Looking After Your Health NOW: Mindfulness
The day has been like any typical day. The morning rush getting the kids, spouse and yourself out the door on time. Lunches to be made, supper to be planned and traffic to be navigated. You get to the office on time and the demands of your job/career are now pulling at you from every angle. You get through the day, drinking lots of coffee and taking small bites of food. The questions that repeat themselves throughout the day, “how will I get this done”, “why did I agree to this”, “what’s the evening routine look like”, “what am I going to wear to the party on Saturday night” … blah blah blah. The chatter never stops.
It seems like there is always something we can be doing for someone else, but when do you take time for you?
We all know the importance of reducing stress in our lives, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. Practicing mindfulness and being present is one way to reduce stress. Think about the activities you engage in to find quiet, solace and rejuvenation.
Here are my four favourite ways to practice mindfulness:
Meditation – there is no right or wrong way to meditate. The goal should be to quiet the mind. You will always have thoughts, just acknowledge them and let them go, don’t try to solve anything or understand the thoughts at that moment. Give yourself 5 minutes of just being still and quiet. There are plenty of free Meditation Apps out there or try YouTube.
Nature - take a short walk in nature. Feel your feet on the leaves, grass or dirt and the sun on your face. It’s amazing how calming/comforting/clearing/healing nature can be when you immerse yourself in it.
Journal - spend 5 minutes writing in a journal every day. It doesn’t even have to be anything specific, the very art of just writing your thoughts is a wonderful way to release energy.
Animals - sitting cross-legged petting your favourite pet has proven to release endorphins, thus changing your mind set at that moment.
The important of taking that 5 minutes for yourself has shown significant benefit to reducing stress in our already busy/stressful lives. It’s okay and absolutely necessary for some “me” time so that you can bring the best of who you are for whoever it is that needs you. Try one of my four suggestions and see how you feel!