With so many things competing for your attention, it can be hard to stay mindful throughout the day.
Just think back to the last time you were distracted today.
What were you doing? Where was your mind at? What experiences were you missing out on in the present?
Our modern ways have placed a strong emphasis on multi-tasking and the need to get lots of stuff done. Unfortunately, trying to keep up with such a hectic pace can lead to exhaustion, stress, anxiety… and missing so many beautiful moments with those you love most dearly.
Here are 10 simple tips to help you stay mindful throughout the day.
How to stay mindful throughout the day
1. Wake up gently
Start your day off as calmly as possible.
This means no screaming alarms, cold showers, and huge cups of strong coffee.
You might be thinking, ‘ya right, easier said than done’… but it’s possible! It might take you a little while to adjust to a gentler schedule, but you’ll feel much calmer once you do.
There’s no shortage of potential stress that you can get caught up in the moment your feet leave the bed and touch the floor.
Savor the quiet, comfortable peace that surrounds you in the morning. Take a few moments to breathe in the silence and smile at the 24 hours of opportunities that await you today.
2. Set an intention
If the only thing you’re thinking about in the morning is to wake up and rush get to work, mornings are going to like a chore.
Instead, try to focus on setting an intention.
You can think of your intention as an opportunity to set the tone for the day, just like tuning into your favorite radio station.
Here are a few examples:
Today I open my heart to trust…
There is beauty all around me…
Releasing the past sets me free…
Be kind, be generous…
Courage over feel…
I am open to receive joy today…
Yes, I can…
Coming back to my breath.
3. Take breaks
It’s very important to make time for breaks throughout the day.
Breaks are good to increase creativity, reduce stress, and help you re-balance.
Whether you’re dealing with demanding customers, energetic children, or difficult tasks, breaks are a great way to get back to yourself.
Here are a few ways that breaks are beneficial:
- Mind- reduces stress, exhaustion, and frustration
- Body- reduces eye strain, promotes posture realignment, encourages movement and stretching
- Spirit- encourages reflection, gratitude, and enjoyment
- Work performance- boosts creativity, innovation, and problem-solving
- Daily life- keeps you motivated, inspired, and able to overcome challenges
4. Get outside
Going outside, even for a few minutes per day is a great way to stay mindful.
It helps to clear your head, get fresh air, increase your vitamin D intake, and makes you happy.
If you have a few spare minutes at work between meetings or have an opportunity to walk somewhere instead of drive, take them! These precious moments are a great time to practice mindfulness and reconnect with the world around you.
Some of the benefits of going outside include:
- improved sleep
- reduced anxiety
- improved concentration
- more creativity
- better exercise
- increased happiness
- better health and faster healing
5. Make time for meals
Practice mindful eating and transform your relationship with food.
Instead of rushing through meals or eating on the go, set aside time to cook and eat with awareness.
It might sound funny, but when is the last time you stopped to smell your food? To take a look at all of its colors, textures, and flavors before wolfing it down?
We’ve become so accustomed to multi-tasking, and doing things in a hurry, that we’ve lost touch with one of life’s greatest pleasures- our food!
6. Put your phone away
Phones are one of the best forms of distraction of the modern age.
With instant messaging, social media, emails, work, and everything in between available at the touch of your fingertips, smart phones are like energy vacuums.
Instead of checking your phone every few minutes for messages or updates, use this time to be present. Harness these lost hours and use them for something productive and rewarding.
If you’ve been too busy to go to yoga or too busy to go for a walk, now’s your opportunity.
Ditch your phone and use the treasure trove of recovered time to do something that will bring you meaning and fulfillment.
7. Check in with yourself
When you find yourself with a few spare minutes, enjoy them!
You don’t have to do anything.
Just take these moments as opportunities to stop. Check in with yourself and see how you’re feeling.
Perhaps you’re thirsty and could use a glass of water. Maybe you need to stretch after being at the computer for too many hours. You might even notice that you’re tired and could use a breath of fresh air.
Checking in with yourself also helps you become aware of your thoughts. For example, you might suddenly notice that you’ve been ruminating, worrying, or really angry.
Regular self-checks will help you stay aware of your thoughts and feelings, and honor what your body needs.
8. Simplify your day
How come “keeping it simple” feels so complicated?
We have gotten so used to having a million things on the go that it feels almost weird to not be busy.
As much as possible, try to simplify your day.
Say no when you’re overworked and can’t take anymore on your plate. Reduce your cleaning time by getting rid of things you don’t need. Spend time only with the people who bring you joy and happiness.
Release yourself from commitments, stressors, and unnecessary burdens whenever possible.
9. Do something you love
It’s important that you make time to do something each day that brings you joy.
Regardless if it’s going to a dance class, cooking, enjoying a cup of tea, or walking the dog, make time to do things you enjoy.
You may not be able to do everything you wish, but do something. Give yourself this little gift, even if its just for a few minutes per day. See it as a way to thank yourself and honor your needs.
10. Express gratitude
Making time to reflect on your blessings is a great way to stay mindful throughout the day.
Evenings are an especially good time for this practice. Set aside a designated gratitude time when you can sit and reflect everything you have to be grateful for.
If you want to, try writing down a daily list. As you make a habit out of this practice, you’ll begin to see more reasons to be grateful and that every moment can be seen as a blessing.
Small changes to your daily routine can make a huge difference.
Being busy all the time, although common in our modern world, takes its toll on your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.
Try some of these tips to help you unwind and stay mindful throughout the day.
Photos thanks to Blake Cheek @blakecheekk