5 Times To Squeeze Mindfulness Into Your Day
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness has been a catchy new trend, and for good reason. Mindfulness is a meditation tool that allows the mind and body to relax, observe, and experience life as it is.
Why is mindfulness important?
For many people these days, it’s easy to become caught up in daily activities and mundane tasks. Mindfulness helps you slow down, appreciate what you have in front of you, and release negative energy. For a more in depth description, see below.
5 Times To Squeeze Mindfulness Into Your Day
As you wake up
When your alarm goes off, resist the urge to jump out of bed and start your day right away. Take 10 minutes (unless you’ll be late) to slowly rise. Keep your eyes closed and breathe deeply.
Notice your breath and take advantage of the warm and cozy bed. Use this time to maintain deep breathing, and recognize every good sensation throughout your body. Start from your toes, and work through the top of your head.
Maintain this for 10 minutes until you feel soft, content, happy, and completely relaxed.
Meals are one of my favorite parts of the day. Like most people though, I tend to rush through them because I have a ton of other things going on. Do you multitask while you eat? I would guess yes.
Instead of rushing and multitasking, take this time to really appreciate what you have in front of you. Think of the journey your food traveled to arrive on your plate. Notice every sensation as you eat. Smell the aroma, feel the texture, notice the taste and texture inside your mouth. Breathe and be fully engulfed in eating one bite at a time, slowly.
Take pauses to breathe in and out. Notice your satiety rising as your hunger dissipates. Eat slowly, and savor every piece of food on your plate.
You might find that with this practice that you eat less. I usually tend to eat less when I eat slowly and really enjoy every bite. I also tend to eat healthier because I make more conscious choices about what I’m consuming. This may or may not happen, but it’s a perk of mindful eating!
It’s the afternoon and you’re dozing off at your desk. It’s been a long day and you’re ready to hit the hay. Or! Take a moment to recharge during your afternoon work break. Sitting in a comfortable position at your desk, (or wherever is most cozy) and practice mindfulness.
Take 10 minutes as you did in the morning, and repeat that process. Close your eyes, take in a deep breath, hold it, and let it out slowly. Repeat this for a few minutes until you feel calm. Spend the rest of your ten minutes just being. Don’t revisit thoughts of work or stress.
When you bring stressful thoughts into your mind, acknowledge them, and blow them out with each breath.
After work walk
After work is a perfect time to take a mindfulness break! There are so many things you can do, but a personal favorite is a walk for some fresh air. Or, you can sit in your car, sit on your deck, or relax on your couch or favorite floor pillow.
I would recommend finding a nice quiet place to relax or walk your daily stress away.
If you take a walk outside, dress for the weather and step outside. Walk around your block or at a local park. Breathe deep and relax your mind. Notice how your feet approach the ground and how your arms sway back and forth. Smell the fresh air and feel the elements on your skin.
Avoid thoughts that don’t relate to the current moment. Take as long as you need to to relax and melt the stresses away.
As you go to bed
Prepping for bed can be short or you can really take advantage of the time you have. If you like to draw out the self care, this is a perfect time to do so.
Wash your face, brush your teeth, apply your nightly creams and moisturizers and shimmy into your most comfortable and cozy pajamas.
Burrow yourself into your bed and lay flat on your back. Stretch your entire body by raising your arms above your head and reaching your feet to the opposite wall. Now place your hands on top of your belly.
As you breathe deeply into your low belly, notice your hands rising to the ceiling with each breath. Breathe in slowly and deeply, hold it for a few seconds and let it out slowly. If counting helps you keep track of your breaths, do so. Breathe in 1, 2, 3, 4…Hold 1, 2, 3…Breathe out 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…
Focus your mind on your breath. Acknowledge thoughts, let them go and continue.
This has helped me fall asleep soundly better than anything else has. Practice mindfulness at bedtime and I promise your sleep will improve. It’s not easy to calm the mind, so practice, practice, practice! I still have a difficult time finding peace in the mind from time to time.