These days it has gotten more and more difficult to switch off. We're constantly going back and forth between high-stress environments, such as driving, working, running errands, going to the gym, picking up kids, dropping off kids, checking emails, making meals - then falling into bed exhausted at the end of the day, just to do it all again tomorrow!
Finding a moment to quiet the mind and enjoy the wonders of life can be truly challenging. You don't need to carve out a big chunk of your day to live more stress-free, and enjoy the little things.
Here are some ways to be more mindful in your daily life:
- Appreciate the weather, the trees, the world that glides by your windows. Admire the colors.
- Turn up the radio and sing along!
- Play a podcast about a topic that interests you, and learn something new.
- Turn all sounds off, roll down the windows, and think about the things you're grateful for, and what you're looking forward to. Breathe deep.
While at work:
Pause for a moment to do at least 3 desk stretches.
- Any time you answer a phone call, stand up and shake out your legs.
If on your feet all day at work, take a 5-minute break to sit and quietly relax. Sip some water or tea with True Lemon.
- Take a moment to sit on a park bench, no distractions, and watch everything going on in the world around you.
While running errands:
When waiting in line, don't just turn to your phone. Pause and take some deep breaths, or strike up a short conversation with the person next to you.
- Pet a dog that's waiting outside the store.
- Stop and smell the flowers. No, really. If you see some beautiful flowers, even just on display at the grocery store, stop and smell them!
While checking emails:
- Light a candle with a soothing smell, or warm some essential oils.
Sip on a hot cup of broth, or a spicy chai tea. Wrap your hands around the mug and enjoy the warmth and comfort.
While preparing meals:
Smell the foods you're preparing, and appreciate them. Think for a moment about where they came from, and be thankful for the people who cultivated them.
- Bring family or friends into the kitchen and have them provide a helping hand with washing or chopping. Ask them about their day, and what is going on in their lives.
Being open to when you can fit in these moments of self-care can go a long way in your overall health. It doesn't take a lot of time, just a little extra awareness. Practice makes perfect, so be aware, be mindful, and be happy!
[Credit: Dr. Mary Bove. 7 Easy Ways to Do Self-Care When You're Too Exhausted to Think About It. Mind Body Green.]