Mindful outlines easy steps to do this: Here are three simple ways to make your time your own, no matter where you are.
1) First, take time for nothing — really. When we have a moment to spare, we have a tendency to try and fill that time up with things, be it places to go or people to see. Unfortunately, this often has the opposite effect than intended, leaving us wound up when we actually wanted to unwind. Follow these three tips to give yourself the chance to do nothing at all and truly savor your down time.
2) Then, savor something beautiful around you. Not all of us have the time plan out a formal meditation practice, but adding a mindful pause when you’re at the beach or simply enjoying the view from your backyard can provide you with the opportunity to notice how your body feels and be present with the here and now. Try these three ways to practice taking meaningful pauses in different outdoor settings.
3) Finally, keep your mind steeped in the moment. It’s common to do one thing while thinking of the next — thoughts racing as you compile a to-do list in your head. Explore this meditation practice to bring your attention back to the present moment and focus on one thing at a time.
Allow me to share a brief story. Last semester I had had a long day at work. Due to the events of the day I even left work an hour late. I was also in a time crunch because I had an exercise class scheduled up north at 7pm. So I rushed home (can anyone rush home in Austin traffic?) and changed into my work out clothes. I was all prepared to walk out the door when I realized that my purse felt lighter than normal. Upon inspection I learned that my wallet was missing. PANIC MODE! I retraced my steps, called the restaurant we had been at for lunch (it wasn't there). I checked my bank account (thankfully no new charges). So where was my wallet? I decided to come back to the school just to see if maybe it fell out of my purse in my office. IT WAS THERE! Whew!!! But now the pressure was on...I could maybe make the work out class and only be 10-15 minutes late. The anxiety grew as I sat in traffic trying to get up north when I finally took a breath and said, "No. You need to SLOW DOWN." I took the exit and made my way to Mount Bonnell and got there just in time for the sunset. I savored every second of that sunset, the changing colors, the moving clouds, the occasional boat on the lake. I snapped the above photo to be a reminder of that moment and how important it was to slow down and the beauty that is happening all around us but we are often too busy to notice. I missed my work out class but the comfort and relaxation I gained in those moments watching the sunset was exactly what my body needed.
Here’s hoping you all find moments to enjoy being mindful this week.
Stay Healthy, Chaps!