I talk a big game when it comes to the transformative nature of mindfulness practices. I discuss the benefits of mindfulness with clients, offer demonstrations on techniques, and brainstorm ways to incorporate practices into daily routines. I recognize full well, however, that doing these practices regularly is often easier said than done.
There do not seem to be enough hours in any given day, between kids, work, chores, errands and everything else to stop and be in the moment; for a moment. In a previous blog, I talked about ways to sneak quality bonding time into seemingly mundane family routines. Perhaps the same can be done for mindfulness practices.
I am sure this is not a novel idea, but I have taken to having “mini mindful moments.” One way in which I do this is in the car whenever I am at a stoplight. I stop, become aware of my breath--allowing it to slow as it enters and exits my lungs--and then direct awareness to the feeling of the seat beneath me, the wheel between my grasp, the air circulating around my face, etc. I bring awareness from there to sounds I hear within the cabin and out. And, well, that’s just about all I have time for, but it’s something.
Another way I recently discovered to stealthily slip mindfulness into my day came after I suffered an eye infection (how glamorous). To prevent re-occurrence, my doctor directed me to use warm compresses nightly. She instructed me to lay down, place a warm washcloth over my eyes and remain there until the heat in the washcloth had dissipated. The first night I did this, my mind raced; tallying all the things I needed to accomplish after the warmth subsided. I then realized that this was a perfect opportunity to do some mini mindfulness as spending two minutes to frantically go over my to do list was helping me in no way, shape, or form. I now spend the time engaging in breath awareness while gently and lovingly escorting thoughts to the side when they inevitably enter my mind. It is now a 2 minute period of self care I look forward to each day!
If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness or want to learn ways to creatively add mindfulness to your day, consider contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-340-2284. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read!