Although we are quite accustomed to this way of “online working and online home schooling” it does put pressure on both our bodies and minds and it can easily take our life out of balance.
Reflecting on the word “Balance” …
What does the word “Balance” mean to Clarisa Ayllon?
As many of you know, I am a former engineer by career. My mum gave me her love for nature, and my dad his engineer brain but also his holistic approach to mental health.
Along the way, I added knowledge about healthy nutrition, NLP (Neurolinguistics Programming), meditations, and an Aromatherapy certification, which are all part of a journey to pursue balance.
I am passionate about balance, and that feeling at the end of the day that chores are done, business work is done, mum caring roles, and managed some “me time “too. It brings a balanced positive mood.
These are tips to create some balance, and hopefully you can pick and mix and adapt them to your routines…
Make a list of the “must do” things of the day ahead, assigning the best moment of the day which for me it’s the early morning. Or for you it could be when your young children are having a nap or focused on online learning. If things come to mind like “phone for an appointment”, “text so and so for happy birthday”, “start the washing machine” write it on a post it and continue. Every 45mins to an hour you need a break, this is the moment to go back to your post its and do phone calls, texts, social media, etc. anything that doesn’t really need full concentration. Just “operative things” we can do without much energy. This way “the must do ones” are done and we fill the gaps and mental breaks with the “less important ones”. The sense of accomplishment brings a balanced mood.
A former boss used to say, “Perfect is the enemy of good” (a phrase from Voltaire), which means its preferable to do something with good quality in the time we have, rather to look for perfection using excessive time (that we don’t have). We need to prioritise things with the limited time we have, to be able to do them and feel balanced.
Design a small morning routine. It should be doable, short, and give you joy. I start my days generally with Frankincense or Sandalwood, applying on wrists and taking deep breaths to ground me and set the day off on the right tone. For you might be Orange or Geranium… whatever makes that kick for you.
If you feel unfocused at work, concentration dips, go for Rosemary, Peppermint, Bergamot, Siberian Fir or Coriander.
If you feel unmotivated, when is getting dark, Orange, Lime, Lemon, Eucalyptus Stageriana. Mandarin for kids is amazing!
Patchouli: is great for letting go, to relieve feelings of emptiness or emotional disconnection.
Ylang Ylang: is an excellent natural remedy for anxiety and stress. Blend it with Clove to invigorate and raise the spirits.
Ginger and Lemon: to tackle colds, coughs, headache because they are anti-viral and immune-stimulants.
Let’s touch base on the balance between “online” and “offline”.
When we use a computer, we are functioning in 2 dimensions, so we are not adjusting the vision, not smelling, not using all senses. When we operate in 3 dimensions we adjust vision, we hear the background noises, we are using all senses. After a while in 2D the brain switches off the areas we are not using, and this is what the researchers called: digital dementia.
It’s important to have breaks from the 2D, to activate our whole brain.
To have different stimulus I do short walks while hearing audio books or catching up with a friend. Or simply change rooms, lit a fire and read a book, a magazine, use different senses…. Get out of the 2 dimensions.
Hear the news once a day, maybe once in the evening, to stay updated but that’s it. Otherwise stress levels go up and you find yourself busy doing nothing. Not an accomplishment feeling at the end of the day.
Being quite restricted, not being out and about that much means we may not be tired at bedtime. Sleep is key when it comes to the “calmness” and good mood we want to feel along the following day to carry on. Aromatherapy really helps and we are not using sleeping tablets, feeling the side effects or drowsiness in the morning.
Diffuse calming essential oils, a drop on the pillow or a tissue, apply at sole of the feet, apply topically (rollers or body oils), or place wet towels on radiators.
Different ways to incorporate essential oils before bedtime.
Set up your diffuser 15 minutes before bedtime and let the calm atmosphere help you to slow down and get some good “repair” sleep:
One of my favorite recipes for the diffuser is:
3 drops of Ylang Ylang (anti-stress)
4 drops Vetiver (sedative)
2 drop Sandalwood or Frankincense or Myrrh or Cedarwood (grounding oils to still the mind)
Or Bergamot: a good choice where insomnia is linked with depression.
Or Petitgrain: for people living and sleeping alone during the lockdown.
Or blended with Roman chamomile for children with night terrors and restless sleep.
Calming bath or foot bath before bedtime with warm water but not too hot, very hot water stimulates rather than relax. Buy Epsom salts, mix it with organic, solid coconut oil, and add the oils: mix a cup of each and about 6 to 7 drops for an adult; 3 to 4 drops for a child. It is so simple to make and the results are powerful. Not only for the mind, but for achy muscles (sitting down, or the walks in the cold), dry skin and moodiness.
If you did not sleep properly, a 15 mins guided meditation can save you. Did you know that 15 mins of meditation = 3 hours of sleep for your brain?
Grab any guided meditation from all the free apps available, and get the benefits of restorative sleep. You can repeat another one after lunch, to keep your energy levels up. Give it a try, the results are amazing.
“BALANCE IS NOT SOMETHING YOU FIND,
IT IS SOMETHING YOU CREATE”