After a month of engaging a more mindful mindset within myself, I’ve certainly realised you don’t need to be around the perfect sunset and flowing palm trees to have success at it. (Mindfulness meaning – being fully present and living in the moment, a clear thinker, more focused, not overly reactive and making conscious choices) It does however take daily practice.. especially when you are functioning on less sleep than you would like, and have a few too many plates spinning at times.
I am only beginning this journey and one month in I am absolutely no expert, but I have found these beginner tips to be essential to my overall happiness.
- Having a daily gratitude practice – Whether you write it down, say it out loud or within. Simply let yourself know what are you grateful for each and every day, this practice truly puts life in perspective.
- Getting back into an exercise routine – I have a bad habit of floating in and out of exercising regularly, but I’m motivated at the moment and it feels amazing. Hopefully it lasts! The endorphins kick in, energy levels increase, stress is relieved and you begin to crave that feeling of zoning out and being mindful. If you haven’t worked out in a while like me, try easing into it with an exercise you love. I’ve always enjoyed hiking, yoga and Pilates and now I’m slowly getting back into jogging and resistance training at the gym. This feels like a huge achievement, as I haven’t done anything like this for over a year.
- Making time and being fully present for your true priorities – For me this is family. Day to day life can become hectic and it is easy to get to the end of the week and think, ‘when did I last sit down and really play with my kids? ‘when did I last call my sister or best friend, or have a date night with my partner?’, but life is way to short to live like this! Once you really re focus on your true priorities, life becomes way more fun, and it is amazing how the smallest actions count the most.
- Clearing space in the house and re organising – De cluttering is absolutely a skill I have had to practice over the years. If you have always been a bit messy like me, the best thing to do is simply have less stuff. It works a treat. I am now further inspired to keep going and explore my own version of minimalism that works for our family. I believe that when you make new space in the home by minimising your possessions, cleaning up, and re organising, you naturally create more space in the mind and can enjoy a healthier flow of energy all around you.
- Self compassion and going easy on yourself – Self-compassion is a must to achieve a more mindful lifestyle. Imagine our mindset if we obsessed about the things ‘we loved about ourselves and what we have achieved’, instead of what ‘we hated about ourselves and what we haven’t achieved’. This is such an energy sucker and I know self-criticism holds me back at times. A great tip for shaking this habit is first a for most being aware of your own ‘bitchy’ inner critic, and then trying to separate her from your true self. With this greater awareness I am able to visualise kicking her away and out of my mind, and then replacing her negative vibe with some self-love instead. I’m not going to lie this practice is still a work in progress for me, but I have already noticed some awesome benefits. I am feeling happier, more positive, more focused, more compassionate, and simply living with a greater sense of purpose.
Mindful May has been great, and I’ll keep you posted as I continue to grow through this life long mindfulness journey.