So many of us are guilty of it. Saying we have no time. Running busily from one task to the next trying to fit everything in all in one day. Simultaneously not taking the time we need to boost our energy to get through the day feeling alive and well. We all have windows of time to do short exercises to make us feel better. In my book, “A Short Path to Change: 30 Ways to Transform Your Life”, I offer 30 short tools that can be done in as little as seconds or tops – just 10-15 minutes. We need to take care of ourselves spiritually, emotionally and mentally for our physical selves to be able to function in flow and with ease. It does not have to be hours of meditation each day. It can be short two-minute spurts a few times a day to really see our lives begin to change the way we want it to. Here are five windows of time you might not have realized you had and daily energy boosting tools to use in all of them.
- First Thing in the Morning – Before your feet hit the floor, where is your mind? Are you worrying about the day to come? Laboring over a pain you feel or something you are anxious about? Are you repeating to yourself how you wish you could lie in bed just a little bit longer? These are typical behaviors for waking up that obviously do not set a positive tone for the day. It is much more useful to spend this time setting intentions of how you would like to day to go. Paying gratitude for your warm bed and the fact that you woke up in the morning is also a wonderful way to start your day. If you are in pain, turning your attention to a body part that feels good and pain-free is also going to put you in a much better space than concentrating on the painful part of your body. Also listen to the tone you are speaking to yourself in. Sounding alive and motivated is a much more inspiring way to begin your day.
- In the shower – I don’t know about you, but shower time used to be unconscious time for me. Either I was in my head thinking about some scenario that might happen that day, imagining a conversation I might have, or spinning some story about the upcoming day. I remember times I could not even recall if I had washed my hair or not. I was so in my head and not in the present moment. The shower is now one of my most meditative times of day. Water is so healing and we have the luxury of running water to clean us every single day if we choose. One of my favorite exercises to do in the shower is to imagine the water washing away all negativity and filling me with vital energy. Paying gratitude for the water and the fact that I have the luxury of that shower. Another favorite exercise is the Hawaiian prayer Ho’oponopono – 4 simple sentences said for ourselves for self-forgiveness or for someone we need to offer some forgiveness or healing to. “I love you.” “I am sorry.” “Please forgive me.” “Thank you.” This prayer is the most powerful one I have come across and when I say it in the shower to myself or out loud, it feels magnified by the healing effect of the water.
- Waiting in line in a store – Driving/commuting to and from work – Being stuck in traffic – These can be stressful times or these can be powerful times. The choice is ours. We can be so programmed to think waiting in line or traffic is possibly the most annoying thing ever and totally going to ruin our day. Or we can notice that we are being given this time where we can be totally present and take advantage of all the gifts the present moment brings us. If you are in line, you can close your eyes and think of things or a person for which you are grateful. You could also smile and strike up a conversation with someone in line – easing their tension as well. In traffic, you could blast a favorite song and sing along at the top of your lungs if you like. During your commute or being stuck in traffic is also a wonderful time to set intentions. How do you want the rest of your day to go when you get to your destination? Aren’t you so lucky you get this time to yourself where you can just simply “be” and put your mind wherever you want it? Stressing about traffic or waiting in line will not move the traffic or line along any faster – in fact it will make it seem longer. Switch your attention to something joyful and you might be so surprised at how fast you are beginning to move! Even if you are riding a train or a bus – you can take this time to go inward instead of being distracted by the noise around you and set intentions for how it will be when you arrive at your destination.
- Cooking/preparing food or Doing laundry/chores – Making a meal can really begin to feel like a chore. Add to that if you are cooking every day for a family and you may even feel resentful that you have to do this task every single day. When we are preparing food, we are in fact putting our energy into it. This is an important time to watch where our minds are. Being grateful you have the food to cook/prepare is a wonderful place to put your mind. Feeling the love you have for those special ones you are preparing it for in fact adds that love to the cooking. Giving yourself gratitude that you have the means, the ability, and the freedom to cook and imagining how good the food will taste when it is prepared is also a powerful way to switch up the energy. The same is true when you are doing laundry or cleaning. So many times we can have these thoughts like, “I don’t want to be doing this” or “this again??” Try shifting your energy to joy for the fine clothes you have or the convenient kitchen you have available for you to clean. Think of all the good times you have had in your home and how much it means for you to have a home to keep clean. If you want – blast some of your favorite music as you do these chores to make the tasks even more pleasurable!
- Before you go to sleep at night – This time and in the morning are the most powerful as we are in the half awake/half asleep state and our subconscious is even more tuned in. Yet most people have habits of going over what went wrong that day or what they are dreading the next day. This will not only cause trouble sleeping, and possible bad dreams, but also makes for a pretty disempowered way to wake up in the morning. Instead, you can think of something you did in that day that you are happy about. It need not be some big glamorous event; perhaps you called a friend that was in need; maybe you cooked dinner for a family member; you might have taken a yoga class or exercised. Giving gratitude for ourselves is something that feels uncomfortable at first, but you will feel a huge difference if you begin to make this a regular practice. You can also take this time to pay gratitude for someone or something in your life that you love and enjoy. Gratitude before bed is so very powerful because you are acknowledging all that is right and it sets the tone for the next day for the universe to bring you something even better!
These are all the hidden moments that you have every day, notice them! If you take even one or two of these and begin to use these tools on a regular basis, I promise you that your life will begin to change for the better. We all do have time and it is up to us to decide how we want to use it.