5 Ways To Slow Down And Clear Your Headspace
by Fatin Hafizah |
We all know the recent Movement Control Order (MCO) has been tough for everyone, even as an introvert, MCO was challenging for me. All of a sudden, we are forced to take it slow, and though it is an abrupt change, perhaps that is what we all need. Thinking back about it, there is no better time for us to practice mindfulness other than now. In this article, we are going to discuss how to take things slow and clear your headspace when things are getting too overwhelming.
Love it or hate it, meditation is no stranger in the art of taking it slow. In the topic of mindfulness, meditation is often seen as the key to it. The beauty of meditation is that you don’t need anybody or anything else to do it with. It’s just you, your thoughts, and your affirmations. However, if you need that extra help, there are a couple of apps which I find helpful especially if you have loud thoughts like I do.
This app is a personal favourite of mine as it is perfect for beginners due to its simple guided meditation session. It also has various insightful programs when you need that boost of motivation.
Aside from calming exercises and breathing techniques to help you relax, what makes Calm different from other meditation apps is its Sleep Stories section. Just like an audiobook, this section features various voice talents to help you wind down or to lull you to sleep.
2. Set up a morning routine
Your morning routine plays a huge role in determining how the rest your day will go. According to research, a rushed morning can continue until the afternoon and evening. To avoid that, it is best to establish a morning routine as it will keep you in check and less frantic. A morning routine does not have to be detailed and complicated. Something simple like taking a shower and drinking coffee before you take on other tasks can also be considered as a morning routine. If you’re struggling with keeping a morning routine, here is an article by Sandra Pawula on how to outsmart morning stress.
3. Allocate a time to unwind
After a whole day of work, your brain needs to relax; even on days where you think you don’t need it. If you have gone days or weeks without proper rest, your brain will need its time off even more so with all the amassed working. Allocate a specific time each day (or each week, depending on how your brain functions) to just stay still and relax. It is also best if, during this time of the day, you unplug all of your devices. Digital attachment can cause more harm than you think. Take this time to physically connect with your loved ones (if you are living together) or if you live alone, use this allocated time to simply unwind and free your mind. Establishing a relaxing evening routine can also help you sleep better and in return, make you more prepared to take on the next day’s challenges.
4. Take up art or creative skills that you enjoy
Creating art requires patience and doing things patiently means it cannot be rushed, and doing the things that you enjoy is one way to put your worries on halt as you focus on the masterpiece you’re about to make. There are multiple ways for you to create art rather than just painting. Colouring can be considered as making art too. The emergence of colouring books for adults proves that sometimes, we all need to keep a bit of our inner child alive. If you’re feeling a bit fancier, try taking up resin art or pouring art. There are a lot of YouTube tutorials for resin art and other unconventional methods to create, so the possibilities are endless. If you are interested in pouring art, Herohand is currently selling some kit supplies for pouring art among others.
5. Mindful cooking
Enjoying your meals is not only about enjoying its taste. Being mindful of your meals means being aware of what you put into your mouth. Hence, there is no better way to watch what you eat other than cooking the meals yourself. Cooking is an intricate yet fun activity. It will teach your mind how to organise and be present while at the same time express your creativity. Do read this article by Lee Breslouer in the art of mindful cooking if you need more convincing. As for me, I would always turn to my one-pot beef stew whenever I need to attune my emotions and thoughts. Below is the recipe for those of you would like to try.
1 large onion (diced)
250 grams of beef (cut into bite-size)
1 large carrot (chopped)
1 large potato (cut into bite-size)
3 sticks of celery (chopped)
1 cup of water
A pinch of salt
In a hot pot with a drizzle of oil, put in the diced onion. Sauté it until it turns brown.
After it has turned slightly brown, put in the beef and cook it until it is medium cooked.
Once the beef is slightly done, toss in the chopped carrot, potato and celery.
Pour in a cup of water (adjust it in accordance to how soupy you want your stew to be). Leave it until the vegetables are soft.
Add some salt to taste and just right before it’s done, mix cornstarch with a bit of water and pour it to the stew to thicken it.
Pair the stew with white rice or a simple plain fried rice.
Simple, isn’t it? For mindful cooking, there is no rule other than to be present and let everything come into place.
Slowing down doesn’t hinder your progress if you do it correctly, in fact, it helps with your progress as you practice being present and being aware of what your inner thoughts are saying. It’s harder to think straight when everything is chaotic and uncertain, which is why it’s so important to set aside time for yourself to clear your headspace and remind yourself what truly matters to you. I hope you have found this article helpful in regaining a sense of control whenever you’re facing mental chaos.
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