One of the best things about facilitating our Thriving Life Wellness Retreats is seeing the unraveling of the participants. We can only be excited for them as they make empowered decisions largely because of the space they found during our retreat.
Some beautiful beginnings we have seen include a wedding proposal, marital reconciliations, several people leaving jobs they hate, migrations, and multiple participants finally having the courage to end unsatisfying relationships. Big, life-changing decisions.
Yet, there was really no magic involved to help them find clarity – just a safe space during the retreat for what is real, meaningful, and true to arise. It is a joy to hold space and support people as they work on their thriving lives.
Of course, due to the pandemic, our scheduled wellness retreats for this year in Bali and The Philippines have been cancelled. Nevertheless, we can still create our own space everyday to invite more focus, calm, and ease into our lives.
It takes more conscious work but it is nothing unmanageable. Below are some tips to practice and create more space in your day, every day.
1. Place your phone on flight mode at bedtime.
This ensures we keep the morning to ourselves. We have agency on how we want to wake up. Our energy is protected. We are present. Otherwise, our phone holds us first thing and there are definitely better ways to spend the morning than catching up on the news, reading correspondence, and seeing updates on our feeds, don’t you agree?
2. Spend your time doing things that you love.
Being more intentional with how we spend our time will help us create more space for things that we want to do. Not what we need to do. Not what others want us to do.
Nothing drains energy faster than allowing others to take over our day. We only have a limited number of time and energy. Let us decide how to use it, instead of letting others decide for us.
3. Maximize small pockets of time.
Of course, some days are busy. Still, there is no excuse not to invest in what brings us joy. A simple trick to create more space is to maximize small pockets of time. Never underestimate the power of 10 minutes!
In this short time, we can have a warm cup of tea, give our backs a good stretch, work a good sweat, pick up five new foreign language vocabulary, cook a healthy meal, and even walk the dog. A small dose of quality time makes all the difference in the world.
4. Minimize distractions.
Out of the 50 things we do every day, how many add value? We will instantly create more space when we stop investing our time on random things. An easy way to start is turning off social media notifications. Is there really any urgency for all of these? Isn’t it infinitely better when we decide when to check our accounts at a dedicated time for leisure or connecting online?
5. Practice ‘the pause’.
The best time to relax, according to English author Sydney Harris, is when we do not have time for it. As our days roll on, let us consciously find pockets of time to take a break and pause.
We are not machines and forgetting that leaves us, often, running on empty. The sooner we see the value of rest and recovery, the faster taking pauses will come naturally to us. We deserve to pause. We function better after a pause. It is an instant reset that helps everyone.
6. Have boundaries.
This is a big one for me. I like helping others, but without thought, I fill another’s cup by depleting my own. We must learn how to balance holding space for others and giving ourselves space. There is nothing selfish about alone-time and self-care. In fact, we can give more when we have more.
7. Institutionalize self-care every day.
It is not just a weekend thing. We do so much daily that recovery must happen daily, too. This is not about having time – nobody has the time. We have to make time. This is why it is called creating space and not finding space.
See what works for you. Do you have to wake up 30 minutes earlier to enjoy some quiet time by yourself or practice a short yoga class in the morning? Or is it better to dedicate an hour before bed to take care of yourself?
Adding self-care to our schedule makes a big difference. It is not another task to do, but one that allows us to keep completing all our tasks.
8. Budget for chaos.
Despite our best intentions to create space and be intentional with our days, things just fall apart sometimes. And that is okay. Let us take it as an opportunity to improve and a lesson to let go of what does not serve us.
We can only flow with what the day ultimately brings. It is good when we create space for nice things during our day, but we must also budget for chaos, because what is life without it?
How do you create more space in your day?