Learning how to cope with life’s stressors as we juggle work and family responsibilities is essential. Constantly pushing stressors to the backs of our minds only fuels them until things eventually boil over. Each of us can benefit from mindfulness, as it teaches us to live in the moment and to tackle stress as it arises. In this guide, we’ll detail several simple ways to practice mindfulness every day.
Create a Gratitude List
In moments of stress, overlooking all the incredible things we have in life can be easy. We’re constantly looking ahead, reflecting on the past, or comparing ourselves to others. This behavior is natural, but it doesn’t always leave us feeling great about ourselves.
Rather than look at what you don’t have, list all the incredible things you’re thankful for, such as family, friends, your job, or your home. As you begin the list, think about the things that make you happy, and note them as things you’re thankful for. Remember, gratitude is about the here and now, so write things in present tense.
Have Fun Outside
Getting in touch with nature can also help us decompress and connect with the natural world. Low-impact exercises such as walking put less stress on your body. Additionally, the beautiful sights, range of smells, and sounds of nature engage all your senses.
As you decide on an outdoor activity, consider what you like doing most. For instance, hiking is the perfect option if you love adventure and want to do something that’s a step up from walking. Before going on a hike, make sure you choose the right path for your skill level and know the essential clothing accessories for your hiking trip. Trails with various types of terrain may require more expertise and different apparel—keep your hike safe and fun!
As children, we’re taught to treat others the way we would want to be treated—and we should include ourselves in that. Just as you wouldn’t say cruel things to a friend, you shouldn’t criticize yourself. We all make mistakes and grow a little each day. Learning to love yourself unconditionally is a key way to practice mindfulness daily because it helps you channel your thoughts. When your inner critic gets too loud, take a deep breath and remind yourself that your thoughts aren’t you. All of us are perfectly imperfect, and remembering this can quiet your inner critic.
Take a Break
Sometimes, taking a little break can make a world of difference. If you find yourself jumping from one task to the next, pause between tasks and take a few deep breaths. We all need moments of rest to collect ourselves.
You could also take a break by planning a staycation or vacation. We all define time off differently, and what you choose to do will depend on what you find most relaxing. What’s most important is that you pick an activity that engages your senses so that
you can focus on the moment. Enjoy some time with loved ones or schedule some personal time to recharge.