How I'm Trying To Be More Zen

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Yes, really. I'm that gal now.

It's January, which means it's the season of sorting your life out. Taking up new habits. Being productive. All that good stuff. But with the end of final year looming, I have felt the pressure racking up. So, I decided to make a few small changes to my daily routine to help manage my stress, and all in all, become more zen. So far, so good!


MY FOUR SMALL CHANGES

Morning and night yoga. This one is definitely the most potent change I've made. A few years ago, I went to weekly yoga classes, or when pennies were few and far between, I followed along with YouTube videos. It turns out just popping 10 minutes of gentle stretches and deep breathing, at the beginning and end of every day, really helps to release any tension in the mind and body, and slow stress down in its wake. Since doing this, I can't explain it, I just AM more zen.

Steadying my body clock. For years I've heard of people saying how our beneficial it is to stick to a routine body clock. No more accidental late nights or 3 hours hitting snooze. I've found that I'm my most productive in the mornings, so that's my time to be up and bouncing around. It's all to do with our body's natural tendencies; after 3pm I know I need a break or a walk, then 7pm I can push myself over one last study hurdle. But if you work better after 12pm, you do you boo. All that matters is your body knows what's up and feels all the better for it. Such zen, wow.

Creating a weekly master to-do list. I've always been a list kinda gal. Love em. Would surely flail without them. But creating a master to-do list for each week has taken my planning game to the next level. I detail everything, from tiny tasks to daily classes – even the morning and night yoga – so I can power through and see those tickboxes piling up. The more I realise how much I'm getting done, the more motivated and satisfied I feel. Bye-bye millenial guilt!

Actually winding down for bed. In the age of mobiles, tablets and laptop screens, it feels like I never really switch off. Especially in assignment season, I often used to work late and jump straight into bed, then wonder why it took me an hour to fall asleep. So, alongside the night yoga, around 30 minutes before my routine bedtime, I take myself away from the devices, stick on some relaxing music, slap on my skincare routine and hop into my pyjamas. Post-sleepy yoga, I clamber into bed and fall asleep almost instantly. It's miraculous! 10/10, would recommend.

As my final tasks pile up over the coming months, I really hope I keep this up.
Between publishing a book, looking for jobs, writing a TV pilot and numerous film essays,
I'll be looking for more zen in my life come Spring.

Here's hoping.

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