Recently, I took a trip to San Diego, CA. A friend and I decided to have a vacation centered around listening to our bodies, and doing exactly what we need when we need it. We decided to go for a run in the mornings, take naps in the afternoons when we were tired, drink all the water, drink a little less alcohol, walk lots of places instead of drive or take an uber (although there was still plenty of this!), and eat what we wanted (without over-doing it).
This got me really thinking about daily living, and the question of “Why don’t we live like this every. single. day.?” It’s really easy to avoid living life in this way because we feel these “pressures” from our workplace, from our friends, from our family, or from our hobbies, to BE a certain type of way. We are pressured to be the most successful, be the most friendly, or most social. Whatever it is, we feel the pressures constantly. These pressures come, because we’ve been taught to value them, and to know they are “good for us.”
However, something vitally important I learned on this trip to San Diego was that it is MUCH more FREEING to live outside of these pressures. I FELT GOOD every day when I woke up, and I actually felt refreshed and ready for whatever the day had in store. So how do we live in this freedom in our daily life?
#1 – Decide what your priorities are.
That’s right, you can’t live in freedom and plan your day truly how you’d like until you take some time to stop, and process, what are my priorities?
#2 – Plan your day with intentionality.
We all think plans ruin our ability to “be free” and “live whimsically,” but I tell you the truth when I say it’s an upside down way of living that actually creates MORE FREEDOM than you’ll ever know. When we plan intentionally we set ourselves up for more success than if we allow the pressures of society to tell us how to live. If you know you really like to have slow mornings, PLAN that way. Maybe this means waking up a wee bit earlier to not feel so rushed even though you have to be at work by 8am. Or maybe you know you like the spontaneity of coffee with friends. Plan times throughout your week that you *could* schedule coffee time, or if no one wants coffee that week, use that “scheduled” coffee time as your own personal self-care time. Either way it allows the fun-ness of spontaneity and self-care without the pressure to try to fit it in any other time.
#3 – Listen to your body!
Listening to our bodies is tough, when we are told constantly how we should push ourselves beyond certain limits, and allow ourselves to succumb to the pressures of what the world wants of us. Please, take the time to really listen to YOUR BODY. It speaks loudly, when we listen. Don’t let everyone else’s diet plans, or food sensitivities to get in the way of what your body needs. If it says you’re sleepy, rest. If it’s telling you you’re bloated, do a little food inventory and see what could cause this, and then Cut.it.out! If you body says to get up an move, get the heck up and MOVE. By ignoring the cues our body sends us, this only sends us deeper into numbness which prohibits our ability to live free and truly feel what’s going on within us and around us.
#4 – Set your boundaries.
Doing all the things above cannot happen until you learn how to set your boundaries! Brené Brown has some great advice on this- feel free to take a look. Understand though, that boundaries are not some legalistic “rules” for pushing others away. Boundaries are a healthy means of allowing you (and others) to truly live in peace and harmony with yourself and those around you.
#5 – Let go of expectations
We all have expectations, all the time. We just aren’t fully aware of these expectations. If you got really honest with yourself, you’d start to see where they are. Maybe they are in the expectation that you would make it on time for work today, but helloooo traffic jam and you’re late. Then your expectation gets unmet, and you feel all kinds of discombobulated. When we at least know what our expectations are, and become mindfully aware of these, we are much more able to let them go. Individuals cannot let these go however when they are not even aware of what they are. Instead they get angry and frustrated when they aren’t met. Increase mindful awareness of your expectations, then try to let that ish go!
Maybe it doesn’t take a trip to San Diego, CA for you to be aware of the extreme need to live in your own freedom every day. Maybe you’re already tip-toeing on that edge, and you want to dive full on. Do it! Go for gold here people. Hopefully some of these tips above will help you live in daily peace and harmony with yourself and the world around you. In the meantime, if you’re interested in taking a gander at some of the daily health habits from the areas of the world where they have the highest number of living Centarians (people living over 100 years old) – you should peep the Blue Zones Project. I’ve put a link below for the book, it’s literally THE BEST!