As 2022 draws to a close, may we look at 2023 as a blank canvas and as a brand new opportunity to make self-care a priority and elevate our bodies and minds.
I have to say I'm not big on new year's resolutions as it always felt like I was setting myself up for failure.
So instead, I've been setting intentions for the year ahead, for example...being more present and appreciating the beauty that surrounds me.
This way, it's a lot more about embodying a new way of life, and real lasting transformation, as opposed to a checklist that has to be ticked off by the end of the year.
Do you agree?
As you reflect and think about how you want next year to be, there is one thing we ALL need more of and that is peace of mind.
So in this blog post, I'm sharing 7 things you can implement in 2023 for more peace and calm in your life.
#1 Reserve at least 1 hour every day that is exclusively for you
Think about this one as taking one hour each day to retreat to your own sanctuary. During this hour you can spend time doing your favourite self-care rituals, read a good book, nap, or simply binge-watch Netflix.
This is the time for you to reset and do what you please without having to consider other people's tastes, wishes, and expectations.
#2 Sleep 8 hours a day
I don't want to sound condescending, but the importance of sleep to our rejuvenation cannot be underestimated. When we sleep, our brain connections are restored, pathways are created and repaired, and our bodies and minds go through a complete reboot to ensure that we're able to function properly the next day.
I know that we often lack hours in the day to achieve everything we want to achieve. Still, 8 hours of sleep must be a non-negotiable to ensure we have the energy, intelligence, and capacity to live, grow and realise our best selves.
#3 Introduce the practice of meditation
Meditation is one of the single most effective practices to improve your mental health. The benefits are varied but include, reduction of stress and anxiety, improvement of your capacity to focus and concentrate, better sleep, and reduction of memory loss and blood pressure.
Meditating even if it's for just 5 minutes in the morning and at night will reset your nervous system, allow you to think with greater clarity, and help you make better, more aligned decisions.
Introducing the practice of meditation can be challenging, so I've put together a guide with my top tips and techniques so you can learn how to meditate on your own.
You can access the Meditation Guide here -https://www.yogaful.studio/freebies
#4 Learn to breathe
It might sound like a silly thing to say since we breathe all the time without noticing, but it's precisely the noticing that makes all the difference.
The breath is our biggest ally in helping to control our thoughts and calm our minds. When we breathe consciously our attention shifts to the present moment, to our breath, and anxiety and overwhelm loose the urgency and importance they had when our attention was focused there.
We can also use our breath to increase our energy levels if we feel tired, and to prepare us for sleep or meditation, helping us activate our parasympathetic nervous system that regulates our body when we're at rest.
Prānāyāma is the yogic discipline that teaches you how to control your breath. Within Prānāyāma, we apply different techniques for varied results including, relieving stress, rejuvenating the body, balancing emotions and a boost of energy.
#5 Implement a slow morning routine
Taking 5 to 10 minutes as soon as you wake up to meditate or journal will uplift your mood and give you more energy. It will also dramatically change the way you approach your day.
Avoiding your phone in the first 30 minutes of your morning routine is also beneficial, as it will allow your body and mind to wake-up slowly and naturally before being bombarded with news, updates and to-do lists that lead to overwhelm and stress.
#6 Introduce a wind-down routine in the evening to help you go to bed and fall asleep more easily
Similarly to the point above, one of the things I've introduced lately that has made the biggest difference to waking up rested and refreshed the following day is putting down the phone (or any similar device like tablets or laptops) at least half-an-hour before going to bed, and reading a book instead.
This routine signals your body that is time to slow down so you'll fall asleep faster and more easily.
#7 Practice yoga at least once a week
I know I'm biased...but since 2014 yoga has been my lifeline and an indispensable practice that supports and uplifts my emotional and mental health.
I'm not sure about you, but I like to live a busy life. I enjoy my demanding job as business owner, spending time with family and friends and investing in my hobbies. My weekly practice of yoga allows me to do all of this and more, without compromising my sanity, my energy and leading to burnout.
So if you, like me, thrive under pressure and like to enjoy a hectic social and personal life, a weekly yoga class will become your new best friend, ensuring you're supported, recharged and in control.
As part of my online yoga membership, I offer 4 classes weekly in a mix of schedules and give you access to an on demand library in case you have to miss the live stream and would like to compensate or supplement your practice.
Sign up for the Yogaful Membership and check if the classes resonate and fit for 7 days FREE.
You can start your FREE TRIAL here - https://www.yogaful.studio/our-yoga-classes
Don't try to implement all of these at once. Instead, think of it as a project with phases and take baby steps toward the changes you want to make. This way, you avoid overwhelm and will actually be able to stick with your new mindful routine.
I hope these 7 suggestions help you find more peace, but if you struggle to calm your busy mind, I share a fortnightly newsletter with trips and practices to relieve stress and slow down.
About the author
Hi! I'm Cat, the founder of Yogaful Studio. My mission is to support you calm your busy mind and guide you towards your best, most authentic life - with less stress, more purpose, joy, and love. So if you have a demanding job and a hectic life running miles an hour, Yogaful Studio is the place for your to find rest, balance, and peace.