I often talk with my clients about the importance of living in the moment. Yet I’ve realized that during the last few weeks, I got into a habit of thinking and planning ahead and being less present in the moment. Because of this I’ve felt rushed; I’ve been carrying stress and having difficulty sleeping, as well as tripping over my own feet (check out my last blog, “An Act of Kindness,” if that doesn’t ring a bell). Why does this happen? For those who tend to get anxious, it can happen for a lot of reasons.
One explanation is the false notion that if I just solve every problem or prepare myself for anything that might come by thinking through every single scenario and possible conversation, I might somehow have control over whatever comes my way. This is a false notion because we never know what the future will hold for us. And our best way of coping with any situation is by dealing with it in the moment. Additionally, it’s usually the uncontrollable circumstances and changes in life that challenge us beyond what we thought possible and trigger the most growth in us.
Have you ever felt like your heart is racing or noticed you can’t relax? Your physical body has so much kinetic energy running through it that the muscles are just in a constant state of readiness. This sends a message to our brain to be alert. This state of being is unnecessary and exhausting, but it happens without thought or even awareness.
I try to be mindful and notice when something is affecting my sleep, physical well-being, or overall state of mental health. However, this time, I have been so very busy that even though I paid attention to all of these things, it got away from me, and I missed it.
So, what have I determined to be the best answer? Well, to begin with, a daily reminder to stay in the moment is easy and helpful. How does that work? I must set my intent every morning to keep my mind focused on whatever is in front of me at that moment. I also put a reminder that says “be in the moment” into my daily planner. This helps me because my planner generally helps me to keep track of everything, including my to-do list and daily schedule. So instead of allowing myself to get overwhelmed by it, I see that message that says, “Be in the moment,” and it brings me back to the here and now.
Of course, as I’ve said before, it is important for me to eat right, get enough sleep, and have balance, which includes spending time with friends and family, playing, and taking time for myself to relax and decompress (I’m not always good at that last part). For those of you that carry an equally busy schedule, you are looking at this saying, “Yeah right! How do I find the time to do all that?” I’ll take it back to balance. Look at your daily schedule and if it’s 95% work or 95% giving to others, you are out of balance. It’s all a matter of percentages and you’ve got to find the one that works for you, just as I must find the one that works for me. The tension in our body, the sleep that we get, and the joy that we find in life will be the indicators of achieving that balance.
So, take a moment, enjoy your coffee or tea or whatever else you feel like having this morning, and find time to relax. I always remind myself of what they say on an airplane. In the case of an emergency, you must put the air mask on yourself first before you can take care of others. This is a perfect analogy for life. If we don’t take care of ourselves, then we can’t be there to take care of others. That self-care begins with living in the moment. Thank you for your joining me for another virtual coffee conversation! Please feel free to reach out if you are looking for professional services. I look forward to talking with you soon.