Essential Zen Habits for When Feeling Tired, Stressed and Overwhelmed

Essential Zen Habits for When Feeling Tired, Stressed and Overwhelmed

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When your stress levels are high, or energy levels are very low, it’s hard to maintain Zen habits or any kind of discipline for that matter. So, if you just want to relax. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome the feeling of overwhelm and tiredness with Zen habits.

Also Read: 70 Zen Quotes to Calm Your Mind

Essential Zen Habits for When Feeling Tired, Stressed and Overwhelmed

Zen Habits #1: First, be aware of the problem.

Take a moment to assess your level of exhaustion and stress. If you think this is the reason you’re putting off the habit, then there are ways to deal with it.

Zen Habits #2: If you’re tired, can you get more rest?

This is the best way to deal with exhaustion. Many people simply don’t get enough sleep.  They’re running on high octane all day, then stay up late and don’t have enough rest before starting another day full of motion.  

You can do this for a little while, but eventually, the lack of rest will affect you —  you’ll start dragging, feeling lazy and burnt out, wanting to procrastinate.  You might even get sick.   The best thing is to get more sleep at night, so start going to bed earlier. A good nap also helps a   lot. Even just 30 minutes, though an hour is better, if possible.

Zen Habits #3: Take breaks.

Get away from the computer, and take a walk.   This is the best way to deal with stress —  find ways to de-stress during the day. Stretch.   Move around. Massage your neck and shoulders.  Get some fresh air.  Talk to someone in real life.   Take a hot bath or shower if that’s possible.

Zen Habits #4: Exercise.  

I’ve found exercise to be one of the best ways to reduce stress. Ironically, it can be hard to start exercising if you’re tired and stressed, but I’ve always felt a lot better after exercise, so it’s worth putting some effort into starting.  A fast walk, a good run, some strength exercises, a swim or bike, playing a sport. 

Not only does exercise reduce stress, but it helps you to sleep better at night.  While it’s good to exercise regularly, it’s also best to have at least one to two rest days a week.

Zen Habits #5: Get the overwhelm under control.

Sometimes you’re stressed or overwhelmed because there’s too much going on in your life or too much information coming in. To make this more manageable, make a list of all you have going on right now.

Now see if you can eliminate or put a hold on a few of them —  simply send an email or make a call and tell people you can’t work on this right now. Make a shortlist of three to five tasks you can actually work on today, and focus on the first item only. One thing at a time.

Zen Habits #6: Reduce the inflow.

If you have information overload, see if you can reduce or eliminate some of the information coming in.   Unsubscribe from things in email, RSS, Twitter, Facebook.   Limit your time in these communication mediums to certain periods a day, so you can disconnect and focus.

Zen Habits #7: Breathe.

Focus on your breath as it comes into your body and then goes out.   Relax your jaw. Smile.  Slow down for a   minute. Return your mind to your breath. Let your tensions go out with your breath. Remind yourself that all that you have going on …  doesn’t matter that much.   At the end of the day, life will go on. This breathing exercise is available to you at any time of day.

Zen Habits #8: Make your task your meditation.

Just as the breathing exercise can help calm you down and return you to the present moment, so can working on a task. Close all programs and devices and notifications not necessary for working on your task, and be mindful as you work on the task.   Notice your thoughts, breath, fingers tapping away on the keyboard, body as it becomes stressed or relaxed. This is a form of meditation, and you can do it for each task.

Take an assessment of your levels of stress, tiredness, and energy for doing the habit.  Assess your commitment to the habit and see if anything needs to be adjusted. If you are tired or stressed or other things are taking priority, take a small step toward one of these solutions.

Related: What Is Zen?

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