Adding more Zen into your day

This post is sponsored by Fitfluential on behalf of Kohl’s. In Kohl’s #MakeYourMove campaign, they’re providing support and resources to achieve fitness and nutrition goals, improve sleep quality and reduce stress. I’m excited to be a part of it, and always love to see companies encouraging others to create happier and healthier lives. 

I’ve always been a little bit of a high stress person, especially since I’ve dealt with anxiety and often feel like I’m two steps ahead in the future. I’ve found that some stress is beneficial to me; it motivates me to work hard. Too much stress, however, can make me feel lethargic and perpetuates this stress cycle (feeling stressed out, feeling bad that I’m stressed, which makes me MORE stressed out, lather, rinse, repeat). A little bit of stress can be a good thing, and the body can thrive on a healthy amount of stress. Stress can encourage productivity, and can even make us more resilient over time. While some stress can potentially boost immunity and brainpower, too much stress can be debilitating and cause adverse health effects. 

Some big game-changers for me:

-Realizing what was worth my stress, and adjusting accordingly.

-Adding little bits of Zen time, me time, “selfish” time throughout the day.

For the first one, I realized that there was no point about worrying about hypothetical situations in the future. When I start to feel overwhelmed, I bring my focus to the present moment and what’s important RIGHT NOW. Usually, it helps me zone into my priorities and I instantly feel more calm. 

I realized how important it is to add small, intentional and enjoyable moments throughout the day. At first, I felt like it was selfish. I’d crawl into bed for a short rest and instantly feel guilty about my looming to-do list. Then, I realized how much more centered I felt, and also how much this helped with the first game changer above. It was so much easier for me to remain present if I’d had some downtime, at some point, during the day.

Here are some of my favorite ways to add some bliss during the daily to-dos and chores:

1) Meditate. Find a quiet spot and a comfortable position, either seated or on your back. Take a couple of minutes to let your thoughts wander. After you’ve had a few minutes, start to really focus on your breath. I like to pick a mantra for the inhales and exhales. Pick two words that you know will help relax you, and think of one during the inhale, and one during the exhale. My favorite combo: peace (inhale), calm (exhale).

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2) Dance. When I’ve been seated at the computer for a while, I’ll sometimes get up and stretch or do a Zumba song. It instantly makes me happy and feels like a nice break. Thankfully, we dance often in our house— I have the best tiny dance partner. :)

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