It’s October. Fall, by calendar terms, has officially begun, and if you’re in Ontario where I am you can feel the transition of nature as you step out the door. Days are slightly shorter, Dinnertime is much darker. Our schedules and lives become fuller and busier, but if I listen closely internally, my inner guide seems to lean towards nature’s rhythm, not human nature.

For most of us, September signals an up swing in work, life, family schedules and obligations or responsibilities. But the rhythm of nature is to pack up, slow down, rest more, and go within as the colder months appear.

So how do we find solace, stillness, and the sweetness of slowing down in the midst of a whirlwind of activities and plans leading all the way to January for some?

Go against the grain for at least five minutes in your day.

This means slow down and be present. Take a break and just breathe. Focus on one thing. If you have more time (which you may have if you take an honest look at how you spend your time), than allow for more than five minutes and encourage your family to do the same. Always doing is both overrated and extremely tough on your body and mind. Combined with rushed meals, more processed foods, less sleep, and the chronic stress of ‘going going going’ it is no wonder we’re crashing after the holidays in exhaustion, fatigue, flus, and colds.

Here are 5 simple ways to get your 5 minutes a day:

  • As soon as your eyes open in the morning, instead of mindlessly walking or rushing straight into your morning routine, take five minutes in silence to just breath.
  • Allow the first five minutes of your breakfast, lunch, or supper meal to be in silence. Practice mindfully eating. Savour each bite and aroma. Savour the sounds of mealtime, and the silence at the same time.
  • Insert a pause button at the end of your morning, mid morning, as you begin your afternoon, or at the end of your work day. These are suggested times; you may find other times that work best for you. Think of the pause button as a ‘reset’. A way to come back to center and find focus and calm again. Even a minute or two of deep breathing can do the trick!
  • If you’re reading this thinking there’s no way any of the above three options will happen, start with bringing more presence to one thing at a time. For example, turn off the radio or stereo and just drive to work. What do you notice?
  • Lastly, take five in the evening before bed. Keep lights dim and avoid anything over stimulating like television or computer use. A few minutes (or more) of deep breathing and meditation before bed supports your body and nervous system into a more relaxed state; primed for a deep, restful slumber.

And just like that! You’ve invested at least five minutes of your time for a juicy dose of calm and stillness in your day.

Let me know how taking time to pause each day goes. And as always, please share your comments and your wisdom below. You might have a way of adding stillness to your day that helps another.

Consistency is the key, friends.  😉

Jennifer OX