Inviting Stillness Into Our Lives
In our digitized, fast-paced world that is constantly vying for our attention, it has become increasingly difficult to find moments of stillness. We are constantly bombarded with pings, notifications, and messages that are thrown at us from outside sources. With this in mind, the need is clear that we must consciously carve out these moments for ourselves in our day to day lives.
There was a point in my life where it felt like the only time I had “for myself” was the few minutes before bed when I would do my skincare routine. Although this moment may seem trivial, it felt significant to me because it was a brief moment in my day where I would slow down, get “out of my head”, and tend to myself in a loving manner. I became aware of how this simple act would switch me out of a mindless, heightened, “go-go” kind of state into a mindful, relaxed, and rejuvenated state. This awareness propelled me into creating more of these small, but significant moments in order to infuse more presence, gratitude, and balance into my day to day life. Below are a few ways that you can too.
1. Create an intentional morning routine and nighttime routine. A nighttime routine helps us to relax, whereas a morning routine helps to set a positive tone for the day.
Although an elaborate morning or night time routine is not always possible, you can likely find some time to practice essential parts of it. This can include anything from intentionally sipping your coffee or tea free from the distraction of your phone, gua sha, stretching or meditating for a couple of minutes, making a short gratitude list, or simply thinking about things that you are grateful for.
2. Be intentional with your spare time. It is rare to not have ten minutes to yourself at some point throughout the day, but these moments pass us by because we habitually use them as an opportunity to scroll on our phones. Instead, we can use it as an opportunity to step out of the office or away from whatever we are doing to have a moment of stillness. A great example is to step outside and breathe without distraction for ten minutes.
3. Replacing “trivial” everyday products (think: toothpaste, shower products, skincare) with consciously made, beautiful, sustainable products. Using high quality products on ourselves helps to transform these mindless moments into a nourishing ritual.
4. Spending more time in nature. This may look like walking or biking home from work instead of driving, going for a thirty minute walk, or doing work outdoors instead of indoors.
5. Carve out time in your schedule for yourself. When we have spare time on our hands, we tend to fill it with our to-do lists or take the opportunity to socialize. Instead, try allocating one to two hours of a day to yourself that’s free from technology, creating a space for reflection, quiet, and presence.
Being in stillness helps to shift us into our parasympathetic, whereby our minds and bodies shift out of “fight or flight” into a calm and centered state. We have seemed to have forgotten the importance of these moments in our day to day lives, only giving space to them on special occasions. These moments help to bring us a sense of gratitude and fulfillment, despite how hectic, busy, or empty our day may feel.
Technology will always exist and our fast-paced, interconnected world isn’t slowing down. It is therefore our job to become disciplined and carve out these moments for ourselves to ensure that our day to day lives are still filled with meaning, joy, and intention.