What do you do when your mind just won't stop?
It's that moment again... at the most inopportune time your mind decides to race, keeping you awake, preventing you from focusing, or completely distracting you from your mountain of "to-do list" entries.
You just want to get enough done today to feel productive and accomplished, and then sleep. But no... you're worried about work, the family, whether or not you sounded stupid in that conversation earlier. You're worried if you filled the dog's water dish enough, and all the sudden are flooded with ideas to advance that project at work. Why do you keep thinking about work???? It's time to sleep! Work can be dealt with tomorrow... but this graphic would look nice in that presentation slide... and should you really submit that video??
So what do you do? Do you distract yourself with Facebook until wee hours of the night? Do you turn on the History Channel or HGTV to "zone out" with until you fall asleep? Why is your spouse snoring when you can't even close your eyes?!?!?!?!!
You're not alone!
Here are 22 ideas to help your mind calm down
I've separated my ideas into 2 categories: inside and outside. I did this with the midset that sometimes you want something mindless to do inside as you're winding down for the day, and because other times you want something to help lose yourself in out of your home.
We all need low-key activities we can do inside. Whether the reasoning is inclimate weather or needing to wind down before going to bed, sometimes being out and active in nature isn't feasible.
Pictures. Whether you're a hobby photographer, love piecing together puzzles, drawing, coloring in coloring books, painting, or have a knack for needle point... focusing on creating pictures helps redirect your mental and emotional energy. Use your creative energy as an outlet for the flood of creative thoughts and worries that drive you mad.
Words. Words fly through our minds all the time, but focusing on one word at a time can help slow our mind and offer therapeutic qualities as we slow our silent rants into word search activities, reading (especially non-work-related novels - OFF SCREEN), Sudoku, crossword puzzles, writing in a journel, writing fiction, or blogging.
Smells. Yes! What you smell directly impacts your mood and your ability to wind down, focus, rest... etc. The aromas you breathe in can have some incredible impacts on your state of emotional and mental well-being.
Outside & Activities
Yoga (inside or outside), especially combined with meditation, is incredible for resetting your mind. A quick tip: instead of focusing on forcing a clear mind during meditation and yoga, focus on the stretches. Focus on how your body is moving and aligning. Focus on how each stretch makes you feel. When meditating, search for deep reflection and spiritual connection. The key isn't to silence your mind, but to redirect your focus peacefully.
Water. Something about the water really charges you positively. Whether you're canoeing, kayaking, swimming, surfing, fishing, or just sitting. Being in or near water helps with recentering your mind and helping you find balance and clarity.
Get Active and Play! Play with your kids or dogs. If you don't have either, spend some time with a family who does. Kids and dogs both have a knack for simplifying life and bringing about some serious laughter and joy.
Embrace Nature. Take a walk, or hike through some trails. Lay in a hammock. Take a bike ride. Do something physical while surrounded by nature. There is something about hearing nothing aside from the birds chirping and wind blowing through the trees that helps give you a break from the city's hustle and noise and helps you truly simplify your mind.
Garden. Something about playing in the dirt does a wold of wonders for an anxious, depressed, cluttered mind. The dirt, planting, cultivating (and harvesting - if you're planting edibles). Seeing the fruits of your labor (no pub intended) offers some deep accomplishment feelings. You don't even need to have a green thumb if you garden with plants native to your location. Many plants, especially perennials, can survive without constant maintenance and skill... literally put them in the ground and enjoy.
Smells. The way different aromas play with our limbic system is so intriguing. Different smells incite different emotions. They can help balance your mood, relax your mind, help you focus, inspire your creativity, and motivate you to get moving.
Baking. When I find myself in a funk, I often find myself with an urge to bake. Whether its cookies, brownies, cakes, or pies, baking reminds me of simpler times when I was young creating delectable items with my mom and grandmother. Now that I have a little one of my own, I cherish those moments when we make messes together in the kitchen, and the splashing fun that comes with cleaning up the mess we made. Time spent in the kitchen has always been special to my family.
Essential Oils. It's no secret on this blog that I love using quality essential oils. Whether you're the DIY type or appreciate having essential oil blends premade and ready to go, there is always an oil or blend to match your current needs.
And of course, here are a few of my favorite pre-made blends to help calm your mind and focus... because sometimes you just don't have the time or energy to DIY.
What do you do to calm your mind and recenter?
I'd love to read about it in the comments!!