I recently spoke with a lady in my community, we’ll call her A. She explained to me that she was chronically knackered between her demanding job, family life with a young child, trying to be healthy and giving back to her community. Responsibilities and to do lists filled her waking hours and there weren’t that many non-waking hours (right, mums?).
I would love to say that the amount she had on her plate was extreme but that just isn’t the case. The women I speak to daily in my facebook group, not to mention my amazing friends and colleagues, are all dedicated women who work from the heart. They are in their careers because they want to make a real difference for themselves and the people around them.
Somewhere along the way through we become unanchored from this rather nebulous concept and feel ourselves drifting. Life becomes a series of things to do and we become reactionary rather than proactive or even considered.
This is where rituals step into centre-stage.
If I was to ask you what you wanted, what would you say? When was the last time you even stopped to think about what was really important to you and where you wanted to be? It’s so easy to become reactive; to events, dealing with crises as they unfold, taking the promotion for more money, the responsibility for the promotion, all because it’s what we are told we should want. We lose track of the days because it’s the ‘same shit different day’.
Rituals ground you. They allow you to become present in a moment and to take enjoyment, take stock or simply breathe. They take you off the treadmill, if only for a few moments.
I asked A to adopt a small but deadly daily ritual; it only takes two to three minutes but A found it helped her to focus and to lead her day feeling in control of her
Why not adopt my favourite mindfulness ritual? This can be carried out any time and almost anywhere. It is most effective first thing in the morning when you are most likely to have a few minutes of peace and when you can see the most impact on your day ahead. However, it’s also great to do when you are overwhelmed and stressed at the office.
Some of my favourite rituals involve other people; making breakfast with my other half on a lazy Saturday morning; taking a long walk with my dog and watching his reaction to every scent and sight. These calm and refocus me during what are otherwise difficult times.
What other rituals can you implement into your day to help you pause, breathe and regain focus and perspective? Why not share your rituals (and discover a few new ones) over in the facebook group today?
I was a chronically exhausted, stressed and overwhelmed lawyer when burnout hit full force. Get the free guide to the first steps to take to deal with burnout and start a recovery - without throwing in the towel at work! http://tinyurl.com/burnoutfirstaid
Until next time, take care of yourself