Everyone I’ve talked with today is feeling “behind.” Of course we are! We’re smarter than our clocks. We’re used to angles of light, patterns of sleep, and rhythms of work. We feel certain it’s 2pm, and we look at the clock and get shocked that we’re late for our 3:00 appointment. Some people feel downright angry and resentful at this whole time manipulation thing.
Transitions can be challenging, for sure. And this one’s weird because it’s so seemingly small and ridiculous. “It’s only an hour! Why is this getting to me?”
Here’s the deal with the time change: It’s something that HAPPENS TO your life. It doesn’t just happen once, like an airline delay that sets you back. It keeps showing up throughout the days. And if you’re not being conscious, it can put you into a reaction spin for a while. You might feel like you’re just “keeping up.”
These ideas (well, most of them) are designed to bring you back to proactive mode, so that you can happen to your day. Not the other way around.
1 – Be really really nice to yourself.
This is the first one because it’s the most important one. Lots of us forget this one when we’re in the midst of change. It seems like the rest of the world just chugs along at its usual pace while you feel frantic and left behind. Just set your intent for kindness. And realize that you’re not alone, and that you’ll get momentum again.
2 – Get carry-out for dinner.
If you typically cook for yourself or your family, take a break one night this week and get something made for you. It buys you a little bit of time. And you don’t have to clean up! (If you’re like me in the kitchen, this is a big bonus!)
3 – Wake up an hour early.
I know, I know. You might already feel tired as it is. But getting an early start can get you back on track and feeling ahead again.
4 – Meditate.
One of the most proactive things you can do is to go within. Even if (especially if!) you feel like you don’t have a second to spare, and that everything will cave in if you step back, you’ll benefit from even 10 minutes of meditation. You’ll change the energy of the “how’s” of your day if you center and get still again.
5 – Eat dinner outside.
This is for those of us living in the south, I know. Put a blanket on the deck, or just wipe down the furniture quickly. Sit outside and enjoy the later sunset.
6 – Have “more than enough time.”
Your affirmation for the day: “I have lots and lots of time.” Or “I have more than enough time.” Or, “I have boatloads of time.” Say it lots. Say it in a way that works for you. Next time you look at the clock, say, “Dang! It’s EARLY! I’m doing great!”
7 – Take your dog for a walk after dinner.
You’ll feel better. And your dog will be very happy at the unexpected walk. And we all know that it’s all about the dog anyway.
8 – Segment intend.
(This is a concept from Ask and It is Given, one of my favorite books.) This is a time when it’s especially important to focus on each activity as you do it. Get clear before beginning a new segment of your day. “I’m going to write a blog now, and for the next two hours, I’m going to write with happiness and have fun.” Or, “I’m going to sleep peacefully and deeply until 6AM, and I’ll wake up excited to begin a new day.” Segment intending is about clarity of purpose. When you’re in reaction mode, you’re not putting yourself in a position of power or clarity. Shift that and do some segment intending.
9 – Do something creative.
There’s no better way to cure frantic than getting lost in creativity. Write a letter. Make a fantastic dinner. Write a poem. Write a blog. Paint a postcard and send it to someone. In other words, get out of your head and into your hands. (Not to be confused with “Get out of my dreams and into my car.”)
10 – Eat a very light dinner.
When you’ve had a frantic day, it’s tempting to see the “Get Carry-Out” idea and think, “Yea. I deserve carry-out. I’m going to Carrabbas.” An order of Mezzaluna Ravioli and a half plate of fried calamari later, and you’re wiped out, not feeling much like deserving anymore. Do yourself a big favor. Eat really light at dinner time. Then you can go to bed early and wake up excited for a new day.
11 – Choose peace.
I love the affirmation from The Course In Miracles, “I could see peace instead of this.” It’s something you say when you find yourself spinning emotionally or mentally out of control. I’ve changed it to say, “I can choose peace instead of this.” This is a great affirmation for those moments when you feel crazy behind. Just choose peace.
12 – Go to bed by 9pm.
This makes some people laugh out loud. But you really should figure out a way to try it. Life coach Cheryl Richardson suggests that once a week, everyone should go to bed by 9pm. It’s a life-changer. I love it. And this week, it might be imperative.
13 – Blame the government.
Okay, this doesn’t do anything. But some people like to do it.
14 – Have fun.
When was the last time you swang on the swings? (Swang’s a word when you’re a kid.) Or put on some rollerblades? Or went to a stupid movie? In order to honor the #1 idea above, you have to let loose just a little. Go have fun. Call a friend. Take a walk. Do something that makes you happy. (Besides the Mezzaluna ravioli.)
15 – Make an agreement with your spouse or roommate.
Have a secret contract that allows you to blame each other for all acts of tardiness this week. “My wife forgot to set the clock back!” (If you were at my retreat, this isn’t what I was doing on Sunday morning! We really did forget to set the clock in the bedroom!)
16 – Enforce a “no complaining” rule.
Focusing on the “problem” only perpetuates it. Make a rule. Start right now this very instant. No more complaining about the time change. You’ve moved on. You’re beyond it. You now have more than enough time, lots of peace, and full permission from me to go to bed before 9:00 tonight!