Switching off

We live in a wired, 24/7 culture, and taking time out to switch off may not be a top priority.

But learning how to tune out of the demands of life now and again is essential for our emotional and mental wellbeing.

Creating space in the day for stillness will help keep anxiety levels in check and problems in perspective. Here are a few pointers.

  • If checking your laptop or Blackberry for emails has become an obsession, it's time to take control. Dedicate half an hour at the beginning and end of each day as time when you are not fielding texts, phone calls or emails. Turn off the computer, mobile and TV and pick up a book or listen to music instead.
  • Have a bath, pick up the phone or even spend a few minutes doing absolutely, blissful, nothing.
  • Do some yoga. It doesn't have to be a marathon session - ten or 15 minutes can be enough to restore focus, sanity and energy levels.
  • Consider re-learning, or taking up, a musical instrument, or making time to join an evening class doing something that really excites you.
  • Growing amounts of research point to the stress-reducing power of pets - so if you an animal lover, consider getting a cat or dog. They are wonderful at living in the present moment.
  • Learn to meditate and therefore boost your concentration as well as calm your mind.

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