I get it...practicing mindfulness seems like "just one more thing" to add to your day. Everybody's talking about it, but who has time to put one more thing on our plate? I most certainly don't. With a house, 3 kids, two dogs and a business to run...all who require my attention...adding something else to do seems exhausting. At least it did.
Towards the end of November, I began experiencing worsening symptoms from a concussion I suffered in June of last year. Side note: pay attention to the distance between the wall shelves and your head before bending down. I can promise it won't end well if you don't.
Back to the symptoms; worsening headaches...I'm talking waking me up in the middle of the night in excruciating pain type migraines. I experienced vertigo for the first time in my life, my memory got worse, I had a hard time focusing, and ah yes...my anxiety went through the roof.
It was time I took a step back to see why things had changed so drastically in such a short time. I noticed one of the major changes was I was not practicing my daily mindfulness routines as often or even at all...and it was affecting me big time. Mostly everything I "worked" into my day, I either stopped practicing or was not fully present doing it. I was doing soooo wellllll...UUUGGHHHH....WHAT HAPPENED?
Life is what happened. I was working a full-time job, plus my own business and with everything else, I stopped taking care of the one thing I needed to get me through the day...me. I made some changes in my life and went back to what worked. I made a commitment to do a minimum of two mindfulness routines a day...that way I didn't feel too bad if I went a day without. There are some days I can totally knock it out the park with five or more...so the balance is there for sure.
Here are my 5 easy peasy ways of adding mindfulness to my day:
1) Stretch your body- This is simple. When I get out of bed in the morning or if I am waiting for my coffee to brew, some light stretching always makes me feel good.
2) Read something that will nourish your spirit- I would also recommend a book verses an electronic device. Nothing against them, but the lights strain our eyes. Personally, I love curling up on the sofa with some blankets, a cup of tea and a good book.
3) Don't forget to breathe- Right now...as you are reading this, take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it for 5 seconds and release through your mouth. Repeat that two more times...how does that feel? Your body naturally reacted by relaxing. You can literally do this anytime, anywhere.
4) Write about it- Journaling is such a great way to release thoughts and emotions...good or bad. It allows us the space to be safe and free. You can be very present and self-aware when you journal.
5) Meditate- If you find meditation hard, before you give up, I will invite you to try a guided meditation or a focused meditation. I absolutely love doing these with my clients, especially the ones who have been skeptical about meditation. They leave the sessions feeling so relaxed.
Moral of the story is progress not perfection. Be loving and compassionate with yourself.
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Personal Development Coach