So important to take time out for yourself.
Focus on what you can control
Don't waste time and ruin your mind worrying about what you cannot change
The science behind happiness & long life.
take some Me time
Times can be crazy and demanding. First we went through a global pandemic and now we have a war between Russia and Ukraine.
It is unsettling and stressful. What can you do? How can you help?
Taking 20 minutes or more out of your day will not solve the world's problems but it will help you to feel better.
Some focused alone time will:
Reboot your brain & help you unwind
Improve your concentration
Make you more productive
Give you space for self discovery
Helps with problem solving
Enhances your relationships
How best to do it?
Book a fixed time every day. Take the worry out of finding a time slot. Make it at least 20 minutes. Do what you want to do.
For some it is a great to catch up with friends and family. Others enjoy listening to their favorite music. Others simply like to do nothing.
Don't stress it. It is me time. Use it in the best way without any guild.
British Psychological Society: Good quality me-time vital for home and work well-being. sciencedaily.com, January 2015.
Harvard Health: A 20-minute nature break relieves stress. July 2019.
Karen Asp: How to Claim Some 'Me Time'. WebMD, October 2013.
Amy Morin: 7 Science-Backed Reasons You Should Spend More Time Alone. Forbes, August 2017.
Amy Fleming: Gimme 20! How just 20 minutes a day to yourself could transform your life. The Guardian, March 2022.
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
We tend to worry about things that we have no or little influence on. Poverty, pollution, climate change, war, social injustice - just to name a few.
Often they are even closer to home like a boss we do not like or not agreeing with the direction the company or department is taking.
In psychology there is concept of ACT - Acceptance & Commitment Therapy that helps coping with this.
It is very straight forward but sometimes simply needs remembering. Accept the things that you have no control of and focus on the ones that you can actually control.
Key is to be psychologically flexible. We need to open up to what is (accept the current situation) and establish new structures and routines.
How best to do it?
Focus on the Present not on the Past or the Future
One tends to focus a lot on what should have ot could have been. Another tendency is to think about how this will impact negatively the future.
Move away from that and focus on the here and now. There are a few tricks that help you achieve that and manipulate your mind:
Pay actively attention when a thought has you hooked in the past or the future. Apply below to help you let go and come back to the present.
Simply pay attention to your 5 senses: what can you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell. Notice what is happening around you.
Focus on your breathing - almost like when meditating focus on breathing in and out.
Close your eyes for a few minutes. When you reorient, focus on your surroundings and let the thoughts of past and future go.
Open up to feelings and uncertainty
It is important to differentiate between what is or is not in our control. You need to focus to control what we can and let go of the rest. This includes the need for things to feel or be different.
It does not mean to suppress the feelings. You need to process them but then there is also the point to move on.
Don't force it. It can help to imagine yourself as a child with these feelings. How would you respond to a kids having these feelings. Reason being, that we are usually kinder and more understanding towards kids.
Do what matters, Focus on your values
Even if we cannot control everything we can behave in line with our values.
It helps to focus on the next right thing, i.e. what is most important to take care of now.
To help you with that, think of what a superhero would do. Or what advise would you give others in case you were to guide or coach them.
Jessica Goldberg: How To Accept The Things You Cannot Change, Like The Pandemic. forbes, July 2020.
World Health Organization: Doing What Matters in Times of Stress. April 2020.