Let's face it – life is hectic. And you don't have to be working 60+ hours a week, or trying to take care of a family of 6, or working two jobs to feel it. It's hard to relax in this "always on" world that we live in, and finding time for yourself when there are phone calls, texts, Skype and Whatsapp messages, social media posts, and more (and more…) to respond to is a feat that can challenge even the most disciplined among us.
The key is to make more space in your life, and that starts with these very basic steps:
1. Start a journal.
Take just 5-10 minutes of quiet time each day to write down the thoughts spinning around in your head. By giving them a place of their own to occupy, you can free up space in your mind for more productive thinking.
2. Clean out your closet.
Clear up the clutter and simplify your daily wardrobe decisions by going hanger by hanger. If you haven't worn an item in 6-12 months and it's in good shape, donate it. The space will make you feel better and will give someone else a new outfit.
3. Make space in your stomach.
According to Ayurveda, when you eat, your stomach should be 1/3 food, 1/3 liquid and 1/3 empty space. Space in your belly will leave you feeling lighter physical and emotionally. A third of your stomach is the size of two hands formed in a bowl.
4. Keep a calendar.
Avoid overbooking (aka overcommitting) and improve your time management with a diary. Schedule time to accomplish your various tasks. By giving everything a set time, you'll stop having to try to juggle it all in your head.
5. Learn to say no.
Saying yes may make you feel good momentarily, but it also leads to over-commitment. Don't be afraid to say no to some invitations – people will forgive you and you'll be happier for it. And with that extra space, you can say yes to yourself.
6. Cut the clutter.
Toss what you don't need, and put what you do need away. By creating more space on your floors, countertops or desk, you'll feel more space in your life. Creating this visual will translate emotionally and mentally to make you feel lighter. Recycle jars, boxes, or other vessels and you'll be creating more space in the universe.
7. Make "me time."
Dedicate time on a regular basis to doing something just for you. Take up a new hobby, go for a walk, read a book, pamper yourself. It may take time to do, but it's time that will create more space for others in the long run.
8. Create your own space…literally.
Pick a spot in your home that makes you happy and make it your own. Decorate it with photos that make you smile, soothing colors, and comfy pillows. Creating your own "happy place" is like a warm hug to let the stress go.
9. Practice yoga outside – and on your own.
Classes are nice, but try a practice on your own schedule and in your own "space." Take your mat outside to a park, beach or other outdoor area and breathe in nature as you move. You'll create a whole new sense of space inside you.
Meditation is the best way to create more space in your mind. Sit on a comfortable position, close your eyes and breathe. Just let the thoughts move through your mind and release them. Practice non-attachment to the thoughts as you allow yourself to just "be" and be spacious.
These all may sound like very simple tips, but for a lot of people, these are the exact same “little things” that tend to be overlooked because of the daily stresses of life. So let this be your gentle reminder of the importance of the little things, and start creating more space in your life to let love and light in.