The Benefits of "Sky Time": How To Find A Pause In The Middle Of Your Day

Do you feel at times that there is no pause in your day? That your day is either “on” as soon as you start the day or “off” at the end of the day when you turn in for a night of rest; but there really is no pause-button as you go through your day?

This has become a part of our lives as schedules have gotten fuller and relaxation time has become akin to laziness. I remember once I was taking a nap on the living room couch in the afternoon. Later, when I was awake, a relative greeted me with, “Ah, I am glad you are doing okay now. I was concerned as I saw you sleeping earlier”. I was perfectly well; I was just taking a power nap. But the sight of someone taking a nap in the middle of the day is so unfamiliar to some that the immediate thought is either she is ill or simply being lazy!

But taking a power nap or a micro-nap has long been known to have their healing and rejuvenating effects. Brilliant minds and artists such as Albert Einstein, Salvador Dali and Aristotle have made a claim on the benefit of naps.

My aim, though, is not to convince you to take afternoon naps (although that can be a nice by-product of this post!) You see, my work revolves around helping women take simple daily actions to bring deeper experiences of happiness and inner-peace. I am always looking to share what can help us in our modern lifestyle, and cultivate that sense of peace and fulfillment. What I have realized is that the little, simple things that we do on a daily basis bring the most results; especially when done consistently.

So, I want to shed light on the fact that if we embrace the idea of a little simple pause in the middle of a working day, we can be more productive, more successful in our projects and, because of a rested mind and body, be kinder and compassionate in our interactions with our fellow human beings. And these are just some of the benefits!

Although it won't look the same for everyone, taking a few minutes out of your busy day to pause can be more productive than powering through. Learn how "sky-time" might be a healthy habit for you to cultivate too.

Introducing "Sky-Time"

For me, this pause takes the form of what I term, Sky-Time. Every day for about ten minutes or so right after my lunch, I sit in my hammock on the back porch and gaze at the sky. This is my sky-time.What I love about these few minutes is that I can just relax while observing the changes in the sky. The sky is so vast and expansive that it inspires me to let my creativity fly high and have a heart of compassion. Besides, the sky is so different every single day. This changing nature of the sky reminds me to cherish the present moment because that very scene I am watching is unique ⎯ never to be repeated in that exact way.

Sky-time also helps me to hit the pause-button in my day filled with activities. Instead of rushing off to my desk right after lunch, these few minutes help me connect with myself and be present. I arrive back at work feeling energized and rested, ready to begin again. It is also a sip of nature that is so soothing and nourishing. In our busy lives, questions and challenges emerge for us that need thoughtful reflection. But moving from one task to another at rapid speed from the moment we wake up until the moment we fall into bed, allows for very little opportunity for such thinking and reflection time. Even just a few minutes of sky-time can help us resolve a dilemma or come to a clearer decision that we have been wanting to make. The mind gets a chance to untangle itself with some dedicated time off where there is no agenda for it and no task for it to accomplish. It gets to simply rest and within this restful state, answers and solutions begin to show themselves.

The Benefits of a Mid-Day Pause

The benefits of Sky-Time are numerous, helping rejuvenate both the mind and the body.

Sky-time

  • helps the body rest

  • and as a result energizes the body

  • aids the body to activate its healing mechanisms

  • allows the body to unwind from any physical tensions

Sky-time

  • helps the mind rest

  • leads to increased creative flow

  • helps new ideas and solutions emerge

  • makes decisions become easier

  • helps the mind to become alert and refreshed

And when all of this happens for you, you benefit all of us around you because you are more rested, calmer and can be more of who you are. Don’t we all want that?

Making It Happen

Why do I suggest taking time to look at the sky? The sky is that part of nature which is the most accessible to us. You may not be close to a forest, a park or a lake or have easy access to some other natural setting. But no matter where you live, you can always step out for a few minutes and gaze at the sky.

But, it doesn’t have to be the sky.

The concept is malleable; it can be adjusted and morphed to suit you and your personal needs. It is a catch-all phrase that describes any bit of time given to an uplifting activity that helps you pause, to reset your day and to start again. It may look different for you. Sky-time could mean taking a few minutes to jot down your thoughts, or picking up a paintbrush, or spending a few minutes in the garden, or listening to your favorite piece of music. It could be sipping some tea with a quiet and calm mind, or reading a few pages of an uplifting book…or a million other incarnations of what brings that pause-feeling in the middle of the day for you.


