How often do you take a moment to slow things down and really just be in the moment? If you’re anything like me (and just about anyone I know), it’s not very often. Sometimes it’s hard just to take a little moment for ourselves, and so often we feel like we are on autopilot as we try to get through the day. How many times do you find yourself having to go back over what you just read because you weren’t fully present the first time? Or cooked dinner without really paying attention to each ingredient? Set about your tasks at work and lost track of time, not because you were engrossed in the process, but because they are so mundane that you don’t even have to think about it?
It happens far too often…and when we’re not present we’re not fully living! There are so many little things we can do during the day to practice more mindful living. Try to incorporate some of these into your daily routine and see how you feel!
- Before you get out of bed. Try not to just jump out of bed as soon as you open your eyes. Sit up in bed and cross your legs. Take 10 deep breaths. Count them. Think about what you want to accomplish today. Focus on it for at least one minute before getting out of bed.
- Your morning beverage. Personally, I love starting my day with a beverage. Coffee, tea, orange juice. Pick one and really take the time to sit down and savor it. If you can get outside to do so, even better. No looking at your phone. Just relax and focus on your surroundings. Tune in to all your senses as you sip your drink. Really focus on the taste. The tang of juice, the bitter and sweet of coffee with creamer. Stick your nose in and smell it. Look long and hard at the morning sky. What can you hear? Birds? A helicopter? The air conditioner? Feel the weight of the mug or the glass in your hands and just breathe.
- The morning at work. Do you just rush in and jump mindlessly into your work? With so much pressure to perform and produce from all sides, it’s so easy to do! Promise yourself that you will take the first 30 minutes of your day to mindfully set yourself up for success. Pour yourself a cup of something delicious. Wipe down your workspace and make sure it’s set up with all the supplies you might need for the day. Go through your email and make a list of action items for the day. Prioritize them. Connect with a co-worker. Now you’re ready to jump in.
- Milk your lunch. Are you guilty of skipping your lunch regularly? Do you eat at your desk doing paperwork as crumbs fall all around you? STOP IT! Get out of the office if at all possible! Go to a great little place nearby and order something you normally wouldn’t. Maybe even leave your phone in the car. Just focus on the meal in front of you. If you can’t get away, try to eat outside. At the very least, close your door! No work allowed!
- Getting home. On the drive home, don’t just get there on autopilot. Put on some music you love. Think about how you want to spend your evening. Then just focus in on the music and being present on the drive home.
- A mindful evening. Don’t just spend the evening watching TV. Ok…maybe a little bit because we all need some time to veg out. Just set a reasonable limit (30 minutes is good). Take time to cook a meal you and anyone else with you will REALLY enjoy. Take time to focus again on all 5 senses as you cook. When all the hard work is done, actually sit down and savor. Try to sit for a full 30 minutes. How silly is it that we spend more time making a meal than we do enjoying it?! Once you’ve enjoyed your meal, do at least one thing to take good care of yourself, and do it without distractions.
Off to bed. Take just 5 minutes before bed to list 3 things that you were grateful for today. This practice takes very little time but has a huge payoff. It puts you in a great state of mind just before you drift off. Thanks for joining me!