As a busy, working mum, I understand how difficult it can be to take even a minute out of your day for yourself. However, I know that on the days I take time for myself and practice mindfulness, I feel calmer, in control and much happier in myself.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m no mindfulness guru, but I do practice a mix of the exercises below, to help with anxiety, over-whelm and mood.
These are a few of my favourite exercises. I’ll choose at least 2 a day (most days!) and just mix up whatever I feel I’m in the mood for on that day.
Get a little head space – A few years ago, I had no idea what mindfulness was. Today, I pretty much do some sort of mindfulness exercise every day. Mindful practices from focusing on your breathing, to meditation and mentally scanning your body, there are lots of ways to create space in our minds to help clear our heads and focus. I use the Calm App everyday, for their mediation exercises, soundscapes and movement techniques.
Stretch your legs! – Well that’s what my mum used to call it anyway! Going for a walk is a great way to get some fresh air, exercise and clear your head, all at once. I’m lucky enough to have a pooch who makes sure we’re out walking everyday, but even if you have no excuses for a stroll, try and work just a few a week in and you’ll feel the benefits of all those endorphins straight away.
Reading – I love a good mystery or crime novel and always have 1 or 2 books on the go. On the rare occasion I get to have a lie in, I have a cup of tea and stay tucked in bed with my book for half an hour…bliss!!
Get plenty of sleep – Easier said than done, especially if you have young children, but the importance of getting enough sleep can help with mood, energy, anxiety and much more. Every person is different in the amount of sleep they need, so figure out what’s best for you and try to track whether you’re getting your hours in on a regular basis.
Gratitude – A few years ago a friend introduced me to The Magic. It shows you how applying gratitude to your everyday, can help you to see and appreciate what’s really important in your life. We tend to focus on the bad stuff, but regularly reminding ourselves what we do like about our lives, can help us to appreciate it more and find joy in the things we’re already achieving.
Switch off the socials! – I have a strict 8pm curfew for my social media and news scrolling. I get easily sucked in and before you know it I’m an hour into my newsfeed and notifications, time I really don’t have to spare! Try to set some boundaries with social media, like a cut off time of day or set hours per day and ALWAYS remember, people are mainly posting the good stuff, so no comparing lives please!!
Take a break – If you’re busy working or just having a hectic day, stop and have a break. Walk away from your working area, stick the kettle on and switch off from the task you were doing. Even if it’s just for the time it takes you to make a brew, every little bit of space helps!
By Holly Lupi
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