If you’ve been reading this blog and thinking ‘I have no flow in my life’, you are not alone.
Flow is something that gets squashed out with responsibility, scheduling, stress & anxiety. Lack of flow is intrinsically linked with lack of sleep. Put those 2 scenarios together – anxiety and lack of sleep – and it may just be impossible to find flow in your life right now.
Okay, so what then?
High five, because you’ve just identified some lifestyle opportunities! You’ve taken a moment to realize you need more self-care. And keep going . . . let’s problem-solve together to open some possibilities!
If you are under a great deal of stress – school, work, family, illness, financial, anxiety – it can be daunting to see your way clear to changing anything. It can feel like you’re trapped. Take this moment to breath 3 deep breaths in, and out. Sounds hokey, but honestly, it works to ease the body and the mind. Count to 5 on the in, and 5 on the out.
3 deep breaths in, and out.
Pick one area of your life that is a hot spot, causing you anxiety and likely lack of sleep. Journal or just think about everything that’s closing in on that area: demands, time restraints, self-esteem, lack of resources, and the million other things you should be doing.
Describe this area as if you were explaining it to a good friend, someone who truly cares and takes the time to listen. What happens, who are the players, what makes it difficult, how do you feel while in it, what’s the worst thing that could happen and how would that feel? Is there a part of this that truly interests and daunts you at the same time? Get it all out.
Now brainstorm any small changes you could make to that area. Can you do less of the activity, can you delegate responsibility, can you say no?
Can you say ‘NO’?
A friend of mine who is a child psychologist has just gone through this process. She’s the type of person who’s always looking after everyone in her life: her child, her husband, her mother, her clients who are children and THEIR parents and educators. She does the face time work with her counselling, and then writes up assessments and reports (on her own time). She has two offices to serve two communities, with a 2-hour commute between them so 4 days with one location and 1-1/2 days at the other. She was cheating sleep, not exercising, eating a lot of sugar and yes, gaining weight. And, frequently ill with headaches, flus, colds, and body aches.
She finally counselled herself! What she liked the least was writing up reports and assessments. So, she hired an intern to sit with her on a few cases, let him take the notes, and draft the assessments and reports. She then just had to review and approve them, taking about 6 hours out of her work week.
Doesn’t sound like a lot, but the effect has been profound. She’s sleeping better and more consistently. She’s back to the gym (which hugely improves her mood, optimism and clarity). She’s cut out almost all of the sugar and is able to make more home-cooked meals, which feeds her soul as well as her body. For her, time at the gym, and time cooking create an opportunity for flow.
You can do this too!
Let me know if you want a listening ear and encouraging mind to help you find more flow!
ps. we have Affirmations and Meditations that may help you with mindfulness and finding flow at www.fitjourney.ca , and also Gentle & Active Yoga, Strength Training, Yoga for Runners and Cross Training for Runners on our YouTube channel: youtube/sandyfitjourney