Time to practice.
Over my years as a well-being expert and encouraging others to implement a well-being practice, the irony is not lost on me that the hardest thing I have to work against is finding time and space for my own practice.
Between work life and family commitments, I’m still trying to disprove that there are only 24 hours each day. The idea of finding time for our own practice can be bumped to the bottom of our long to-do lists. If this sounds like you, the limited time you have might just be the #1 reason you need a well-being practice.
Knowing that limited time is a very common problem, I chatted with the Azulfit team and together we came up with some great solutions and inspiration to help us all find space, time, and motivation to start and stay with our wellbeing practice.
Firstly, it can really help to stop and consider what it is you want to do, and what you would like for it to become.
For example, you may want to start meditating. So, it can be a great practice to consider why you’d like to do so. Is it to reduce stress? Is it to help you discover something new, or are you trying to reduce anxiety? Is it restarting your practice, or beginning from scratch?
Each answer will require different levels of commitment and will point to specific practices to follow.
Once you know what you’re aim is, then the first step is to find the space and time to begin.
For me, the key phrase I like to share is ‘be realistic’…
You may have a big goal in mind…. even great journeys begin with one step, so be realistic and kind to yourself. Start small, and build up.
‘ So, what about time?’ I hear you ask…
Well just as our goal should be realistic, so can our time. Consider life as we want it but be mindful of what it is right now, as that is where we are beginning. As our practice changes and grows, we can always adapt later on. So, here are some simple ways to give ourselves a better chance against that crazy 24-hour clock.
1. Schedule it in:
We often don’t prioritize our own well-being and if we don’t write it down, or book it in, I can almost guarantee that our own small time window will be the first to go when something else ‘more important’ comes up… and believe me something always will.
So, schedule it in the calendar, add it to your Google calendar, or put it in your agenda. Tell others it’s happening, and then, here comes your part – make it happen. If you can get a friend to join you too, even better. That way you are both accountable to one another. You don’t even have to do it at the same time but checking in with an accountability partner is a great way to make that time slot work. Retreat co-founder Karissa encourages us all to “connect with positive people who encourage us.” This could even be asking our family to simply cheer us on and help us find the space for our practice. Remember that in prioritizing the big items: health, family, relationships, and major projects at work means you will have more energy and focus for those things. Then you can start filling in the gaps with other things you enjoy, rather than letting notifications on our devices or distractions like social media be drivers of our time and space. Remember this useful story: Prioritizing Your Time: Rocks, Pebbles and Sand
Another idea is that instead of gifts for your birthday, ask for a voucher for your favorite yoga studio classes.
2. Be Realistic, but firm:
Yes, as mentioned before, we need to be realistic with what we can really carve out. There’s no point choosing a luxurious 50-minute Pilates class, if it’s not going to happen. Schedule in 10 or 20 minutes to get started and absolutely celebrate it happening.
Retreat Teacher Charlotte, explains that yoga classes don’t have to be the long 90 minutes to be effective. In fact, 30 minutes is plenty for whatever phase of your practice you are in, explains Charlotte.
In fact, to reinforce her point, Charlotte shares a fantastic 3 part video series with us on our Retreat 365 membership page, called “If You Only Have 30 Minutes”. This series builds on the foundations of yoga and leaves us all feeling empowered, confident, and safe in any yoga setting, all in short 30-minute classes.
Commit, pack your mat or gym clothes, and value your future self – the health and care you put in now will pay dividends in the future so take the time now to invest in yourself and your wellbeing.
3. Prepare Your Space:
So, you’ve decided what you’re going to be practicing. You’ve decided how long you have to spare. So now a great way to ensure the time is well spent, is to be sure all is ready for you to go and get into action, without distraction.
If you are able it can really help to create a space that is designated for your practice. Perhaps even include a small altar with some flowers, a picture frame of your friends or family, and an essential oil diffuser to help calm, or lift your mood.
Our wonderful retreat yoga teacher, Lindsey, suggests “to add some beauty. It could be crystals, art or a well-loved plant… Create a space that invites you to practice.”
If space is limited, then aim to clear your space the night before. Set out your mat, or cushion and if you need to change into workout clothes this is a great time to select them too. If you’re using a video streaming service or meditation guide, then select the one you want that fits the time you have, so we can avoid indecision clouding our plans.
I find with a clear space and a focus on what I have ahead, that I often feel inspired and motivated to put the space to use.
This same concept can be really useful too with regard to adopting a positive morning ritual. Setting out the vitamins the night before preparing your favorite tea, even having a special positive music playlist prepared can make the morning feel much smoother and start our day on the right foot.
Another great way to fit well-being into a busy day is to find a time each week to have lunch solo. This can be our very own ‘ME’ time to eat mindfully, savour each bite, and take some positive space away from work or our busy day. Choosing or preparing a healthy meal choice will also feel like we’re supporting ourselves in our practice.
Retreat nutritionist, Jo suggests “even bringing mindfulness to our cooking. Breathe and enjoy the process.”
So with these points in mind, we’ve also found a great way to support you in our battle to create more time for wellbeing. If you want to join us on our Retreat 365 members page, we have Charlotte’s amazing video series that will be released this Autumn.
I’m also a strong believer in making big use of small time and have an upcoming series ready for you called 5 For 5!
It’s simply 5 minutes of movement, for 5 days in a row. We can commit to this together starting on November 13th and discover the power of a short 5-minute movement each day.
I want everyone to have the chance to join this and discover Charlotte’s wonderful classes too, so we have a special FREE trial for everyone with this link.
I’ll also be sharing the 5-minute workouts with everyone live on Instagram for 5 days from 13-17 November 2023.
So if you haven’t already, follow us on our Instagram too.
We hope to see you there!