Working full-time, busy schedules, and parenting children can be hectic. Most parents today are working, shuttling their kids to activities, taking care of the household, and ending the evening with bombarding thoughts of the day, tomorrow, next week, etc. Kids are running from school to activities and many are feeling overextended or have a little downtime.
How best to be mindful in times like these?
Paying attention to the here and now takes as little as 5m. Be intentional. Slow down. Imagine your thoughts just floating by. Be alert to them, but don’t let them stick. Let them drift away.
Observe and describe your thoughts, but do not judge them. If you find your mind wandering, this is normal. Gently bring your mind back to the present and focus on one thing…an object, sound, color, body sensation, or your breath.
Some highlights of mindful activities are listed below, but for more info check out the Healthline Website on Tricks to Reduce Anxiety.
- Try a guided meditation or app. Headspace, Insight Timer, and Calm Mind are some helpful apps to get you started. Many involve breathing deeply to help you feel centered and peaceful.
- Practice breathing. Before you speak, before checking an email or messaging someone, while waiting in line, at a stop sign or traffic light, etc.
- Color. Coloring is relaxing. It helps reduce anxiety and increases focus.
- Take a Walk. Listen for sounds as far away as possible. Count your footsteps with your breath. Notice your surroundings. Look for soothing colors.
- Eat a meal slowly and thoughtfully. Use all of your senses to experience the smell, taste, texture, or sound it makes.
- Safe Place imagery. Imagine with all your senses what your scene looks like, sounds like, feels like, etc. The important part…the brain doesn’t know the difference between what you imagine and whether you are actually there.
- Wish others happiness. Even those who bother or annoy you.
- Turn off your phone. Turn off notifications. Give yourself a technology fast. Leave your phone in a different room. Designate a tech-free zone, or tech-free time frame.
Need more ways to be more mindful in your life? Contact me at SHCS.