As I write this post, I’m luxury camping in a tent, relaxing on a queen bed and looking out across a lush canopy of huge, ancient gum trees.
The forest is circling the edge of a winding river. The exquisite sound of the Australian bush and its choraling birds are a natural symphony.
It’s raining on and off. The sound of the droplets hitting the canvas roof of our tent is soothing and meditative, as well as keeping us tent-bound.
Being in nature, away from the hustle and eclectic energy of the city, is incredibly restorative. It’s a perfect antidote to the high pressured and quick paced corporate environment that we are accustomed to.
Short immersive nature retreats are vital self-care so I remain calm and clear as we head into the frenetic energy of the holiday season. It keeps me smiling on the inside, despite all that is going on around me, including the growing to-do list.
Sometimes a smile on the outside can be masking what is going on inside.
For example, there have been times when from the outside I’ve seemed happy and calm. When on the inside, a storm of distress brewed. When we are actually smiling from the inside, and truly at peace, it cannot be hidden. It radiates out, and even helps to act as a buffer to anything that may be going on around you.
The festive season is quickly approaching, bringing with it a hectic and stressful pace. It’s actually the time you need to prioritise the things that keep you smiling on the inside.
Here’s four ways I maintain an inner smile.
Which can also be downloaded as a free ebook here.
Since you’re a part of The Light Lawyer Collective, you may already understand the benefits of cultivating a regular meditation practice. If not, there’s a vast array of articles on the internet, such as: this one from Huff Post or this article over at Forbes. Meditation is the best way I maintain inner calm and a sense of clarity and balance despite what is happening externally. This is also the number one self-care tool I use when feeling flat or flustered. Need help getting started with your meditation practice? Drop me a line by email.
Connect with nature
Nature has so many healing benefits which are consistently featured in National Geographic and scientifically documented by global forest therapy associations. You may not be able to take a weekend out of your busy schedule to totally immerse in nature. You can at least try to spend quality time in nature, such as taking a walk outside, bathing in the sunshine, breathing in fresh natural air or spending barefoot time outdoors.
Create mindful moments
Choose one routine task that you do each day (your morning coffee, school drop off, doing the dishes etc), and make it a mindful experience. Doing something mindfully means being totally present to it. Your mind is not wandering and you are savouring the moment. When was the last time you were actually totally present and focused on your morning coffee? Taking the time to enjoy each sip, and not actually multi-tasking? It might only be a few minutes in a day, but the more you practice being mindful, the greater your ability to focus and stay calm when you are going through a stressful period.
Cultivating a daily attitude of gratitude can really help you navigate any stresses. Why not start and finish your day with a reminder of what you are grateful for? No matter what you are going through, there will always be something that you can be genuinely grateful for.
What practices help you stay calm?