In just 10 minutes

Blog post description.

11/20/20232 min read

person holding white mini bell alarmclock
person holding white mini bell alarmclock

A break always helps me recalibrate and reset. I need time away from "work-brain" to open up my creative, solution-oriented brain. I tend to make big goals and elaborate, time-sensitive plans to help me achieve my goals. And then when I get back into the routine of the day-to-day, my beautiful, well thought out plans go out the window. I was reflecting on why this happens.

1. I bite off more than I can chew (always have, working on undoing this).

2. I don't account for the unexpected- a dog throws up on the carpet, my grandma calls me, the car needs to go to the shop.

3. Lizard brain. Lizard brain ALWAYS wants to rest, take a nap, conserve energy where she can. I've given her a lot of love and attention and have listened to her a lot in the last couple of years. She's gotten a bit spoiled, tbh, and needs a few less treats.

In reflection of these, I propose a new, rules-oriented, semi-elaborate plan with a LOT of room for flexibility. This is my Power of 10. Daily, I aim to do the following:

-10 minutes of exercise

-10 minutes of intentional breathing (or just 10 intentional breaths)

-10 minutes of reading

-10 minutes of rest

-10 minutes (or bullet points) of journaling

-10 minute walk

-10 strength/sensory integration movements with most groups of students

-10 minutes on social media for business-oriented things

I'm sure more will come up because that's what my elaborate-plan-making brain likes to do, but this is a start.

When I look at it all together, this still totals up to 80 minutes. The problem I run into often times, is that I try to do it all at once, and finding a 60-80 minute block of time is not feasible in my life right now, and frankly, I don't really want to spend my free 80 minutes of the day after dinner doing ALL of these things, checking the boxes to get from one item to the next.

Rather, I propose for myself, and for you, to begin to embed these 10 minute breaks into the day. We get 10 minute breaks often, we just may not notice them, or think we can afford a break. But that is the glory of 10 minutes, we can almost always afford 10 minutes. And if not 10 minutes, then 10 rounds/repetitions of the habit being built.

Today, try to find three to six 10-minute habits you'd like to build up and become part of "you." Don't try to do them all in one fail swoop, but rather embed throughout your day.

The benefits of 10 minutes are multi-fold:

-Lizard brain has an easier time getting on board (because it thinks we're conserving energy when we tell it it only needs to do a little bit).

-The Compound Effect takes place, and pretty soon you have exercised/meditated/journaled/etc for an entire hour in a week, which brings you closer to where you want to be.

-It gives you quick wins and hits of dopamine. This feel-good chemical helps us repeat these routines and habits because it begins to crave them (even just after one week!). Increased dopamine also improves brain function, mental health, and joy, especially when it is derived from healthy habits vs insidiously toxic habits like drinking, shopping, binging.

Prioritize these 10 minute bursts of self care wherever you can get them, especially during this intensely busy holiday season.

Be well,

Alyson