Staying Calm.

My friend is a highly functioning, over achieving, brilliant human. I love our coffee catch ups, and dinner conversations, because together we can talk about books, men and work all in the same breath, and although we are in two very different professions, we still just get it.

Her love of work and constant personal and professional growth is infectious, and is so refreshing.

Last night, after a 2 hour work out and a very long work day, we shared a bite over some vegan favourites (and a half litre of white wine) and chatted about everything from vacations and work to men, responsibilities, continuing education courses, feminism, and women leadership.  I mean… seriously… who does that? Ugh, I am so lucky to have this wonderful person as my friend for 26 years.

Anyways, we got to talking about “calm”, and strategies to become or stay calm.  Both of us talk a mile a minute, work long days, take extra courses, and try to get at least one book in a month… but when do we have time for a quiet mind, still sitting, and deep breaths?

I have personally been thinking about this quite frequently lately, and making diligent efforts to finding ways to bring “calm” into my life, setting aside quiet “me” time, and discovering strategies that help me remain calmer during my days.

I thought I’d write a blog on this, because after talking with a few friends, my business partner, my boyfriend and family… I realized that this is something we are ALL striving for and lose sight of in our busy lives.  So, if any of these tips or strategies help you, awesome. If they don’t, sorry, and spend some time researching what might work for you. EVERYONE is different.  Please share with me any tips in the comments or via twitter @laurenmarias

Lauren’s Tips To Finding “Calm”

READING

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Challenge yourself to completing one book a month (at least). Pick a book and get through it. The reading will relax you, and all of your busy thoughts will go quiet as you focus on the book. Also, this helps slip you into a great sleep, and a well rested morning.

“The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the more places you’ll go” -Dr. Seuss

“Reading is knowledge, and knowledge is power.”  My mom (not sure where she got it…)

CALM.COM

calm.com

calm.com

My business partner told me about this App (also an online version, CLICK HERE), and now I use it daily.  Basically, the App takes you through the 7 stages of calm: Introduction, Posture, Mindset, Body, Breath, Patience and Practice with beautiful backdrops, soothing sounds and relaxing (spa-like) music. I do this every morning, and sometimes repeat it before bed. I missed doing it last night (worked until 10:30pm) and I am feeling way less ZEN this am.

“Web/iOS: Meditation offers a host of benefits, from improved memory and productivity to stress and pain relief. If you need a little help getting started, Calm.com’s webapp and iOS app can guide you in as little as two minutes (two minutes a day can go a long way towards building a meditation habit). ” – lifehacker.com

calm.com

calm.com

THE CHEMISTRY OF CALM

The Chemistry of Calm

The Chemistry of Calm

My friend highly recommends this book, and says it is the “drug-free” way to help with ADD or aid anxiety aka get you to calm and remain there. It is on my list of MUST-READS, right after I finish up Persuasion (Arlene Dickenson) and Lean IN (Sheryl Sandberg).

“In The Chemistry of Calm, Dr. Henry Emmons presents his Resilience Training Program—a groundbreaking regimen designed to relieve anxiety and restore physical and mental strength. This step-by-step plan for mental calmness and emotional wisdom focuses on ways to create resilience as a key to resolving anxiety in everyday life” – amazon.ca

WORK OUT and EAT RIGHT

My work outs at Flirty Girl Fitness, King West

My work outs at Flirty Girl Fitness, King West

For me, nothing helps more than a regular work out schedule, and since January 2nd, I have been to the gym almost every single day for either cardio or cardio+weight work out, minus my “day’s off”. On my days off I turn to yoga or long walks (even in the cold), as well as stretching in front of the tv (don’t knock it, it gets the blood flowing and I feel better before bed doing this).

Also, I lay off sugar, have only ONE coffee a day (if I really need another boost I have green tea) and I don’t drink (or have no more than 2 glasses of wine while out).  This REALLY helps as I find (for me), sugar and alcohol increases my anxiety, I don’t sleep well, I don’t rise as early, and I don’t feel good at all.  I currently prefer juicing over booze.

IMG_9247

JOURNAL

Every morning I write what I am thankful for and a to-do list for the day; this sets the tone for the day, puts me in a positive frame of mind, and helps to starts each day focused + ready achieve my goals. Every night before bed I review the day, focusing on the positive elements of the day, and again, I write (or think about) what I am most thankful for for that day… this helps me go to bed with a clear mind, a smile, and a good feeling in my heart. Thus, waking up feeling refreshed, happy and serene. I urge you to try this. If anything, you will feel happier and more positive, and there is simply nothing better than that.

Hope these ideas help you as they have helped me!  If you have any to share with me, I would TOTALLY appreciate it. Thanks a bunch, and have a happy, calm, serene, productive, and positive Thursday! xx

 

2 Comments

  1. by Caird Urquhart on February 4, 2014  7:25 pm Reply

    Hi Lauren,
    Nice piece on "calm". I thought I'd share my take on the subject. Below is a link to a blog I wrote on the topic. May be of interest to your readers.
    Warmest regards,
    Caird Urquhart - President Newroad Coaching
    http://blog.newroadcoaching.com/2013/04/where-does-calm-live/

    • by Lauren on February 5, 2014  11:08 am Reply

      This is a great piece, thank you for sharing! I'd love to chat further, and/or in person- perhaps even have you guest blog. If interested, my email contact is below.

      lauren.shirreffs@gmail.com

      Thanks again, Caird!

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