10 Ways to Add Mindful Moments to Your Day published | 19 December These days when everything seems chaotic, it can be very hard to focus on certain tasks at hand and to find the time to do everything that is expected of us. Having so much on our plate makes it much more difficult to live a truly fulfilling life and to think about what is important to us. One way to improve the quality of our lives is to consider living in the moment and practicing mindfulness. While this can be quite a difficult feat to achieve in this digital age, there are still things that we can do. We’ve made a list of ten ways to support you in adding mindful moments to your day. Take a look. Start your day in the positive way First things first, try to start your day in the most positive way possible. If you get out of bed all grumpy and nervous, it’s only natural to feel like that throughout the rest of the day as well. There are many ways to set a more positive tone for the day. For example, you can stay in bed a few minutes longer and think of affirmations to tell yourself, like “I am smart, kind, and I continue to grow,” “I am doing my best and am worthy of desire,” “I am loved,” etc. You can also get out of bed and look at yourself in the mirror. Cheerfully greet and assure yourself by listing several positive things that await you during the day. Another idea is to make space for gratitude. Name three things, people, or places that you have felt especially appreciative for in the day, month, or year. Finally, a great way to achieve mindfulness in the morning is by setting a few minutes aside and focusing on your breathing or following a guided meditation. Meditation, just like yoga, has many benefits for our mental health. Just a few minutes without your phone and the various notifications pouring in can help a lot. Engage in meaningful conversations Being mindful in social situations is also a great opportunity to work on this practice. When spending time with our loved ones and colleagues, make sure you are present in that moment. Really listen to what they are saying and process this information. Try your best to not get distracted by your own thoughts and just nod along to their stories. If you happen to get distracted, practice self-compassion. Acknowledge that your mind is feeling busy and do your best to bring your focus back to your friend. Listening and showing an interest in others is a form of care that can leave people feeling loved. When we receive care, we are more likely to return the favour. Seeing as how we have many conversations on a daily basis, you should have no trouble developing your mindful listening skills further. Be present when eating It happens way too often that our mind simply wanders off during meals. If we eat in front of the TV and computer or while playing on the phone, we don’t pay attention to what we eat. This could lead to eating more food than we really need or want, which could also affect our mental health. Try to focus on your food and enjoy the pleasure it brings along. Chew slowly, taste each flavour and notice every texture. There is no need to rush so really take in every aspect of the dish in front of you, from the colour, to the smell, to the temperature. Take small bites, feel the intention and let yourself be fully present in the experience. Deal with the household chores Doing chores around the house is just something that you can’t avoid, so why not make the most of it and turn it into a great mindfulness practice? The next time you have to deal with these tasks, think of some ways for how you can use them to create mindful moments and not just rush through everything. For example, when grocery shopping, choose your ingredients with the utmost care. When making a meal, notice how you are peeling, cutting, and cooking your food. Take note of the smells this activity is producing. If you’re doing laundry, really feel the textures of the clothes and dedicate yourself to folding them. By thinking of the details, you will really be in tune with your surroundings. Go for a walk An easy way to be mindful during the day requires you to leave the house and just roam around. This simple activity can do wonders for your mental health. However, we often tend to listen to music, podcasts and audiobooks while walking and even text and talk on the phone. In order for this experience to be truly mindful, you need to do your best to connect with the world around you. Notice the little things, take in the sensations around you like smells and sounds, feel the ground beneath your feet and so on. Meditating outdoors like this can help you de-stress and soothe your body and mind. Ride your bike Another activity that can bring you closer to nature is cycling. Just like walking, cycling can help you clear your mind, de-stress and put you in a better mood. The same rules apply here as well – take off your headphones and take in your surroundings. When going out cycling, try not to plan your route but go where the road takes you. That way, you will have to stay mindful of everything that is around you, especially if you stumble upon an unfamiliar track. You will have to keep an eye out for any bumps in the road, the other cyclists or pedestrians and any other obstacles you might encounter. Listen to your body and do your best to stay in the moment. If you feel your thoughts wandering, refocus once again on what you are doing. However, unlike walking, you will need some equipment to make this possible. Luckily, if you turn to companies like Bikes Online, you can find everything from bikes that will help you conquer the roads and bags you will need for your water all the way to spare parts for your trusty steed. Celebrate the little things In such hectic times, it’s not uncommon to stay focused on your overall goals. However, in order to be mindful, you have to enjoy even the little things. Thinking only about the big picture can lead to a lot of stress and planning that can be overwhelming. So, it would be best to start celebrating even the smallest of your achievements during the day. To avoid robotically doing tasks one after the other without actually realizing what you’ve done, you should stop after every completed task and congratulate yourself for doing it. You can even reward yourself by taking a break, stretching or having a healthy snack. This will allow you to appreciate your end goal even more. Sometimes it can be difficult to identify and celebrate what we have accomplished throughout the day. We may feel as though we haven’t really done anything. In these moments, remember that doing small tasks like getting out of bed, brushing our teeth, eating breakfast, for meal prepping for later, or even breathing, are all very important acts of self-care that deserve positive recognition. Do things one at a time We know that some people consider multitasking to be a great skill that helps us do more in a short time but the truth is that it only makes us less productive. We are spread too thin and, therefore,energy much faster. Plus, we are more likely to make mistakes. So, instead of trying to juggle several obligations at once, we should deal with one thing at a time. Finishing one task before starting another one will not only ensure we do it mindfully and properly but it will also allow us to celebrate it once it’s done. The great thing is that this can apply both to our private and professional life and help us thrive and be more connected to the world around us. Schedule time to do nothing Doing nothing may be perceived as laziness but, actually, having some time to yourself without any obligations is a necessary form of self-care. Even if it’s just five minutes, you need to take this time to do nothing and be truly in the here and now. You can just sit outside in the sun, lie in your bed or look through the window. Turn off all electronics and do your best to avoid any distractions. If you consider this to be your break from work, know that you will return to the task at hand refreshed and relaxed. Make time for yourself before sleep Before you turn in for the night, you can do a similar ritual to the one we suggested for the morning. You can stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself how good your day was and go through everything that you’ve managed to achieve. Try to quiet stressors or negative thoughts and energy which might still be on your mind. You can also do some meditating to calm yourself down as that might help you sleep better and wake up well-rested. As you can see, there are so many ways how you can introduce mindfulness into your everyday routine and these ten are only scratching the surface. From developing a morning and evening routine, to implementing some exercise and learning how to enjoy the little things, you should be able to find the approach that will fit you just right. _____________________________________________________________________ Written by : Helen Bradford, Pronouns: She/Her/Hers Helen Bradford is a journalism student who always seeks new ideas to write about. She enjoys blogging about beauty, health and style trends for women. When she’s not writing, she spends her spare time being active through fitness and traveling.