Mindful Monday

Mindfulness practices – including deep breathing techniques, being present and positive, and loving kindness – are great tools for stress management, but when and where are you supposed to do them? This Monday, try fitting mindfulness into your schedule with these simple suggestions.

As far as time is concerned, you can spend as little as one or two minutes at a time practicing mindfulness. If you have 15 to 20 minutes to spare, that’s great! But you can also take a minute or so to close your eyes and clear your head. Now that you know you don’t have to devote an hour to practicing with your legs twisted on a cushion, where can you spend that mindful minute (or more)?

You really can practice mindfulness anywhere. You may not be able to close your eyes, and if you’re operating a motor vehicle or heavy machinery, it would be safer to just focus. But if you ever find yourself sitting, standing, waiting, or walking from one place to another, you can easily squeeze in a mindful moment. Here are a few ideas for how to fit mindfulness into your daily routine:

Showering: Get lost in the sound and steam. Let the pitter-patter of the water soothe your mind.

Getting Dressed: Take in the textures and colors of your clothing. Pay attention to how they feel on your skin.

Bed Making: Notice how the sheets feel against your fingertips as you smooth out the wrinkles.

Eating: Appreciate the aroma of your food, and revel in the flavor and texture of each bite.

Listening: Close your eyes and focus on the sounds around you. Pick a specific noise and follow it.

Hand-Washing: Be aware of the warm water as it flows over your hands, and let the fragrance of the soap take you away.

Mindfulness is a practice for a reason – the only way to do it correctly is to do it as often as you can until it feels like second nature. Use this Monday to start a practice that you can do every day of the week. You’ll set a positive tone for this week and by next Monday, you’ll have a great tool for escaping stress!