Practicing mindfulness does not have to be a huge undertaking. In its simplest form, mindfulness is simply stopping, checking in with yourself to see how you feel and what you need emotionally, mentally and physically, and taking action on that. Too often we operate on autopilot until we are completely out of gas. Mindfulness encourages you to regularly check your gas tank. There are a multitude of mindfulness activities that can help you start learning how to live more in the present, but for now, make a decision to do a self-check four times a day.
- First thing in the morning when you check in you can determine how you feel and how to adjust your day accordingly to prevent unnecessary stress.
- At lunch you have gone through the first half of the day. Do you need to adjust your plan or take a 10 minute relaxation vacation?
- At dinner the stresses of the day are (hopefully) past. What are you still holding on to that you can let go. If it needs attention tomorrow, write it down, but try to let it go when you are at home. What did you accomplish that you can be proud of? What do you need?
- Finally, before bed, check in. Identify anywhere you are holding stress. Identify things you can be grateful for or happy about. Practice a relaxation strategy and identify anything you need to do to improve your sleep (like change the sheets the dog slept on all day). Then drift off to dreamland.
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