Many of us really struggle with doing nothing or being still. When SIP place was announced, we went directly to...what hobbies should we take up? How do we want to reorganize our house? What creative activities can we find on Pinterest to do with our kids? It’s not surprising that our brains were scrambling to find what the new normal would look like amidst Covid-19. So much was out of our control, and we needed to DO things that we could control. For many individual reasons, being still wasn’t at the top of the list. Why is that?
Stillness is defined as “the absence of movement or sound”. Quite simply, it’s just being quiet, or calm. Seems easy enough, but it can be a huge challenge for some. If you find discomfort in quiet time, or taking a break, it could be because;
- The thoughts that are constantly racing around our minds (tens of thousands of them everyday), are instantly brought to our consciousness. If those thoughts are negative, we are compelled to get busy again to push them back into the subconscious.
- Being still can be perceived as being lazy, or not ‘on top of things’. Let’s face it, our society idealizes busyness. And with the ability to work 24/7 or lobb a ‘casual’ text, which implies wanting a quick response, there really is no time for a break. People expect more availability, because there is always a way to get in touch.
- Stillness seems like a reward to some, which they can only ‘indulge’ in if they get everything else done on their to do list. If they don’t think they’ve been productive enough, allowing themselves to take even a 5-10 minute break feels like something they haven’t earned.
At the end of the day, there may not be an understanding of the value of being still. If everyone knew that making it a habit to stop for a few minutes everyday to sit quietly, or engage in something mindfully, could relieve stress, improve sleep, improve memory, boost creativity, fight insomnia, and help with anxiety and depression, they might consider giving it a try! 😊
If you’re anything like me, with a very noisy house, and/or an even busier mind, stillness is something you need to deliberately seek out. It helps to pick a time everyday and make it a habit, so you don’t forget and plan your day around it. You can decide if you want to do it right when you wake up, at a time of day when you tend to get overwhelmed, sitting in your car before or after work, or maybe just before you go to bed. Here are a few ways that might help you find some stillness:
1. Sit and breathe for a few minutes. (Yes, it’s that simple!)
2. Choose one thing to write down, such as an intention, a gratitude, or a blessing for yourself or someone else.
3. Write down or verbalize your thoughts exactly as you experience them.
4. Notice or appreciate something in nature; a beautiful flower, the shape of a cloud, a bird flying, or the way the wind moves the leaves of a tree.
5. Light a candle and take a bath.
6. Try Savasana pose. Lie down on your back and relax your body and mind. Close your eyes, breathe naturally, and try to release any tension from your body.
7. Do a body scan. Start with your toes and move up each body part, assessing each one as you go. How does it feel?How does it serve you? Spend a few moments on each.
The summer season is here, which is supposed to be about slowing down, and taking time to rest and recharge. It’s the perfect time to start practicing stillness. If it’s uncomfortable at first,(and it probably will be at first), just breathe through it. Give it a few weeks, notice how you feel before and after. It will be worth the effort!