This week a client asked this exact question: ‘When you have 20 minutes ‘down time’ what do you do’?
I was honest and answered that quite often I will take a look at all the notifications that I have on my phone – messages in Whatsapp groups I’m in, Facebook notifications and perhaps indulge in some pictures on Instagram. My answer left me pondering though. I always have a nagging list in my head of things that I need to do, and habits that I’d like to form and scrolling on the smart phone isn’t one of them. That said, as it is for many, it is my newsfeed source, work enquiry portal and I learn a lot from people I follow and am in groups with on social media. And that’s where the boundaries blur…..
I started thinking about when I was a teenager – I would come home from school before my parents got in from work. My brother had gone to uni so I had the house to myself. After eating half the fridge (I was a teenager after all) I would put music on, sit on the floor with my back against the bed and just sit. Obviously there were no devices to give me that ‘down time’ like there are now I realise that I was, in my own way, meditating and processing my day.
Moving on 30 or so years, my client’s question combined with my own complaints that ‘there’s never enough time’ or ‘I keep meaning to….’ has made me think more about how that time could be used to properly generate a rest or perhaps productivity.
Here are my thoughts on great ways to spend that spare 20 minutes (on that rare occasion it occurs) and I think it largely depends on mood:
- Meditate. If you don’t already have an established practice, there are loads of great apps to guide you. Headspace and Calm being my favourites.
- Read. I always have a book on the go, but it sits on my bedside table and I usually fall asleep after about a paragraph, so from here on the book is going in my bag.
- Listen to and audiobook or podcast This one is already becoming a habit for me after signing up to Audible. Every month I have an audio book downloaded on to my phone and these tend to be the non fiction type. Brilliant for in the car or the bathroom or to have on when prepping food. Talking of which…..
- Plan meals In all my programmes, I talk about the benefit of planning meals and yet still find myself shopping ‘on the hop’ when things get busy, so in that 20 minutes, how about getting out some lovely cook books and plan ahead a few days eating.
- Watch something that makes you laugh Oh my gosh, having a proper belly laugh feels so good! Think about what used to make you laugh a lot and search it out on youtube. Recently my husband and I rediscovered Trigger Happy TV…. (don’t judge please)
- Exercise! I had to say it… a 20 minute walk round the block, some dedicated appropriate core exercise (those who’ve worked with me on Holistic Core Restore® programmes know what to do and how quick it is), a quick round of full body movement (squat, push something, lunge, pull something, move about), perhaps a short yoga sequence or pose. I recommend Shavasana. If you don’t know it, look it up; it’s REALLY challenging 😉
So there’s my start. Hit me up (youth speak) with your thoughts and additions to the suggestions and feed your mind body and soul when you have a spare few minutes.