Winter has arrived…yesss! With the snow falling, it’s time to get focused on what work/life balance is going to look like for you. Maybe you’re rolling into town to shred but have to work a few jobs as well buy those new fat skis. Or perhaps you’re a pow commuter, travelling up and down the snowy highways every weekend hoping to leave your job and stress behind. Either way, it can be challenging to not suffer from ski town stress. How can I find balance? Will I have enough time? How can I hit the slopes today as well as the xc ski track while juggling drinks with friends, loading a posse of kids in the car and making sure everyone has BOTH skis, mitts, boots, etc as well as getting wood for the bonfire? Or it could even just be trying to make a dash up to the hill for a few runs before that first (or second) job starts. Phew! Ski town life is stressful!
When you feel your shoulders starting to creep up around your ears, your jaw clenching, and like your head is going to explode… when you realize that you forgot a shift or it’s ten mins before ski lessons and your kid is standing in the doorway with only one sock on crying because they only wanted to wear their purple toque that day and you can’t find it…
Take a breath.
Taking a breath is the beginning of centring yourself and slowing down. Pay attention fully to your inhale and exhale. So that, for a moment, there are no other thoughts just the sound of your breath. The quiet won’t last long, but that’s okay. Have patience and be forgiving towards yourself. A focused, deep breath is the equivalent to sitting back on your couch and having a glass of wine.
Take another breath, and then begin a mental inventory.
What’s controllable right now, in this moment? The negative thoughts, playing out the “what ifs” are not helpful. Acknowledge these thoughts, and let them go. Instead, focus on what you would like to happen within the next ten minutes and the positive steps you can take to get there.
With one last breath, move in that direction.
Mindfulness tools like these can be used throughout your day, helping you to be present and calm within each moment, between each task or event. Let’s face it, even in this mountain paradise the everyday stressors can start to take a toll on our mental and physical health. So do yourself a favour and work on incorporating some daily habits to fight the “mountain town” stress. The positive is that the more you practice mindfulness, the easier and more natural it becomes.