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Let me guess — You haven’t been mindful in a while. In fact, you’re reading this blog post in between a to-do list of over fifty items. You’re trudging along, but deep down inside you are aching for it to stop. And maybe not even stop, but just to slow.
I’m sick of busy being a badge of honor. It doesn’t cut it for me anymore, and I’d like to officially replace it with steadfastness. With choosing to continue showing up each day in whatever form that may be, but also knowing when to rest. While we all don’t have the luxury of afternoon naps every day or long uninterrupted baths, I do believe there are many quick & simple ways we can add mindfulness into our everyday practice. Being mindful doesn’t mean that you have to constantly be aware of every action or that you’re channeling your inner hippy. It just means that you’re reconnecting with your body and mind for however long you need. Even five minutes of mindfulness a day can do wonders.
The idea behind being mindful feels very approachable to many. It’s not so intense as a meditation practice or as time-consuming as a yoga class. It’s just an easy way to uplevel your every day and have a little check-in. Everyone’s mindfulness practice will look different, but I wanted to share 10 ideas that might be helpful to you on your own journey. Let’s dive in.
Tapping is a combination of Ancient Chinese Acupressure and Modern Psychology that works to physically alter your brain, energy system, and body all at once. The practice consists of tapping with your fingertips on specific meridian points while talking through traumatic memories and a wide range of emotions. (source)
The idea of tapping is that you focus on a specific negative experience or something you have anxiety around, really any strong feeling, and you use your fingertips to tap on 5-7 on each of the 12 Meridian points on your body. Doing so while thinking about that specific experience or feeling will help restore your body to a balanced state. Tapping is a great technique for being mindful because literally anyone can learn it, and it’s something you can do for yourself whenever you need an extra dose of balance. It re-centers you in a quick and simple way.
2. Body scan
Similar to tapping, doing a body scan meditation is wonderful for checking in with yourself, how you’re feeling both physically and mentally, and really get in tune with what your body needs. There are a ton of body scan meditations available online (like this one and this one) but you can also just sit in a quiet place for 5 minutes, focus on your breath, and starting at your feet or head by breathing into each body part and moving slowly up or down. If you feel a certain sensation at a specific point, sit with it a moment longer and maybe take two or three extra breaths there.
Body scanning is a beautiful way to reconnect with yourself and develop a positive relationship with your body. It can be scary at first, especially if you feel like you’ve ignored your body for years (been there), but it’ll lead to deep insights.
3. Go for a walk
Mmm, one of my personal favorites. Sometimes being mindful is also recognizing when you need a change of pace or scenery, and that’s a great time to get outside and take a walk. There are so many benefits to walking; from improved circulation to feelings of joy, and so much more. Especially with all this time at home lately, walking is a wonderful way to take a mental break and just get out of the house. I love listening to podcasts, music, or just the sound of my footsteps when walking. And, if I go with a friend or family member, we always get into the best discussions when on a walk. It may seem simple (even too simple if you’re used to working out), but it might be just the change in routine you need.
4. Ask yourself what you need vs what you want when reaching for a snack // eat mindfully
This is definitely a hard one for me because my stomach is yelling chipssss but my head is saying maybe a few almonds instead. There’s a ton of research into how specific foods can positively impact your brainpower which could translate into better mental function overall, so it’s pretty important what you choose to nourish yourself with. When you go to grab your next snack, stop for a minute and think, “what would best serve me right now?” Maybe even think back to your body scan meditation and how you can elevate your digestion or eat in tune with what you need at the time (and if it’s fries, then enjoy the heck out of those!).
5. Seated stretches
I love seated stretching because it’s accessible for anyone in some way. Stop for a second, raise your arms above your head, and take a few deep breaths, lean side to side, and there you go. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or only have 30 seconds to break, a simple stretch will re-focus your mind and put your body at ease. Here are a few seated stretching exercises you can use:
- Best Seated Stretches for Office Workers
- The Ultimate ‘Deskercise’ Routine
- 15-Minute Seated Yoga Stretches
6. Diffuse Essential Oils
A few months ago, I got a diffuser as a gift and started diffusing peppermint and orange essential oils before bed, and it’s become such a strong part of my evening routine. It helps me to wind down, smells amazing, and the peppermint really helps with my allergies the next morning. I love the idea of scent therapy and how you can combine different scents to remember a specific memory or to create a positive experience. That’s exactly what my nightly diffusing ritual has created and I look forward to it every day.
So, I encourage you to find a scent combination that works for you (anything with lavender is super relaxing) and enjoy the process of pouring in the water, dropping the essential oils in, and starting it up. I usually try to think of a positive affirmation that I can connect with that specific scent, and it’s such a nice way to add a little magic into your day.
7. Light a candle and set an intention
During quarantine, I’ve been joining weekly Zoom calls on meditation, Shamanism, and so much more. It’s my passion and I love leaning more into that life source energy. One thing that always happens at the beginning of each of these calls is that we light a candle and set an intention. It’s a way for us all to connect to each other, to create energy, and to get focused. If you’re feeling all over the place (and these days, who isn’t?), taking a few minutes to light a candle and set an intention can give you a re-focus and peace when you’re feeling a bit discombobulated.
Some intentions you can use:
- I embrace change
- I give and receive love
- I welcome peace
- I manifest money effortlessly
- I see the goodness around me
- I am open to success and abundance
It doesn’t need to be long to be effective. Actually, the most effective intentions are usually short. It’s most important that it’s focused so the universe knows exactly what you are asking for.
8. Hydration reminders
Hydration is something I’ve neglected for too long, and this year I’ve made a big focus on staying hydrated because it has all sorts of benefits from more cognitive function to less exhaustion and so much in between. My guru for all things hydration is Dani Bruflodt of Thyme is Honey. Dani has transformed her entire life through hydration and I’ve been loving using The Daily Page planner she created to get my shiz together each day and also remind myself to stay hydrated. And if you want to get really serious about hydration, you can sign up for Dani’s hydration course. I personally look forward to her weekly email in my inbox and her Hey You Drink Water Instagram page which gives daily reminders to drink more water.
It’s the simple things that can sometimes lead to the most transformative experiences, and maybe, like Dani, for you it’s water.
9. Schedule self-care time
Ohh the dreaded self-care. Everyone talks about it and you just have no idea how people have enough hours in the day to actually have time to relax. Well, friend, you have to think of it like how you think of running your business, or your work, or whatever you value in your life: schedule it. I don’t care if it’s 10 minutes of journaling or an hour to walk in nature, just make it a priority and block out your time. Stick to it because you can’t pour from an empty cup and I truly believe time devoted to self-care can lead to a richer, more fulfilling life.
A few self-care related posts to get you started:
- Numerology: At Home Self-Care Based on Your Life Path Number
- The Workout That Has Saved Me During Self-Isolation
- 5 Reasons Why You Should Start A Morning Journaling Ritual
10. Pull a tarot card
And finally, my personal favorite way to add mindfulness into my day quickly is by pulling a tarot card. It’s similar to creating an intention in that it gives you focus and the nice thing with tarot is you don’t actually make the intention; it shows it to you. I’ll just shuffle my deck, lay it out, and whichever card feels like it’s speaking to me I’ll grab it. Then I love to take a few minutes and read about the card I picked and journal about that specific card and what it means to me personally. It really is fun for me and something I treasure doing. If you’re looking for a deck of your own, this one is simple yet so cute. This one was the first deck I ever had. I also love this deck.
And there are 10 quick techniques you can use to add a bit of mindfulness into your everyday, whenever you need it. I hope you found this post helpful and let me know in the comments your favorite way to practice mindfulness.