Try following our 11 ways to make time for what matters, which will help you to become more mindful in your everyday life. They are simple, easy to follow and will enrich your day. Mindfulness takes practice and you need to make time for it in your life. You can even combine some of these steps and tick two or three off in one go. If these steps help you become more relaxed and productive why not see what courses we have to offer?
Modern life seems designed to make us stay in one place, where the world is accessible to our fingertips – sitting, standing or lying down for long periods of time. Most people don’t even remember a time when you had to get up off to walk across the room and change the TV channel or go over to the bookshelf to consult the dictionary. Moving has gone out of style, and the balance of mental to physical energy expended can get way out of kilter. Find an excuse to use muscles that are feeling lonely and neglected, take the time to walk mindfully and acknowledge your emotions and feelings.
- Eat lunch somewhere pleasant
Taking lunch at your desk ensures your mind will stay in the same frame of reference while you’re eating, particularly if you’re checking email or doing work at the same time. Go somewhere else to have lunch, have a chat with co-workers, let go and enjoy. Then come back to work a little refreshed.
- Relax your muscles with a body scan
Progressive muscular relaxation can help you notice where you’re holding stress. It doesn’t take long and it’s simple to do: Lie down comfortably on your back with your legs straight. Close your eyes. Start by tensing muscles in your feet, then relax. Work your way up your body doing the same thing in sequence from your feet to your head. Often it’s only by experiencing muscle tension and letting it go that we become aware of just how much tension our bodies are retaining. Use our mp3 guided meditations to help you.
- Minimise multitasking; singletask
Sometimes it’s necessary to be doing several things at once (or in rapid succession.) But too much multitasking, jumping around from one thing to another to another – in a constant state of partial attention – is exhausting, inefficient, and highly stressful. Instead of checking emails, planning supper, writing a report, and texting your sister, try giving full attention to one thing at a time.
- Get your face out of your phone
Your phone is your everything, all-the-time, go-to distractor device. It’s like having someone nudging and nagging you all day. Set some boundaries on when, where, and how you will use it. Try putting it away completely during meals and parties. Where you can make a mental note to avoid it, and take those moments when you’d be deep in cyber-world to follow your breath instead.
- Look at something green
Are your sight-lines constantly filled with brick, concrete, glass and carpet? How about spending a little more time where things are growing, breathing, giving off fragrance, swaying in the wind, and glistening in the sun? Nothing like a little nature to slow you down and show you the big picture.
All work and no play …. and yes, that means you. Playing isn’t restricted to children, take time do do something you enjoy. Playing simply means doing something that has no purpose, plan or aim. Wander the streets, play cards, go bowling, read for pleasure. The surprises that come from letting yourself go can exhilarate and refresh.
Swimming some laps is just the right kind of boredom to help you de-stress. It uses a lot of muscle groups and is great if you have old injuries that would make something like running difficult. The bonus is you can’t use your phone or watch TV while submerged in water. You can hear yourself think, or not think, as the case may be.
- Read something out loud
A good piece of writing or poetry read aloud can have a very soothing effect. That’s why children love to be read to. If you’re not a fan of your own voice, try listening to audiobooks.
- Listen, really listen, to a piece of music
Sit or lie down and listen to an entire album, symphony, opera, or whatever suits your taste. You may feel yourself twitching or reaching for your phone at first, but soon you’ll sink into the sounds.
- Take a holiday
Americans took less vacations in 2014 than in four previous decades, according to the US travel association. Only 57% of the nation’s workers used all of their paid vacation time, and people with higher annual incomes took the least days off. Definitely not a good way to avoid stress and its harmful effects. Time off actually makes you a more productive worker. Plus, your family will appreciate it and you’ll have time and space to really take care of yourself.