While many Canadians are time-crunched and trying to maximize every moment to power through one busy day after another, this is particularly true among parents as the end of the current school year approaches with yet another summer kicking off.
California Almonds has partnered with Canada's Happiness Doctor, researcher Gillian Mandich PhD to share her tips for getting into the zone, or flow state, and staying fueled – especially as parents will be switching from school mode to summer mode. Mandich teaches how to tap into productivity to get things done, to increase happiness and have everyone enjoying precious summer days. Exercise and healthy eating are among the small steps that are vital to achieving flow and happiness as they release powerful hormones, such as endorphins, that make us feel good to own the day.
In addition, Mandich offers tips on how to ensure sustained energy while getting into a mental and physical "flow state" – the term used by researchers as a state for ultimate human performance – can play a key role when tackling the day's challenges and powering through. According to Mandich, who focuses on Health Science with a primary research topic on happiness and health, studies suggest that levels of happiness may shift when people spend more time in "flow state" and that people are often most creative, productive and happy.
"If there's anyone who benefits from getting in the zone or flow state to get things done and own their everyday it is busy parents, especially when it comes to managing summer family plans," says Mandich. "Our state of flow can help to ensure greater productivity, and ultimately, more mindfully enjoy time with friends and family."
Being constantly on the move with already hectic schedules, it's important to stay fueled while on-the-go and in-between meals. Having healthy, smart snack options within reach, such as almonds, provide sustained energy from a combination of protein, fibre and healthy fats to satisfy and help get into the flow and own the day no matter what it may bring.
Aside from being a scientist and researcher, Mandich is a news contributor and featured expert, media personality and certified yoga instructor. She can attest to the importance of achieving an optimal flow state to power through the constant busy days – relying on almonds as her key productivity sidekick. Although science has found that there is no exact formula for achieving flow, Mandich has a few tips that she has found to make it easier to own her everyday – tips that both adults and children alike may benefit from, especially when making changes to routine.
Implement little rituals: Whether it's morning meditation, an evening workout, or simply taking the time throughout the day to get up and move, carve out regular routines to dedicate some time to yourself. Cut out distractions - try to find a quiet place or wear headphones with your phone out of sight or on airplane mode.
Create a serene space: Organize your surroundings to help declutter not only the physical space around you, but also your mind and spirit. I like to surround myself with little things that bring me joy such as colourful items, background music, essential oils and I make sure I have everything around that I may need including tea to sip on and snacks.
Avoid being hungry: Hunger will kill flow, so it's important to have snacks around that will give you high quality fuel and will release glucose slowly into your bloodstream and provide sustained energy. What you eat depends on your dietary preferences and general tastes but one of my favourite snacks are almonds as they contain the winning trifecta of protein, fibre and healthy fats. I love that they are portable and easy to enjoy anytime and are available in many flavours for a satisfying crunch.
Make sure you are rested: Prioritizing sleep is important because it's not just about getting sufficient quantity of sleep, but also that your sleep is high quality. Being well-rested puts you at your best and allows you to tap into flow. If you are tired your ability to concentrate will decrease, and smaller distractions will more easily pull you away from flow.