So, this is my invitation to you. Create your own version of Sky-Time using the following steps:


Step 1

Think of what you could do during your Sky-Time every day for about ten minutes that can bring a breath of fresh air, a much needed pause in the middle of your day.
Activity:_______________________

Step 2.

Then pick a time of the day which you can set aside as your own Sky-Time.
Time: _______________________

Step 3.

Set an alarm or reminder for it.
Set alarm: ____________________

Step 4.

And when it is time for your sky-time, enjoy your few minutes of quiet peace.

Activity done: ______________________


Give it a try and see how this simple non-action can help you in a multitude of ways in your life. Share in the comments if you like, what would 10 minutes of sky-time mean for you?

 

Digital De-Cluttering: 4 Ways To Simplify Your Social Media

We talk a lot about physically de-cluttering here on SL & Co., in fact, our most recent post laid out six super helpful tips for keeping your home clean all the time, but one area we don't often think about de-cluttering is our online presence. 

As much of our lives are wrapped up in social media, it's easy to get overwhelmed by needless emails, disengaged followers, and photos or posts that don't inspire us. I'm a firm believer that one of the main purposes of social media is to not only connect us to others but to inspire and boost our creativity, so if your social media pages feel anything but inspiring, it's time to do something about it. 

I recently took steps to simplify my social media accounts and, similar to physically de-cluttering, I immediately felt a weight lifted. It's strange how something intangible like Instagram photos or an irrelevant post on Facebook can become a burden after a while. 

Does that sound familiar to you? If so, here are four actionable steps you can take today to lighten your "digital load" and ensure you're only seeing post from people who inspire you.  

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1. Unsubscribe from random newsletters:

We all get them. E-mails from Forever 21 that we signed up for to get a discount. The newsletter of a once loved blogger whose posts aren't really relevant to our lives anymore. And worst of all, emails from companies who just want your money. 

Unsubscribe. It's as simple as that. Limit your inbox to the newsletters of only the most inspiring people (hopefully SL&Co. makes the cut! If you're not subscribed to our (rather infrequent) updates you can do so here). A few of my favorite newsletters are from The Higgins CreativeMelyssa Griffin, and Becoming Minimalist. I also subscribe to emails from some of my favorite clothing lines like My Sister and IMBY or causes I feel passionately about like IJM or Dressember. 

Decide what issues and topics are most important to you and eliminate the rest. It's so refreshing not to wake up to 30+ new emails from spam accounts every day. 

2. Un-follow accounts that don't inspire you:

There is a lot of pressure on social media to participate in "follow for follow" threads or to follow accounts you don't really love in hopes that they'll follow you back. While there are certainly benefits in this method for growing your reach and audience, at a certain point, it can get exhausting to see photos from 100's or 1,000's of people you don't really know. 

It may sound harsh, but there's nothing wrong with un-following if someone's content doesn't help or inspire you in some way. For me, Instagram is my biggest source of inspiration. I love scrolling through my feed and seeing gorgeous coffee shots, inspiring capsule wardrobes, and awesome mama's loving on their babies. But I absolutely don't feel pressured to follow everyone that follows me. 

The same goes for any platform- Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon, you name it. 

3. Stop comparing yourself to others:

I know, this one is less tangible and way easier said than done. But, honestly, it's by far the most important step. 

Social media allows people to pick a version of themselves to present to their followers. It's normal, and not necessarily a bad thing, but seeing so much "perfection" can easily lead to discontent within your own life/figure/possessions/significant other. 

For example, in order to attract the right people to my blog (you!), I'm very careful with what I post to my social media accounts. I try very hard to be genuine- I'm far from perfect and my followers know it- but I don't share every area of my life online. Although I'm aware of the blogging industry's obsession with perfectly staged photos and flawlessly styled outfits, I do my best to stay true to myself and not worry about if I'm measuring up to my "competition". 

The same goes for everyone- if an account causes you you question your value or make you feel less-than, unfollow. You are enough; no matter how perfectly staged your photos are. 

4. Limit Your Screen Time:

Finally, though social media is a great thing and it's so useful in many ways, it's important to not let it take the place of "real life" interactions. We can all relate to technology addiction in some way, since it literally permeates our society. 

Learn to set boundaries for yourself. Set specific times for checking social media (and specific times not to). Be intentional with your scrolling and try not to use it just as a space filler. 

Did this post strike a chord? Be sure to register for our FREE e-mail course that will dive even deeper to de-cluttering your online presence and help you "take back social media". 

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Click here to register. I can't wait!