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Do you ever wonder where the day went? And do some of them ever feel like they’re over before they even get started – lost in a busy blur of work, chores and after school schedules!
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with busy days, we all have them but I don’t think that any of us dream of a lifetime of them, do we? Regardless of your schedule, I believe that we can all find small ways to ease the pressure of busy living and ground ourselves more in the present, after all, this moment is all that we can really be sure of. Doesn’t it make sense to make the most of it?
I think so and so I’m sharing a few tips to help you live mindfully in the present moment and create more enjoyable days…
Learn to Pause
Even if creating a moment of pause sounds like a challenge, there are natural pauses in your day that you can use to check in with yourself and ground your emotions. Look for the time that you spend waiting for something, like in the morning traffic, queuing for coffee or even waiting for the kettle to boil – you get the idea. These are all small pauses that you can use to check in with how you’re feeling and help you feel more present. And, the more you use these moments the easier it will be to find more.
Don’t dwell on the past
So, perhaps your morning didn’t start so well (here are a few tips on how to change that), maybe you’ve had a disagreement with a co-worker or one of the kids did something that made you feel like the worst mum ever. Don’t relive it for the rest of the day or even week. It’s done, in the past and can’t really be changed. If there’s something to be learnt from what happened, then acknowledge it and move on.
Yes, our breath is always there but how often are you conscious of it? Learning to use it as an anchor during your day not only helps to ground you in the present moment but it’s also helpful in reducing stress and anxiety - this alone can be life changing. Try it now, take a really deep breath filling up your belly and lungs – hold it for a couple of seconds and then let it go. Feels good, doesn’t it? Do it 3 times and then as often as you can during the day. You’ll soon notice the difference in your mood, how you handle situations and how present you feel.
Focus on one task at a time
Gone are the days when multitasking was a thing of pride, let it go and give yourself permission to focus on one task at a time. It sounds scary at first, right? I know because I had a hard time coming around to this one too (and even slip back into old ways sometimes)! But, once you’ve made the change then you become more present with every task that you work on – this makes them easier, it actually makes you more productive and it definitely reduces the amount of stress in your day.
Review what you do
Are there things in your schedule that you do out of routine but you don’t really like doing them? If so, consider how you could remove them – or at least reduce the frequency that you do them. This will help reduce any anxiety and feelings of dread when you see them on your calendar. It will also help to create space in your mind and schedule for more things that you love doing.
Unplug for a while
This is something that you perhaps encourage your children to do, but forget to do yourself! The key is to find a time where it feels easy – first thing in the morning and weekends work best for me. Think it through, maybe you could put your phone away for an hour or two before bed so that you can enjoy a more peaceful evening? (which also encourages a restful night’s sleep).
Reduce time on social media
Don’t get me wrong, social media can be a great thing but for some of us it can also trigger negative emotions; ones of comparison, anxiety and vulnerability. For the next few days think about how you feel after spending time on your favourite social platform, does it leave you feeling uplifted or anxious? Either way, when it comes to living more mindfully, it’s certainly a distraction that draws us away from the present moment. How could you cut back a little? Maybe stop checking in while you’re in the company of others, so that they get your full attention while you’re with them? Like everything else, small changes really do make all the difference.
Cherish your time off
When you find yourself with a spare 30 minutes or even a day off, try not to fill it with even more tasks. Take some time out to do something that makes you happy and feel present in your day. Now this doesn’t come naturally to most of us, at least at first, and so sit with those uncomfortable feelings if you have to. They’ll pass, I promise and that opens up much more enjoyable and mindful days.
Bonus tip – Take small steps and keep going…
Don’t try and master everything in one go, that’s the easiest way to set yourself up for failure. Pick one thing. You’ll probably wonder how it can possibly make a difference, but practice it consistently and I know that it will create change because I’ve done it myself. So, what will you change today, to help you slow down and live more mindfully?
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.