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I’m feeling frayed at the edges. Sometimes life gets so busy that I feel like a car in neutral careening down a hill. Not fully connected to the road, enjoying the wind whipping through my hair but fearing when I hit a bend in the road or hit a hill. I feel like life is flying by and I need to slow down, feel the ground, and see more than a blur of trees. Get into drive, and use the brake every so often.
Friday night I went to yoga for the first time in a couple weeks. With my schedule, I only get to yoga once a week, and every time I go I not only feel better, but my brain feels better. I come to some amazing realizations and think some of my best thoughts during class. And this class, I suddenly came to the thought, “Stop Outlander, start spirituality.”
On my commute to and from work, I have been listening to the Outlander series of books via Audible. I’m on A Breath of Snow and Ashes, the sixth book in the series. I’ve taken two breaks with other audiobooks and went through a stint where I was into podcasts about blogging and being an entrepreneur, but in general, it’s been the lives of Claire and Jamie for a year.
Claire and Jamie do not have relaxing lives. While the story is fascinating and fast paced, and I adore the historical references and all I am learning about the medicinal properties of plants, it’s pretty stressful to drive in the city while listening to descriptions of rapes, duels, illnesses, injuries, and war. I’m more than halfway through this book, but it’s time to stop, or at least take a long vacation from the Frasers.
The next day I had to run errands and on my drive I instead listened to Elizabeth Gilbert’s new podcast, Magic Lessons. And this week I have continued with her podcast and can’t believe the difference in just a couple of days. I still feel as though I’m a bit disconnected, but it seems either my car is slowing down or I have at least been able to shift into drive.
It’s easy to unfollow your uncle who won’t stop ranting about politics on Facebook, or step away from the snarky gossip sites or message boards. But sometimes we absorb negativity, stress, a frantic feeling from seemingly benign sources. What we watch on TV, what we listen to on our work commute, what types of books we read, a gym buddy, Sunday brunch with mom, or just multitasking and not allowing the mind any time to calm down.
This simple switch made me more mindful of the anxiety, stress, and anger I may be absorbing by my supposedly relaxing pastimes. Life is short, and it can be hectic. There’s no point in adding undue stress to it!
What small ways do you de-stress and center your life?