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Releasing restless energy

I met with a coaching client the other day, and we were talking about restless energy. Not necessarily feeling overwhelmed, but unsettled and distracted. I knew exactly what she was talking about because I too was feeling this energy. Maybe it is the shift from winter to spring, with the extra sunlight and anticipation of warmer day. Or having a lot on my plate. Whatever the reasons, focusing has been more of a challenge for me in the past few weeks.

How do you know when you are restless? I immediately feel it both in my body and my mind. My heart feels fluttery, and I'm more jumpy. It's hard for me to sit still, and I easily jump from one task to another without really finishing anything. I also find myself more prone to picking up my phone and scrolling through social media (and I don't even remember what I look at!).

I have a long list of to-dos, and I'm sure you do too. Good news thought! There are some ways that help me to alleviate the restless energy. To settle myself down, reconnect to the present moment, and feel more focused.

  • Box Breathing. Inhale, Hold, Exhale, Hold - all the same length of time. My go-to count of time is 4. From a natural breath: inhale for 1, 2, 3, 4; hold the breath for 1, 2, 3, 4; exhale the breath for 1, 2, 3, 4; hold the breath for 1, 2, 3, 4. As you do this technique, count the 1, 2, 3, 4 time in your head, focusing on the numbers OR imagine your breath going around a square.

  • Move the body, gently. Take a short walk or do some gentle sun salutations. As you go through the movements, pay attention to all five of your senses. What do you see as you move, what sounds are present, how does the air feel on your skin, are there any smells or tastes? Go slow and notice both your senses coming alive and the energy softly shifting through the body.

  • Do one task at a time. I know, I know, we live in a culture that encourages and even celebrates multitasking. I do it, I get it. However, when I think about it, one word comes to mind - yuck. If you are feeling restless, please stop everything you are doing, pause, and select one thing to focus on. Put away the distractions and let yourself become absorbed in the one thing you are doing right now.

  • Ground with your feet. If you are able, take off your shoes and socks and plant your feet directly on the earth. If this isn't possible, that's okay too. The goal is to pay attention to all toes and areas of the foot and feel them pressing towards the ground. Close your eyes if possible and feel every little part of your foot - each toe, the outer edges, the arch, etc. Imagine you are growing roots into the ground and calming energy is rising back up to you through your feet.

With the overstimulation that exists in the world today, it is incredibly hard to slow down and never feel restless. It reminds me of this quote from Rumi, "Why do you stay in prison when the door is wide open?" To me, the prison is the busy cycle of too many thoughts and to-dos in my mind plus all the noise coming in from the outside. Yet, the door is wide open. I can choose to pause, create space, refocus, and clear both my mind and energy.

Finding calm waters
Finding calm waters

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