85. Calm (Michael Acton Smith)

Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 9.53.54 PMLife is so hectic.  Days are filled with work, carpool, errands leaving little time to relax and enjoy an evening with family.  It seems that we are constantly running and need to take time to be mindful, reflect and be still.  Calm is a book filled with beautiful pictures, quotations and helpful suggestions to take time out.

The book reinforces the importance of acknowledging what you are grateful for and suggests journalling the 3 highlights of your day.  We have a habit of talking about our 3 best things at dinner.  The kids might make a joke about it but it gives us time to connect and talk about our day as we share a meal.

The first section encourages taking time to appreciate nature by enjoying activities like walking the dog or cloud gazing.  This is followed by a section on sleep which can seem elusive when your brain refuses to turn off.  There is nothing worse than ruminating over the day’s events as you count down the hours left until the alarm goes off.  Sleep helps the body to repair and rebuild and the book offers suggestions including black out curtains, calm colours, before bed stretching and a setting a cool temperature (perhaps my dad has it right by leaving his window open a crack all winter long)!

The travel section encourages taking a walk, finding a new route home and tips if you are anxious about flight.  It is followed by a section on relationships suggesting that we turn our phones off and focus on those we care about.  Many of us may experience stress at work.  While it may be convenient to work through breaks and eat lunch at our desks, taking regular breaks improves creativity and innovation.

A couple other helpful suggestions include:

  • Take a digital detox.
  • Change your password to reflect and remind you of your intention (i.e. Re!aXt0day).
  • Try something new (i.e. calligraphy, colouring).
  • Rediscover the appeal of cooking from scratch.
  • Enjoy a cup of tea.

This is an easy read with some great tips for relaxing.  The pictures are calming and there are sections that readers can fill in with their own information.  Although I enjoyed the tips, I did feel like the book was a bit of an advertisement for their meditation app (which  comes with a monthly fee).

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