Finding the Balance Part II: Stillness

Last week I began discussing the balance needed between movement and stillness with tips on how to bring more movement into your life. This week's post will discuss reasons to do the opposite. My personal impulse is to constantly be in motion. While this is not necessarily a poor trait, I acknowledge that it might not be the healthiest thing to do all the time. I fully recognize and admit that I need more stillness in my life. I am guessing that some of you may be in the same boat.

I thrive on keeping busy and feeling "accomplished" aka tired at the end of my day. If I have thirty minutes free between clients or while waiting for a train to arrive, my first impulse is not to sit patiently and wait. If I am being honest, it is not even my second. At first thought, it may seem like a personality trait or that you are hard-wired to be on the go whenever possible.

If you think about it, I bet that constant movement, often mindless and disconnected from the present moment, is not an inherent trait, rather a learned one. We have been programmed to multitask at most hours of the day. This can make unwinding, relaxation, and even sleep nearly impossible. Yes, multitasking for many purposes is functional, beneficial, and even healthy. However, that is not always the case. 

This blog was inspired by the lyrics "taking steps is easy, standing still is hard." As I have already admitted, stillness is not the easiest thing for me. It often comes as a reminder or an active choice that I need to be still, be in the moment, and slow down. 

Here are some ways you can find the best balance for you:

  • Check in with yourself during down time. This is important for daily self-care. It allows you to scan your needs and give your body and mind the movement or stillness that it is asking for.
  • Slow down to absorb and appreciate any changes and progress you are making.
  • Still your mind for an energizing boost. Let this help you have time to organize your thoughts and feelings.
  • Think of stillness as a cool down after a work out. Being still in your body allows for relaxation and peace. It gives you the chance to absorb all the great energy you are creating.

Remember that you are aiming to find the sweet spot that is unique to you. Balance an adequate amount of physical movement and mental momentum mixed with a healthy amount of stillness for optimal mental and physical wellness. Despite my own struggles with stillness, know that I am working on practicing what I preach. I hope you will practice standing still with me.