Can you recall a time when you were completely present and engaged in an activity, where time didn’t exist? You lost track of the minutes or hours, completely consumed by something you love. It feels like there is no world outside of this moment, where there’s no distractions. This is what they call ‘flow’. Being ‘in the zone.’
Flow is a state of mind. You’re utterly focused, productive, and present. The flow carries you through hours and you come out the other side, usually with some kind of creation. It’s an automatic state that can’t be forced. But there are triggers to help you reach this elusive feeling.
With mental and emotional health a challenge to uphold during uncertain times (especially with the possibility of another lockdown), knowing these levers are more important than ever.
Productivity, in troubling times
If you’ve been feeling an overall sense of aimlessness, you’re not alone. It’s a side-effect of 18 months of lockdowns and collective fear. Languishing, they call it. It describes stagnation and emptiness. A fogginess that doesn’t clear with a new day. Likely unresolved grief, for all the things you’ve missed out on. A void that occupies the space in between where we are now to where we need to be – a timeline that could take years to reach.
Let this be a message to you, if you need to hear it: you don’t need to thrive right now. It’s okay to just keep your head above water. When the external situation is perpetual, it’s bound to cause internal upheaval.
Doing everything in your power to create flow, is the remedy.
Eliminate all distractions (externally & internally)
Make flow your goal. It’s not easy in the time of back-to-back Zoom calls, lots of screen time, and not enough moments outside with people. Set boundaries for your day and give yourself blocks of time without interruptions. Do this when your energy is the highest. Is this early in the morning or late at night? Construct your day to work with your energy, not against it.
Be easy on yourself, too. Allow for manageable growth in your everyday life, so you can reach that flow state. A task that stretches you, but one you can achieve and ride the wave of endorphins.
If you’re struggling with negative self-talk or rumination, sit with a journal for 10-15 minutes and let those thoughts out on paper. Then, return to your task.
Learn & lean into your hobbies
Music is a great way to help you focus and transport you to that flow state. Repetitive types of music, such as instrumentals, have a calming effect and sets the tone for flow. It can also settle that internal chatter, as your mind is with the melodies.
If you go on a quest for new music, your task starts to compete for attention space in your mind. It’s even better if you can find a playlist and let it run for hours on shuffle.
As well as music, there are plenty of other flow state activities. These include yoga, dance, hiking, writing, doing art, gardening, DIY tasks around the house and, of course, cooking.
Pick a new recipe to master, spread out all your ingredients on the countertop, get that instrumental music humming in the background, and get ready to enter flow.
Flow is about focus and creation, which is perfect for cooking. It’s a multi-sensory experience that grounds you in the present moment. This is where you want to be. Aim to reach this state every day, through cooking. Get lost in choosing, creating, and perfecting a new meal. It’ll help eat away at that languishing feeling.
Signal your mind, its ‘flow’ time
But before you start, create a ritual before it’s time to get into flow. You can state an affirmation or take a few deep breaths – whatever works for you. With repetition, this will develop a mental cue for your brain, allowing you to get there quicker.
“It’s time to get into flow.”
If you’re in the mood to bake, you’ll love our family-size pizza bases which can be topped with your own creations. Our fresh bakery products are available for wholesale supply or local home delivery, ready for your family to enjoy… so you can stay in flow.