way home, I chose to spend my time on the ferry home either listening to music or simply staring out the window watching the world go by.
#08: Take Mini Breaks (Or Even Stop)
I work in the heart of the city, so grabbing a nature break is not as easy as it used to be. But whenever I am feeling overwhelmed, scattered or stressed I take myself on a walk.
Sometimes it is simply about getting my body moving, breathing some fresh air and getting back into my body. Other times if the weather is nice I will sit in the sunshine with my eyes closed focusing on my breath until my energy settles.
If I need a mini break while I am in the office, I will take myself either into a meeting room or even into the bathroom. I place my hands on my belly and breathe deeply and just give myself some space from whatever it is that I am working on.
I also believe that we need to give ourselves permission to actually stop altogether if we need to. If I feel that I am in a space of pushing and forcing and going against the natural flow, I allow myself to completely step away or head home early.
#09: Wind Down Properly After Work
I find it supportive to have different clothes that I wear at home or for work. Having a clear distinction between work and home really helps me to switch off and shift into a softer and more relaxed energy.
So, the minute I get in the door I will take off my work clothes, shoes and makeup and get straight into some leggings and put my hair in a top knot.
The extent to which I am able to rest, recharge and relax in an evening radically impact how my next day unfolds and feels. This precious evening time really helps balance out my energy.
Which of these practises will make the biggest impact on how you manage stress and overwhelm through your day? Share with me in the comments.
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