Mindfulness improves mental health, physical health and overall well being but taking a quiet moment is often the last thing on our to do list. Our full time jobs, our country's socio-political tensions, and grownup responsibilities hit us as soon as we wake up. Often these demand our full attention until our heads hit the pillow. How is someone supposed to stop and simply exist?
We have compiled a few simple ways for you to actively practice mindfulness without having to pull your yoga mat out of your storage closet.
1. Don't look at your phone first thing in the morning.
Turn off your alarm and resist the urge to scroll through your Facebook notifications. Instead of swiping on Tinder for 20 minutes before you get out of bed, take some deep breaths in through your nose. Breathe in slowly, counting to 10 and let the breaths out through your mouth slowly counting to 10 again. Not only will this help you be more present, it will also help wake you up by getting more oxygen to your brain!
2. Take a walk on your lunch break
Instead of spending the last 20 minutes of your break reading the news or taking a nap in your car, leave your phone at your desk and take a short walk. You'll be less likely to need that afternoon cup of coffee and your body will thank you.
"Some old fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat."- Laura Ingalls Wilder.
3. Take the long way home
Schedules don't always allow us to take the Supertamp song to heart, but on those evenings when you have no where else to be, why not avoid a little traffic and take the back roads home? You can turn the music off, or you can check out the Mindful Supply Playlist on Spotify. Turn the volume up. Roll the windows down. Let go of a few of those worries.
4. Small Dietary Changes
Instead of something carbonated for dinner, have a glass of water. Scheduling, finances or picky children make eating healthy for every meal a full time job. Make small, thoughtful changes when you can like "Meatless Mondays" or changing the oil you use to cook with. Every little bit helps and with every decision, you are taking a moment to care for your body.
5. Turn off everything for an hour before bed.
That last episode of Black Mirror can wait for tomorrow. Our bodies need rest and according to a study done by Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, looking at a screen before bed can affect your ability to sleep properly. We have added a video done by The Atlantic on the things you can do to avoid staring at your phone before bed. The struggle is real, but your body and your rest are worth it.
Take care of yourselves folks, join the Mindful Movement.