Shutting your brain down
I’m sure many parents will commiserate- particularly moms. I spend my days with a million things running through my head, all my to-do’s, today, this week, next week, next year! I consistently feel overwhelmed and most of the time I am not even sure why. I wake up when the alarm goes off, exhausted- or worse!-I wake up BEFORE the alarm goes off, and lay in bed thinking about all the things I need to get done. Can you relate?
I have been working through ways to find my inner “zen” and put a stop to the crazy running through my brain all the time. Here are some tips and tricks to use to change your brain from crazy to calm.
1) Do a brain dump every day.
– This is probably the BEST thing I’ve done for myself. I take 10 minutes a day and just write absolutely everything that’s bouncing around in my head down on a piece of paper. It can be from “finish that presentation” to “I need a pedicure.” It doesn’t matter what you write- as long as you empty it all on to a piece of paper. It’s not a to-do list, because you don’t have to do what’s on the list, and you might have items on the list that don’t have any “to-do” attached to it.
– I know, I know. I suck at this one. I went to a yoga certification course a few weekends ago and I had to spend about 20 minutes chanting and meditating and it was really pretty awful. So my version of that is to close my eyes, lay down or sit quietly…and let my mind go. Rather than focus on trying to “empty my mind”, I let it fill up…and then I let it go. Anything that is in there has already been written down (see # 1), so I can let the thought come in and then let it float away.
3) Get outside.
– Go for a walk in some trees. Seriously. Last week I went for a walk down by the river here in Calgary (it was a little inconvenient because I don’t live by the river, but I drove there anyways) and it was so nice to feel the sun peeking through the trees, hearing the river rushing by, seeing a baby duck swimming along. I left feeling more relaxed than I have in months.
4) Spend a whole day getting stuff done.
– I know- seems counter productive. But if you have 40 things on your to-do list, and you spend a day powering through them and get 30 of them crossed off? Feels pretty good.
5) Spend a day doing absolutely nothing.
Again- seems counterproductive- but sometimes you need to sleep in, lay on the couch and watch movies all day, order pizza, leave the laundry and the dishes and the vacuuming to sit. Don’t spend it thinking about all the things you should be doing- keep your brain busy with movies and a gluttony of snacks.
6) Do yoga. Even if you don’t “do” yoga.
My husband is not a “yoga” type of guy. But I convinced him to try it and he is impressed with the difference. It clears your head, makes your body strong. It helps with digestion, with relaxation, with paying attention to what your body needs and wants. And you release a few endorphins, without running a 5k.
7) Break a sweat.
Sometimes kicking your own ass at the gym is exactly what you need to clear the fog out of your brain. Push yourself as hard as your body will allow- come out sweating buckets.
Remember that some days you will get through the day feeling like you have the world at your feet and you can do anything. Some days you will feel like something you would scrape off your shoe. Either way, it’s ok. Just make sure there is more world at your feet than poop on your shoe.
Shutting your brain down