Make switching off easy with the help of these three simple steps from meditation teacher, speaker and author of Take It In, Giselle La Pompe-Moore.
When was the last time you felt truly rested? Chances are, it’s been a while.
In our always-on culture, it can be hard to find time to switch off – and even when you do get a moment to unwind, getting the rest you so desperately need isn’t always easy. Out of all the things we do on a day-to-day basis, you’d think rest is something which would come naturally. But that’s simply not the case.
Indeed, as Giselle La Pompe-Moore, a meditation teacher, speaker and author of Take It In, explained at this year’s Stylist Restival, our inability to rest is the product of years of ‘doing’ and, as such, we need to practise rest in order to experience it.
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“I don’t know how to drive, so the idea that I could just go out and drive a car tomorrow is impossible, because I have no practice,” she told the audience.
“However, if you drive all the time, you know how to do it. So, if you’re not resting continuously or prioritising that, it’s not going to feel easy – we have to go back to basics and remind ourselves how to do that. And that’s going to feel confronting.”
Knowing that you need to practise rest is one thing – but knowing how to do that is something else entirely. But that’s where La Pompe-Moore’s expertise comes in.
Do less, be present, feel more
To improve your ability to rest, La Pompe-Moore recommends following her three-step practise: do less, be present and feel more. But before you even get started, you need to remind yourself that it’s OK for things not to be ‘perfect’.
“When it comes to practising rest, let it be messy,” she said. “I get asked a lot why people can’t stop thinking when they start meditating, and I’m like, ‘You’re a human being, we’re thinking all the time – and especially when you stop, you’re going to be thinking 10 times more than you were before.
“So let yourself think it’s a practise – I think all the time during meditation but I keep showing up, because the point of practise is we just show up for it every day for a small amount of time.”
Ready to get started? Keep reading to check out you can use La Pompe-Moore’s ‘do less, be present, feel more’ technique to rest better this year.
The idea of doing less may seem pretty self-explanatory, but it’s all about making time in your day to pause and be consciously unproductive.
“To do less, try introducing micro pauses or moments of disruption into your day,” La Pompe-Moore recommended. “We don’t all have the luxury to take a rest break for two hours, but if we can do something that takes a couple of minutes, we’re probably going to do it a bit more.”
Micro pauses can be anything from taking a few deep breaths while you wait for the kettle to boil or giving yourself a moment to close your eyes when you’re on the Tube – anything that helps you feel a little less busy.
“I always say let’s not try and shoot for a 30-minute meditation practice every day – let’s try and find one minute. And one minute can be the greatest thing that we can give to ourselves.”
You’ll often find yourself getting caught up in your head when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, so bringing your attention back to the present moment can help you to begin switching off and unwinding.
“There’s a question that I often ask myself when I feel like I’m really in my head and untethered, and that question is, ‘Wait, where am I right now?’” La Pompe-Moore explained.
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“Simply asking myself that question brings me back into the present moment, because most of our stress and our fears reside outside of the present moment.
“We’re thinking about what gonna do tonight; we’re worried about what we did yesterday. But if you allow yourself just to be in the now, it can kind of bring us back.”
Last, but by no means least, getting in touch with your emotions will put you in a better headspace to relax and take things in. It’s all too easy to let life pass you by and avoid feeling your emotions, so making a conscious effort to feel more will help you to slow down.
To do this, La Pompe-Moore recommends looking for ‘quiet joys’. “We all know big joys – the really big wins and successes – but quiet joys are the mundane, everyday things that we often overlook,” she told the Restival audience.
“So if you can find one quiet joy per day to write in your journal or your phone at night, that is such a great practice. Because when you start to look out for these quiet joys, you’re normalising feeling stuff. And if we can’t even feel the really small beautiful things, how can we feel the really hard awful stuff?”
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