There's a lot of micro behaviors that I can track. The challenge is not wasting so much time tracking your life that you don't actually have time to get things done.
I recently got a Fitbit Ionic and am loving it. It's been a critical part of the self-tracking system I have setup (more on that on a future post) and love the fact that I can buy a Starbucks with it, track my steps, get texts and little reminders that I need to get up and move around.
One of the features that few people talk about is their Relax app. It's simple but it's helpful.
It literally just takes two minutes out of your day to complete.
You start off by just sitting still and relaxing while the Fitbit figures out your breathing cadence. Then it has you take deep breaths based on a circle on the display that expands and contracts. As the circle gets larger, you inhale. As it shrinks, you exhale. The goal is to follow the rhythm of the circle for the duration of the exercise while making the background color turn green. If it turns green, your breathing is at a good pattern.
Why is it the best two minutes Fitbit gives me?
If you're having a stressful day, things feel overwhelming or stuff just feels like it's piling on, this is a great app to get out. It's only two minutes, which is less than the amount of time most of us would rather use to procrastinate by surfing Instagram. It's amazing how taking time to just breathe calms the nerves.
Just two minutes. The app even gives you what your starting heart rate is and what your post-breathing exercise heart rate is. It's amazing how much slower it gets.
A slower heart rate and calmer breathing has a ripple effect on everything you do. I feel like I think a little more clearly, have a little more patience and am less likely to draft that email I may regret later.
How do you find your calm on a hectic day?
Whenever I think I have things figured out, or am in a predictable rhythm, God laughs. Like, probably a big hearty belly laugh.
Last year we brought our daughter into the world. First-time parenting is a huge adjustment. The lack of sleep, new priorities and overall life disruption a baby brings took us a few months to get the hang of.
We finally got the hang of being parents. At least, to where it didn't seem as disruptive as it once did. Having a baby around seemed natural. Things got into a bit of a routine and we were adjusted to our new normal.
Then we went on vacation and we had a furnace leak and pour water through both levels of our house while we were gone. Because there was so much damage, we had to move totally out of our house (like everything out of our house) while the repairs were being done.
So we lived in a hotel for a little over a month. We got the hang of hotel life (honestly...it wasn't awful) and moved back into our newly renovated house, thanks to an AC guy who didn't do his job right and homeowners insurance.
The dust had finally settled. We were in our house. Our daughter continued to get a little more self-sufficient by the day and sleeping like a champion at night. Everything was smooth. We could go to work, play with Cam, go to bed. Repeat.
Then Megan started feeling nauseous. A type of nausea she had only felt once before...when she was pregnant with Campbell. A couple of pregnancy test later confirmed what she thought...Megan was expecting.
We had full intentions of Campbell being an only child, so to say we were surprised is putting it mildly.
We went from almost going into cruise control (as much as you can with a toddler anyway) to planning for a baby. Oh, yeah, and selling the house we had just moved back into (that we had planned on being at for the long haul) to get an extra bedroom for the new arrival. Life took a total 180 real quick.
Life came at us fast.
It keeps things interesting though! Nobody ever grew when things are easy and/or predictable. We're looking forward to our new adventure. A new house, a new neighborhood closer to some friends that have truly become our family and - most importantly - a new addition to our little family. We are really excited about meeting our first son later this summer!
If I have learned anything, is that you really can't get to comfortable or settled in life. Nor should you I think. Consistently anticipating change helps encourage growth (IMO anyway...take that for what it's worth).