Use your work life to reset your circadian rhythm
The exercise below will help you find space for your morning practice. If you have to choose, morning practice is preferable to evening practice (both is even better).
You will need a pen and paper to complete the exercise.
- If you rush to work, ask yourself why? Ponder that for a few moments. Does it seem odd to rush to work?
- Write down the time you are supposed to be at work
- Subtract ten minutes. This means you will be ten minutes early for work or if you miss the train or bump into an old friend, you will be on time
- How long does it take you to travel to work if you do it in a leisurely fashion (e.g. like going to see aunty on a Sunday)? Subtract this time
- How long does it take you to get from your bed to the front door in the morning if you do this in a leisurely fashion AND have breakfast? Subtract this time
- Are you a snoozer? If so, subtract your entire snooze time. Circle this time because it is your new morning Alarm Time
- Now subtract eight hours. Circle this time too. This is your Lights Out Time. Ponder that for a few moments. Say it out loud. This is the time you are in bed, turn your lights out and your cell phone completely off*
- Now subtract the length of time for your preferred practice (i.e. The Pause (4mins), The Cinema Inside (9mins) or The Body Scan (16min version)) from both your Alarm Time and your Lights Out Time
- Look at your new Lights Out and Alarm Times. Do they look so bad?
- Now, at some point between rising from your bed and locking your front door, you know you have between 4-16mins for your personal practice
- We recommend you practice before you turn your cell phone on, after your ablutions and during or after a cup of something hot
- If you don't use a guide, don't forget to set a timer
- And when you've finished, enjoy your leisurely journey to work
Of course the weekends (or your designated 'non-school nights') are a different story, but during the working week, you can use the results from this simple exercise and your place of work to begin a more mindful, happier and healthier life.
* If you use your cell phone as an alarm clock, switch it to aeroplane mode while you sleep.