Step Away and Get Centered

Shannan Humes -Contributing Writer

“I’ll sleep with I’m dead” she said. Umm that’s for sure my least favorite quote EVER, and still I hear it now and again I as move through young professional circles filled with the ambitious and educated. Afterall, we live in the big city with big important jobs and endless things to do. We nosh on protein bars and guzzle keto coffee to fuel us, but are we truly giving our minds and bodies what we need to thrive? My guess is no – not completely.  Even in today’s evolving view of wellness, we city-dwellers can use some reinforcement in the way of resting and rebalancing.

The further I move into my 30’s, the more I realize the importance of stepping away from it all – even if only to return shortly thereafter. So step away, step back, retreat…then advance. Stepping away DOES NOT necessarily mean leaving (but it can). Stepping away is just another form of self-care. It’s carving out a space to take what is rightfully yours – peace, a quiet moment, fresh air, or a mantra that is simply yours to own. I’m so glad self-care is now seen as less “new-agey” philosophy and more of a human right.

And okay fine – so maybe you can’t just drop everything and flutter away. That’s not what I’m proposing. We’ll save the best tropical yoga retreat spots in for another blog. Moreover, yes I’m fully aware that you’re planning an upstate weekender at Lake George in the summer and yes, I know it’s awesome. I’m talking about here and right now, retreating from all that is crowding your mind, even if just for a span of 15 or 30 minutes. Here are some ways to instantly rebalance and self-soothe when the hustle is becomes too overwhelming:

  1. Shut down the technology (like all of it) and get grounded. Close your eyes and one by one, describe the sensations on your skin, what you hear around you, what you smell, what you can sense and ultimately what you feel. The point is to feel Take the time to feel things – starting with your own glorious body.
  2. Take a walk – put on your sneakers and briskly walk a loop of a few city blocks. Take in the fresh air and the sights. Take deep, abiding breaths and release the tension and stress at hand. Return to your home or workplace recharged and with fresh perspective.
  3. Daydream and doodle – get a little creative and “waste” a little time. Why should adulthood mean we can no longer color and doodle? Have at it! Try this "Color Me Stress Free"
  4. Meal plan – Seek out nutrient-dense and balancing foods for the week. Set yourself up for success with great food options no matter the time of day. Thinking of post-workout snacks and hydration? No problem – have these quick and easy items ready - Nosh & Recoup. Looking for satisfying afternoon snacks? Add a pack of high protein pistachios to your bag. Yearning for creative high-protein and affordable dinner recipes? Try this baked artic char and a fresh argula get up (Yummy).
  5. Declutter – or as my Grandma would say “straighten up” your place. Crack open a few windows and do a 15-minute living room and bedroom sweep with a soundtrack of your favorite Beyonce songs. Your refreshed surroundings will do wonders to rebalance the frenzy.

So steal away – go! In the works of Phylicia Rashad Bye