From the ping of our devices to the endless items on our to-do lists, we are often pulled in many directions at once. But when you are spread too thin, you not only end up doing less, you likely are not having much fun doing any of it. Thankfully, you don’t need to be a full-time yogi or go on a lengthy retreat to reclaim your time and bring a little Zen to your home.
Learn to soothe those frazzled nerves, use your time more effectively and find more space in your days to do what you love with these eight doable tips.
1. Eat when you’re hungry; sleep when you’re tired. So basic, yet so few of us follow this advice past the age of about 3! Stress eating, skipping meals and staying up too late can wreak havoc on your body. Cut yourself some slack and take that nap or refuel with a healthy snack when needed.
2. Slow down. When you find yourself feeling frazzled at home, take a breath and literally slow down. When you walk more slowly, you are less likely to bump into things, forget things or leave messes lying around.
Related: Mats to Remind You to Slow Down
3. Finish what you start (unitask). Now that you have slowed down, focus on completing just one task at a time. Whether you are making the bed, sitting down to eat or helping your child tie her or his shoes, just do that one thing until it is done. Multitasking will only drive you nuts.
4. Reduce screen time. Make a plan in the morning for how much time you will spend on email, browsing online and watching TV. Frequent email checking, texting during meals and late-night online shopping can make us feel less connected and more stressed. If you sense you’ve been overdoing it, cutting back can do wonders for restoring your sense of well-being.
5. Keep up a few simple habits. The keyword is “few.” Trying to take on too many changes at once is bound to backfire. But sticking with a handful of routines until they become habits — like setting the table for dinner each night, making your bed in the morning and cutting off the TV an hour before bed — can be incredibly calming.
6. Cut back on visual clutter. Every to-do list, schedule and unread bit of mail your eye lands on is a reminder of things undone, and just looking at them can grate on the nerves. Of course, we may all want immaculately tidy homes without piles of stuff threatening to slide off the tables — but if a major decluttering spree is not in the cards, at least we can hide some of it behind closed doors. Stick piles of mail and papers in covered baskets, or hide them in a closed cabinet.
7. Buy less. Buying new stuff can be a major time drain: shopping, unpacking your finds, carting the boxes to the curb and arranging your new items at home — and that’s not even mentioning the effect it has on our wallets. There is no need to forgo all purchases, but buying even a little less and considering more can save time and hassle.
8. Wake early. Set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier than usual tomorrow. Don’t spend the extra time working, planning, looking at your phone or watching the news. Instead, just sit there. Breathe. Maybe stretch a little or sip some water. Notice how you feel afterward — good? Relaxed? More ready to greet the day? If so, think about repeating the process the next day and the day after that. Oh, and guess what? You just meditated.