How to stay focused in spite of a busy schedule? Often people skip their daily routines when their work or other issues in their life become very demanding only to feel even more miserable because they miss their daily routines, which were serving them so well!
Even though the mind wants to tell you that you have no time for healthy routines now, don’t listen to it. Have you ever regretted having your green juice in the morning even though you had to get up a bit earlier for this? Or regretted having exercised? The ego wants you to talk out of it. Your job is to have the self mastery to do it anyway. You will be so happy. And you will never regret your exercise or morning juice, once you have DONE it.
You will greatly benefit from your health routines, especially when the other areas of your life are very demanding. First things first. If you are healthy and have a healthy body, everyone gains: you, your family and friends, and even your work colleagues.
The more your head is filled with “stressful stuff” the more you need the body connection every day. I found that I used to jump on my trampoline in “normal” times each morning for 20 minutes. Now when I have an intense time with a more demanding schedule, I find myself even extending my 20 minutes exercise to a full hour. I have started the “Metamorphosis Program” by Tracy Anderson. A muscular structure work program, which I love. It complements my cardio training. When I do “only” yoga in the morning I find that it is just for comfort. But to get my head clear, I needed something more demanding for me. Tracy Anderson did that for me and I am sure I will stick to her program for the next couple of months. It is just so much fun for me. Play around to find what works best for you.
This is more easily done if you have already have routines in place, which work in relaxed times as well as in stressful times. They are your safety belt. If you fall off the wagon in stressful times it is so much easier to get back into your healthy routine again, when you already have them in place.
The best approach to help you stick to your routines is two-fold: (1) a beneficial mental attitude and (2) getting the right mix of routines, which encompass body, mind and spirit.
(1) Mental Attitudes: The following points are adopted from Dr. Pat Allen:
- Don’t try to be perfect. The antidote to wanting to be perfect (and just stressing yourself out) is: be excellent. Simply do your best in the given moment.
- Don’t try too hard. Know what’s enough.
- Don’t hurry all the time. Get up a bit earlier. Work easy. Enjoy your healthy routines. If one hour exercise in the morning is too much for you commit to 20 or 30 minutes. But once you committed, you commit (to yourself). Self-love and love of others is the commitments that you are willing to make and to keep.
- Don’t please other people first. The antidote to pleasing others first is: please yourself first. Then it is easy to be there for others.
- Don’t be strong. Strong people are unteachable. Be open instead. Be open to new routines, to new teachings and new routines. Make your daily morning routines playtime. Once you decided to one, stick to it. Don’t argue with others, who do not appreciate your routines. Just do them and don’t justify them. Your glowing face and happy mood when you arrive at work will tell the truth.
(2) Encompass body, mind and spirit:
- Body: stick to your daily exercise routine be it yoga, trampoline, or whatever is your routine right now. Stick to your healthy diet. Mine are the one of Natalia Rose as described in her book “Detox4Women” and the upgraded version “Extremely green detox diet”. My food is mostly raw vegan. I highly recommend to have a list of non-negotiable items on your list like having the green juice every morning and having certain foods under no circumstances.
- Mind: Especially when on a tight schedule, learn something new! Read books of some topic that you didn’t know of before. It keeps your mind occupied with a new curiosity and away from thinking about your schedule. Especially if you feel very tight in your daily demands it is so important to feel free and new in some other area! Define a certain time of the day as your “play time” or “non-scheduled time” to give yourself a sense of adventure on a daily basis.
- Spirit: Meditate and pray regularly, in the morning and in the evening 10 minutes minimum. Give your chores to a higher power, ask for Divine help and ask that your tasks may be done through you for the highest good of all. Meditation is your energy power station, you get refilled with life force energy (prana) for free. Sitting with no agenda for at least 10 minutes twice daily will do this for you. In these times also resolve any emotional issues from the day or embrace what is coming. Have an attitude of gratefulness throughout the day.
You may ask, when I am doing all this. Ok, here is the trick: I go to bed early (before 10pm) and rise early (5am). I meditate and read from 5:15am – 5:45am (this year I am doing the Course in Miracles daily), I exercise until 6:45am, then I have my green juice and get ready for work, which lets me leave the house at 7:30am. This may not be for you, but I am totally happy with this. Sometimes I get up half an hour earlier, if I have to be at work earlier. In the evening I come home, take a shower, cook for myself, read, do my stuff or meet a friend, meditate and go to sleep.
Imagine how it will feel for you, if you had your meditation, green juice and exercise already before you even step into your work’s office! Imagine how to free up your time for easy soothing evening activities and finishing off the day with an emotional clearance in meditation and prayer before enjoying the valuable sleeping hours before midnight. In Ayurveda they say, a 10pm bedtime lets the body restore you to the level you had the morning before. Every hour before 10pm makes you younger and after 11pm older. Hours before midnight count double as sleeping hours. So, who wouldn’t want to exploit this? Sound sleep is the basis for your healthy routines and attitudes.
Source of picture: My trampoline and meditation space in my living room; they go happily together every morning! :)