As time has passed, my life has gotten busier, my worries have grown and my responsibilities have increased, least of all because I have people in my life that need me. In all of this, it is so easy to lose the sense of oneself. It is so important that I also take care of myself, especially when I feel overwhelmed.
I've incorporated a few things into my life that keep my head in a happy place.
1. Mindfulness meditation.
I've mentioned this first because I always wish I could meditate more. Yes, I find meditation, especially mindfulness meditation, hard to do, but I always feel better for having tried, and hope that over time, I will get better at it. I can recommend Jon Kabat-Zinn's wonderful book "Wherever You Go, There you Are" to learn more about mindfulness meditation and also his CD "Guided Mindfulness Meditation" to get you started.
2. Doing something creative every day.
It's so easy to get bogged down in the nitty-gritty humdrum of every day, but taking some time out to do something creative really helps me to feel happier about my life. I fold origami, cook something new, work on small sewing projects, take photographs (Instagram does count), write a blogpost, just anything that makes the creative side of my brain dance. It doesn't have to be something big, and of course I don't put pressure on myself, but it is something I strive to do.
3. Take a bath.
Oh to soak in a bath every day! One can wish! I try to have a good soak at least once a week, especially on days when I've been run off my feet. It revives my spirits and provided I stay away from technology afterwards, means that I have a good night's sleep.
4. Light a candle.
I didn't understand the whole candle obsession until I tried it, but now I'm hooked. I love the fresh smell they bring to the house, I love the beauty of a dancing flame and I love that lighting a candle isn't essential for life, but for something that takes seconds to do, totally transforms the feel of my home.
5. Sit down with a cup of tea.
I'm notorious for making herbal tea and only remembering to drink it hours later once it's already cold. Be that as it may, I love taking just 5 minutes to drink my (cold) tea while either sitting in or looking out on the garden. Ignoring all forms of technology make those 5 minutes all the more restorative.
So there you have it, my tips for increasing the zen in your life. I'd love to hear your tips, so please do comment.