5 Sure-Fire Ways to Get Centered Fast


Sometimes it feels hard just to find some solid ground beneath our feet. At work, many of us are dealing with restructuring, reorganizing and the mandate to do more with less. Outside work, the world as a whole feels unsettled, too. Every day seems to bring headlines about some new upheaval.

Through it all, we have to keep on making decisions and handling our responsibilities. At times like this, it can be easy let the practices that keep you centered slip to the back burner. So it's a good idea to take a few minutes to remind yourself what keeps you going and think about how to make room for it in your life.

These are the five tried-and-true tactics that work for me no matter how hectic life gets. What practices and habits would you put on your own list?

  1. Get enough sleep. You won't be surprised to find out that work and family demands cut into our sleep time. But the irony is that you'll be more effective in both your career and your personal life if you get adequate rest, which means breaks throughout the day and quality sleep.

  1. Monitor your energy. Life will be easier if you can shape your schedule to accommodate your ebbs and flows of energy. Learn more about how to do this in my article "What Is Your Unique Energy Pattern?"

  1. Exercise. Squeezing a workout into your busy schedule isn't easy, but it's worth it. And remember that every little bit of movement counts, so just get started. Even as little as exercising for 10-15 minutes will motivate you to do more.

  1. Breathe. You don't have to meditate in silence for an hour to enjoy the benefits of mindfulness. A little diaphragmatic breathing can help you get back to the present moment when you feel anxious: Inhale to a count of 3, exhale to a count of 6. You should feel your belly rising when you breathe, not your chest.

  1. Surround yourself with the right people. The company you keep can either give you a boost or drain your energy. My article "The Secret to More Energy Isn't What You Think" will teach you how to do an energy audit of the people in your life. The goal is to minimize the effects of the people who drag you down and free up time to spend with people who fire you up.

This week, pick a strategy to focus on from this list or from your own personal list of best practices for getting centered. For more on staying at your best, check out my book Show Up. Step Up. Step Out. Leadership Through a New Lens. You can download five free chapters on my website.