Calm: New Year, New Commitment this 2018

We in ProQuest choose to be calm today.

In our ever-connected, hyper-busy, technologically advancing world, it’s true that we all have a ton on our proverbial plates. Our calendars are filled with meetings, our to-do lists are steadily growing, our responsibilities consistently increase, our priorities continue to shift, and on top of it all, we need to balance our family and social life. It’s no wonder each year whizzes by at an even faster pace than the last. As someone who genuinely believes that it takes some slowing down and turning inward to be more creative and productive, I’ve put together a few tips for creating calm this year that you can easily incorporate into your hectic day.

Calm Tip: Wake up early to do something for yourself.

I can already imagine many of you cringing at the thought of setting that alarm any earlier, but this small investment in time for yourself will put you in a calmer and more focussed place to start your day from. For me, I try to give myself an extra 20 minutes each morning to enjoy my morning coffee at the café rather than rushing in and out with a takeaway. I read a few pages of my book, visualise what I want to accomplish for the day, or just enjoy my almond cappuccino while taking in the sights and sounds of the morning. Whether you take extra time to sneak in a run, make yourself brekkie, read, write in your journal, or just enjoy a cup of unrushed coffee, make the time and see how it changes your day.

Calm Tip: Breathe.

Studies upon studies are backing the benefits of meditation. With byproducts like increased productivity and efficiency, reduced stress levels, and increased happiness and concentration, it is definitely worth carving out a little time in your day to bring your focus to your breath and clear your mind. Whether your company offers meditation classes, you download an app like Calm or Headspace and slide your earbuds in, or you just focus on your breath for a few minutes at night before you fall asleep, make it happen. Just a few minutes each day will make a huge difference in your calm.

Calm Tip: Set aside time to unplug from technology.

We all love being connected, scrolling through our social media, chatting to our mates, checking our emails, and researching our next trip to paradise. With our phones at our fingertips and a world of information out there to be inundated in, it is harder than ever to feel at ease when we aren’t connected. Having said this, I think the importance of finding time to disconnect from technology and reconnect with yourself is increasingly important. Whether you leave your phone at home when you go out for bike ride (don’t worry, if you don’t track it on Strava, it still happened!), clear it from the dinner table, replace scrolling through a news feed with reading your book on the bus, sleep with it out of arm's reach, or have that unrushed morning coffee without your face in a screen, make unplugging a priority and take a conscious break.  Disconnecting can inspire creativity and perspective that we can lose sight of when we are sucked into our devices.

Calm Tip: Get outside.

I am sure that you have noticed some of the side effects of a long day in the office - headache, sleepiness, a decreased attention span. Have you also noticed how refreshed you feel after taking a break outside, going for a swim, or hopping in the shower? It is not a coincidence, but the work of negative ions, which most simply put are oxygen ions with an extra electron attached. Negative ions are most abundant in fresh air and free flowing water and make a huge impact on how you feel through the course of your day. Whilst additions to the office like indoor plants, crystal salt lamps, or an indoor ioniser can help combat the effects of WiFi and positive ions, your best route to feeling revived is getting outside. Go outside to eat your lunch, sneak in a walk around Sydney Harbour, take your family for a hike on the weekend, or slip in a post-work surf. All of those negatively charged ions will positively impact your calm. 

Most of our lives are anything but calm, which is why I am making a commitment to create the space for it every day and you should too. With a calm mind comes clear decision making, inspiration, creativity, productivity, and happiness. What do you have to lose? :)


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