Ananda Wellness Australia
Ayurveda, Yoga, Meditation and Massage in Melbourne
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Lifestyle & Wellness - Ananda Wellness

Holistic wellness is about mind-body-community wellness. Explore our thought pieces on a number of important lifestyle topics that we hope may spark some inspiration on your journey.


 

Mindfulness: 4 Ways to Get More Done with Less Stress

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The start of a brand-new year brings with it the promise of new beginnings, growth, change and good times. While our personal perspectives of the times we’ve left behind may be very different based on the experiences leading to them, most ‘bags’ of experience come with a mix of good, bad, ‘meh’, bizarre or more (insert your word here!)… and the natural tendency afterwards is to push ourselves to increase/ replicate/ decrease/ erase these experiences.

The sentiment to consider in this instance is ‘push’. When we push, we force our energy into what I call the ‘must-have’ zone. The issue with this is if that one thing isn’t reached, it typically creates a sense of lack or disappointment (or similar). That’s not to say that purpose, direction and goals aren’t important; rather, it’s our approach that makes the difference.

With this in mind, instead of the ‘must have zone’ or that one thing, I have decided to take on the yogic approach of adopting a ‘sankalpa’ for 2019, which is similar to an intention. For instance, when life becomes about managing a whole lot of moving parts – family and friends, jobs, relationships, finances, bucket lists (in no particular order!) - most of us tend to multitask for efficiency in juggling these. The end result (typically) is less presence, more detachment, more anxiousness and lesser enjoyment of the ‘journey’ and the task. So this year, I intend on doing less, to do more.

Check out this blog post below with a few more of my thoughts on how to get more done in a day while staying balanced, relaxed and content..

1. Prioritize

This is one piece of advice we’ve probably heard a hundred times over. With good reason. When tasks from different streams of life get heaped into one big pile it can seem overwhelming to conquer. What do you tackle first? A good idea here is to ‘regroup’ daily or weekly to draw up a hierarchy of needs consisting of the Essentials (what’s crucial to do and cannot wait?), the Nice to do (What can be done later on with little to no consequence?), the Time wasters (What actually may not need doing at all?)

Thinking about the value it adds to the day, or if it can easily be done at another more convenient time, and if it’s worth combining with another task and thus ‘multi-tasking’ allows you to decide on the degree of it usefulness to the load of the day 

2. Wear one hat

The many roles we play in our lives means we can have a variety of hats to wear all day. Dividing your time up-front and early gives the space to be fully present with the task at hand. When you’re working, you’re purely working; when you’re parenting, you’re purely parenting; when you’re taking some ‘me’ time, it’s all about YOU.  

When you kick the harsh voice saying “you could be doing this/ you could be doing more/you are wasting time” to the curb, confident in the knowledge that your tasks have been prioritised and given the time & space to happen, it frees you up to show up, be fully engaged and conscious. It allows you to observe, watch, listen, interact and BE in the moment. 

3. Set boundaries 

Prioritising tasks, and wearing one hat at a time gives us the ability to be clear about what we can do with our time and day. Being helpful, responsive and flexible is important but not burning out is essential. Burn out takes away our ability to give the best of ourselves, be present and enjoy the journey. 

With this in mind, start to practice the art of mindfully saying ‘no’ when it truly misaligns with your purpose, values, or ability to fully commit to the request. 

4. Self-Care

I like the explanation before take-off on airplanes for adults to “put your own oxygen mask on first”. It’s a safety standard up in the air but one that we can borrow from for our day-to-day lives too. When we keep putting ourselves last on the list, multi-tasking a mile a minute, while expending most of our energy we end up running on our reserves. When this isn’t topped up, it leads to burn-out.

To combat this, make time for self-care: take several moments in the day to be still between tasks, have a warm bath at the end of the day, cook a nourishing meal, take a walk in a park in the middle of the week, say yes to an impromptu dinner with friends. Nurture your soul and your energy reserves will replenish. As a result, we are of more service to ourselves and to others than if we were burned out.

A helpful breathing exercise to practice at the start of the day can set the tone of calm and peace. Taking in some early morning sunshine and fresh air, start by sitting in stillness for a few moments. Close down the eyes and notice the movement of the body with the breath. Pause at the end of every inhalation and every exhalation for complete stillness. Repeat the cycle for 5 – 10 minutes, before starting your day. Result: Bliss!

Have a great day