I don’t know about you, but I often feel the need to create some space in my life. As life seems to move at an ever more hectic pace, it has become even more essential to me, and I am doing my best to remain mindful of how I fill my time.
My son graduated from college last week, completing his degree in four years at the University of Colorado. I promise you I just helped him pack up his car to leave for Boulder. And now he’s done. How can time, and life, move so quickly?
Being aware of the passage of time, and the importance of appreciating moments, has become a priority for me in recent years.
This also means paying attention to what I need to do less of, or let go of completely.
We all need to have spaciousness in our lives from time to time, to clear our heads, decompress, and sometimes it can feel hard to come by. But it’s necessary for our well-being. The degree to which we need some space may be different from person to person, but time to breathe and clear our heads is time well spent.
This doesn’t mean we need to hole up in a cabin in the woods for a day or a week. It can simply mean taking a walk in nature, reading an interesting book, or spending time journaling. It may mean taking a few moments to write down what we are grateful for every day, remembering how much good there is in our life.
It can also mean time away from things that don’t replenish us, bring us joy, or are draining. Maybe we need to take a look at our calendar and re-schedule a day that is feeling too crowded. Whatever helps feed our soul, our connection to ourselves, our joy in the moment – these are the things that comprise our days and weeks, and ultimately our lives.
Creating space in our environment is another way to give ourselves a break from mind-clutter. Cleaning out and organizing a corner, a closet or a room can help us to feel more spacious on the inside. Clearing my desk or decluttering my desktop has the same effect. The less I have cluttering my environment, the less cluttered my mind feels.
Here’s a few ideas to help you create more spaciousness in your day. Try one or two and add some of your own.
- Meditate. Even 5 or 10 minutes can make a difference.
- Wake up 15 minutes early and read or watch the sun come up. Give yourself time to ease into your day.
- Savor the moments. Instead of rushing through your day, take time to stop, to notice and appreciate special moments. Maybe it’s enjoying your first cup of coffee in the morning, or watching your dogs playing. There’s a saying that “Life is made up of moments,” and it’s easy to miss those moments if we aren’t paying attention.
- Appreciate times of connectedness with loved ones. When my son was small, I would occasionally meet someone who would say to me, “Enjoy this time. It goes so fast.” I’m so glad I listened because it went so fast.
- Re-examine your screen time. How much room does Facebook or mindlessly scrolling the Internet take up in your life. Sure, we all do it, but if we’re not careful it can start to take the place of the rest of our life. Be mindful of the time you spend online.
- For inspiration, read Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life, by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, or The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo. There’s a reason why both are best-sellers.
However you choose to spend your time, listen to yourself and honor what you need. Ask yourself what’s truly important to you. When you honor what you value most, you’ll always know what to do.
Action step: Consider your calendar for the next week. Let go of any commitments that are unessential or that feel draining.
Thoughts? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.