Got something on your mind?Actually, in the course ofa day, you’re likely to havearound 60,000 things onyour mind. That’s an awful lot of ideasto be juggling. Add a demanding workschedule, gardening project or wedding toplan and that figure rockets. It’s exhaustingjust thinking about it!‘For many of us, life has become arunning paragraph with no punctuation,’says Danielle Marchant, author of newbook Pause: How to press pause beforelife does it for you (Aster, £12.99). At best,the merry-go-round of commuting, longdays at the office and domestic choresmeans there’s little time left for you. Atworst, pushing yourself too hard can leadto depression and a weakened immunesystem. ‘Pause is the full-stop that allowsus to consider the next sentence in ourlives,’ says Marchant. ‘In that space,there lies the opportunity for refectionand, perhaps, transition or change.’Pausing is all about making newdiscoveries. It allows you contact the partof yourself that knows what you truly need,what makes you deeply happy. It enablesyou to connect with your authentic self andlearn how to express it in your life. Want togive it a go? Marchant suggests focusingon three areas – nature, spirit and creativity.
Too Much Going on? Here’s How to Slow Down and Discover Your True Needs Photo Gallery
KEEP IT NATURAL
Modern-day pressures mean many of us have lost our connection to more natural rhythms. Artificial light keeps us awake in the evening, harsh alarms chase us out ofbed in the morning. Tuning into your bodyand asking it what it needs will bring youback into a more harmonious rhythm.Take a break: Find a place in nature thatyou love, ideally with water nearby, andban all technology – no phone, watch oreven pen and paper. Spend the next houror so considering a ‘big’ question in yourlife what you long for, what you deeplyneed or who were you before you startedliving the life people expected of you.Breathe into your belly and allow insightsto come to you rather than using yourlogical, left-hemisphere brain.
FEEL THE SPIRIT
Whether you think of it as life force, chi ora benevolent universe that brings you theexperiences you need to grow into yourself,‘spirit’ is an ever-present source of healingand support. It’s your intuition, the sparkthat ignites your passion and desire forconnection. Tuning into this deeper aspectof yourself through meditation will helpyou follow your heart.Take a break: If you think you can’tmeditate, Marchant suggests trying theBee Meditation. Spend a couple ofmoments focusing on your breath, thenclose your eyes, put your thumbs over yourears and cover your eyes with your fingers.For the next 10 breaths, make a gentlehumming sound on each exhale.
It’s easy to think you’re not artistic, butcreativity is more than being able to drawor make handmade gifts. It’s the expressionof your uniqueness that makes somethingcreative, says Marchant. Your mostimportant creation is, of course, your life.And using nature and spirit to fuel thiscreation gives you a powerful set of tools.
Take a break: To discover what will makeyour heart sing, it helps to bypass yourconscious mind. Images often speakdirectly to your subconscious, so makea virtual vision board by researching andcollecting inspiring images online, whetherfrom Instagram or National Geographic.Use the images as screensavers on yourPC or as a home screen on your mobile toremind yourself to take a pause from dailylife and connect to the bigger picture.
Q SHELF HELP Q
Each issue, we bring you the best advice from the self-help classics
This month we look at The LifeChanging Magic of Tidying byMarie Kondo (Vermilion, £10.99)
In a nutshell: Want to feel moreconfident, be more successful andhave the motivation to create the lifeyou want? Kondo advises clearingyour clutter in one fell swoop (albeitone that can last six months) to resetyour life. The book may be a little OCD for some, but her suggestion to mind fully appreciate your possessions before you let go ofthem eases the process and helps you tune into your deeper values.
A nugget: ‘The question of whatyou want to own is the questionof how you want to live your life.’
It’s the season for having a bit of colour,but some dermatologists are still hesitantto recommend self-tanning lotions. Onestudy by the FDA (US Food and DrugAdministration) found 11 per cent of DHA(the pigment-producing molecule) goesbeyond the surface to reach skin cells inthe dermis and epidermis with effects stillunknown. The risk of free-radical damageon skin was highlighted byanother study. For now,choose a self-tannerwithout DHA: TropicShimmering Body Oil (£28for 150ml; tropicskincare.com) contains organiccoconut oil infused withgolden shimmer, whileJurlique Sunless Tanner (£24for 150ml; jurlique.co.uk)leaves a natural glow.