Updated: Sep 11
The insanely long list of things to do:
School drop-off and pickup
Cleaning the house
And, on top of all of this, we have expectations at work, we’re expected to eat healthy, exercise, and read a book a week.
Feel that? The pressure: the weight on your shoulders, buzzing in your head, pressure in your chest.
You’re just trying to survive through that arm’s length list of things to do and the expectations that everyone else places on you - even if it’s your job, your role, your life.
“Find the balance” they say. Sure! It’s just that easy. One more thing that you can’t get done on the list.
Instead, think about creating space for yourself. It feels impossible but the challenge is to change the way your brain thinks about “me time”.
Instead, build in time for Mind Flow.
Mindflow is the process of giving your brain and mind space. Your brain functions automatically: eating, breathing, and reacting to chaos. Your mind is what you need to problem solve, create and plan actions. Your brain and mind are what you need for every second of every day to function and interact, yet we don’t really think about the health of our brain and giving our mind space to breathe and think. And, if we’re not giving space for the most important part of our body, the brain, how can you possibly pay attention to your body, kids, partnerships or work?
Build in time for MindFlow:
Build 15 minutes a day - or 5 minutes if that’s all you have available - into your life to create space for you to give your brain a rest from everyone else’s needs.
Get up 15 minutes earlier.
Go to bed 15 minutes later
Schedule 15 minutes into your lunch
Whatever works best for you, your natural rhythms, and your life. And when you build in that time, give your brain space to breathe and be present. Sounds easy? It’s not, but it is doable. These changes take time, just like any habit. Building new neurons takes consistency and intentionality. Just keep at it, and your brain will crave the time and, just maybe, will push you to increase the time.
During MindFlow, find something that is for you, about you, and creates space for you. You can:
Write (with a pen or pencil - not your phone) three positive things that you are grateful for today. “Positive” can mean many things, but even on days that just don’t work out (we all have them), there are things to be grateful for: shoes on your feet, a roof over your head, and food to eat. Bringing your brain back to the basics of gratitude helps reshape the way you see the world and forces the brain to start looking for good things.
Read a book that stirs creativity and expression. Notice that I said “read” and not “listen”. Reading forces the brain to use a whole lot of parts to it and requires presence to comprehend. Leave the audio for the car or for your walks.
Create a spiritual or mindfulness practice.
Find a spiritual or mindfulness practice that works for you and your brain. Breathe in and out while visualizing your favorite place in the world (beach, anyone?). Complete a daily devotional, and do it with a friend for extra points. Sit in your favorite yoga pose. Whatever works for you and your brain is the right thing for you.
Don’t seek perfection.
There’s a reason they call these things a “practice”. There is no perfection in the journey. Know that there will be times when life gets stressful and you’ll drop the Brain Flow habit. That’s okay. Your brain will continue to crave it and pull you back in. Give yourself grace during these times and know that on that day, you’re just doing the best you can.
Don’t know where to start? That’s okay - just pick one of the four things listed, get up 5 minutes early tomorrow and start.
Need a kick in the pants to get started? Because, honestly, most of us do at some point in our lives. Book a free consult call and let’s chat about how your brain is affecting your ability to create space for you.
Mattie is a counselor, coach, and CEO of Cerebrations, LLC. With over 25 years of experience in understanding how the brain affects our emotions, reactions, and our experiences, she is passionate about empowering women to harness the power of their brain and body connection to create intentional action and deeper connections with their families. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by scheduling a free consult chat.