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A Guide to Staying Sane During Busy Times in Your Life

How do you keep yourself grounded, calm, healthy and sane during a busy phase in your life?

A work project, school, exams, a tricky deadline, kids, family, summer fun… Whatever created your busyness, how do we not only survive but thrive?

I’ll tell you what I went through this spring, and perhaps something will resonate. Keep what you like, throw out the rest.

Here’s a quick recap of the story:

  • I run a small Carpentry business, and I finished the two biggest projects that I have done so far with my little company

  • A big siding project where we found much more rot in the walls than anticipated, and it took much longer than expected

  • Two beautiful Timber Frame decks, with gorgeous wood and mood lighting

  • After this craziness, I got to visit my family for a whole month this June! (meaning I had a serious deadline)

These carpentry projects kept me very busy this spring, trying to get everything finished before flying away. So how did I stay sane?

I fiercely protect the habits I have that help me stay healthy, calm & grounded:

  • My morning meditation in bed (sometimes it turns to a snuggle-tation with my doggy Noah - my favourite!)

  • Our green breakfast smoothie

  • Flossing my teeth every time I shower

  • Using my Joy-a-Toes as much as I remember (Toe spreaders to stretch my feet)

  • Go for nature walks with the doggies, even if they are shorter sometimes

Interestingly, I was able to incorporate two habits that I have been trying to establish for years, yet they never "clicked" for me before:

  • A 15-30min yoga session in the morning before work

  • A second smoothie: We now have a lunch smoothie to go with lunch, that has some extra protein powder added. My wife works on a farm, so getting the extra protein when we are doing physical work is very helpful!

Habits, habits, habits…

We usually have to try different ways to establish a new habit that we’d like, until we find a way to really enjoy it, and therefore makes it easy to do every day.

Some key points:

  • Start very slow, very short time period (1 min / 1 push-up, 1 of whatever)

  • Go easy on yourself (perfectionisms is not allowed here)

  • Tracking things can keep us accountable (journal, apps, calendar…)

  • Can you stack it? Add it to another habit you already do

  • Make it easy (don’t rely on willpower, human willpower sucks. Set yourself up for success) --> don't want to eat chips anymore? Don't walk down that aisle in the grocery store, and don't bring them into the house. If that doesn't work, try delivery.

Some examples to give you ideas:

Cultivating Meditation / time to be still

At “xyz time”, I will sit on the window bench and meditate for 1 minute.

Cultivating fitness & strength

When I get up from my desk to have lunch, I will do 1 push up next to the desk.

Increasing liquid intake

I will drink one glass of water when I wake up, while sitting in bed (fill up and place there the night before)

Cultivating reading

I will read one page before going to sleep (place your book next to your pillow)

See what I mean?

Make it easy, quick and very specific. The more specific you can be, the more difficult it will be for you to back out later! If you miss a day, don't beat yourself up. Just don't miss twice in a row! (Ok, I know life happens and you may fall off the horse, I sure have! Just start again, floss one tooth, pull out the book and read one sentence, take 3 deep breaths etc)

What kind of habits would you like to cultivate?

Which ones are you ready to let go of?

Jani is a certified ICF & Martha Beck Life Coach, and offers a free 60 min discovery session for anyone who is ready to create their best life.

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