As a mom of three boys in three different schools who also works part-time outside of the home and blogs weekly, I know what it means to feel busy and frazzled. As a mom who is trying to be present, loving, and intentional, I know the importance of slowing down and being mindful. Here are 3 simple ways I am adding mindfulness to my day, and how you can too.
3 Simple Ways to Add Mindfulness to Your Day
I recently wrote on the secret to start living mindfully today. What was the secret? To breathe…not just breathe, but to breathe in a particular way. I think breathing deeply and purposefully is the first step to add mindfulness to your day, but I’m not including that in this list.
The three simple and practical suggestions I want to make fall under the two categories of:
Counter the urge to be productive all. the. time.
Change your perspective regularly
Counter the urge to be productive all the time
1. Do activities that encourage internal dialogue rather than external input.
I walk to work 3 times a week. I’ve been walking without headphones. Just walking – listening to the noise in the street, listening to the thoughts in my head.
I’m tempted to use that time to be productive – to listen to podcasts to make me a “better” mom, a “better” blogger, a “better” person. There is a sense of striving in that yearning to be “better” however, that goes against my value for grace and contentment.
That isn’t to say that hard work and ambition are wrong – it’s just that the push for it is constant. We need to consciously step away from the persistent external input to be productive and let our own thoughts have some space. This input could be through the radio, the television, podcasts, or webinars.
You may not walk to work, but where are the pockets of time where you could allow silence? Driving? Running? Doing housework?
Change your perspective regularly
2. When you are outside, look up at the sky.
I’ve started making myself look up at the sky regularly while I walk. It’s a simple thing, but it changes my focus and enlarges my perspective. There’s an expansive feeling I get from looking beyond the pavement in front of me that calms me and makes me feel more present. Try it. See if you feel it too.
3. When you are inside, look at people’s faces around you.
I don’t know about your work place or home, but it is increasingly rare to actually meet someone’s eyes and make a personal connection because of our technology. Tablets, smartphones, and laptops are the center of people’s attention today.
One place that I notice this at work is while people are walking in the halls, and especially while waiting for the elevator, or in the elevator. What is it about elevators that make me so uncomfortable? I think it’s the small space which is often really crowded. Is it just me?
I’m really aware of the urge I get to scroll through my phone when I’m at the elevator or walking down a straight hallway – and I’m trying to fight it. Instead of scrolling, I’m looking at people, smiling and greeting them, making conversation. I think of it as an in person “like” and “smiley face.”
It’s a small thing but it keeps me present and available. I don’t want to miss out on opportunities right around me to be blessed or to be a blessing to others.
What are simple ways you add mindfulness to your day? I would love to know in the comments!
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