As things warm up this year, take a month to take stock and re-centre yourself. This is the month of weddings, BBQs and events, but what if it was the month of relaxing at home? Tania O’Donnell chills out.
We have been conned into thinking that doing nothing is a bad thing. That it is lazy, unproductive, morally suspect and will lead to dissipation and the fall of Western civilisation. That’s simply not true and June is the perfect month to explore the naughtiness of opting out. We now have a national month for just about everything and wouldn’t it be great if we had a month for just saying ‘no’? No to going out to a million events. No to over-stretching yourself with responsibilities. No to being constantly available to everyone. We could call it Just Say No June.
Now, of course, this is also Pride Month so you’ll be wanting to attend a parade or party or two, but how about making that the exception rather than the rule? And if it is your best friend’s wedding this month or you’ve got a birthday party planned, of course you should enjoy it. But how about taking just a little time each day to honour your need to enjoy your own time?
Perhaps an extra 15 minutes in bed in the morning just lying down, wriggling your toes, and enjoying the pleasure of warmth and comfort. Forget ‘to do’ lists, demands and obligations and if something catches your eye, don’t allow your mind to wander toward ‘doing’. For example if you see the curtain billowing in a morning breeze don’t immediately think of washing it, enjoy the sight of the wind made visible. This daily ritual will leave you calmer, centred and in control.
The next time you get invited to something, don’t give a definitive answer straight away unless you definitely know you can’t make it. Take time at home to check your diary and think about your other commitments that week. It is far better to ensure you commit to something you can definitely do rather than say yes because you feel you should and then have to cancel later. There is a great book by Beth Wareham called The Power of No and it helps you get a grip on all the things at work, at home and in life in general that you agree to because you haven’t mastered the fine art of saying no.
June is a great time to take back control of your diary and your mental space because there are so many events on offer now that the weather is relatively better. It means you can turn down things without causing offence because people know how socially crammed this month can be. Use it to your advantage and make a regular date with yourself to enjoy some downtime. Read a book you’ve been meaning to get to, enjoy the perfect brew, have breakfast in bed or just sit by your window and watch the world go by. Perfection!
Years back I wrote The Brilliant Book of Calm(Infinite Ideas, £14.99) under my maiden name of Tania Ahsan. It is filled with a number of ideas such as this so do check it out if you’d like more ideas.