Do you sometimes feel like you just don’t have enough time in the day? When someone asks how you are, is your answer always, I’m busy with work?
Too many of us are feeling overwhelmed. Especially women. Particularly mothers. Times dedicated to wandering, exploring, playing and checking out the world have taken a back burner to the pressures and stresses of everyday life.
Just keeping up with the frantic pace of businesses, piano lessons, school activities, and organized sports leave many women barely able to come up for air some days. We are often left feeling scattered and exhausted. To put it plainly, the pace of our cultural business leaves us feeling empty.
Thankfully, as women, we do have an outlet. We don’t have to buy into this hectic pace. Instead, we can take the intentional path of slowing down. We can choose to simplify our schedules, and through doing so can enrich and enhance not only our health and well-being – but that of your kid’s and spouses, too.
We can cultivate a mindset that reduces stress, anxiety, worry and distraction.
How is this done? Through mindfulness.
While life may be busy, it doesn’t have to feel crazy and cluttered. By creating a mindful lifestyle we allow ourselves to not only begin the process of slowing down and learning but savoring those moments of pause in our lives. Beyond this, science has also proven that those who lead less complicated lives live longer, score higher on aptitude tests, and have lower instances of anxiety-induced illness.
Changing our perspective changes our whole experience of life. Mindfulness changes our opportunities.
With these truths in mind, and as we are all currently in the season of thankfulness, I’d like to share with you today ten tips for bringing more mindfulness to your current season of life:
When walking, just walk. When sitting, just sit. This is mindfulness of the present moment. While easier said than done, with practice and a heaping teaspoon of self-compassion, you can start to savor the life you have, right as you are now. The fruits of this effort can be life-changing. Give yourself grace. Sometimes it requires effort to let go of the busyness and just walk forward.
Stop living a life of obligation. If a project doesn’t add value to your day, don’t do it. It’s better to schedule activities and events that you can put your whole heart into. Don’t pack your calendar full of things you feel you should be doing. Leave those spaces intentionally vacant for occupation or people who bring meaning to your life. Don’t should all over your perfectly good day.
Stop over-scheduling your kids and yourself. Choose only one thing for everyone to do at a time. Swimming or gymnastics. Civitans or Rotary Club. With only one plate to spin, you can remove the cap of a chauffeur and replace it with something a bit more fashionable, something more tailored to you. Plus, with less to focus on you will appreciate each activity all the more.
We all want to have big, fun, exciting days! But too many jam-packed experiences can leave us feeling drained and unable to truly savor what was so splendid about the days, to begin with. Instead, space out your fun days around practical days. Schedule in several days of calm too.
Why should the little ones have all the fun? When you allow yourself to lavish in the spirit of playfulness you bring about a sense of lightness, curiosity, and wonder to any day. You need and deserve time to play. Find something you love to do today, and do it for yourself. You owe it to your inner child to do so!
Like many others, I have had a tendency to try to squeeze one more thing into my day. Generally, this is at night when I know I do not work and think my best. Don’t do it! It leads to stress and exhaustion. Yes, sometimes we need to do so, but more often than not, it can wait.
I find that I can accomplish more in a day when I only check my email twice daily. I check my email each morning at 9 am and again at 1 pm. I peruse emails while I eat meals and have time to spare in my day to be intentional about answering messages and decluttering files. This allows me to get more done, be more focused, and clear the digital clutter out of my day. I also am intentional about not checking my email at night or first thing in the morning. I find my response levels are not as accurate or professional.
Another tip? Consider using unroll.me, a site which syncs to your email address and allows to you designate the time of day when you will receive your emails. I’ve used this in the past and it worked well for me.
If you truly want to relax, you must start by getting your to-do list out of your mind and onto paper! You have to stop ruminating over your mental list. Write it down. Know that it won’t be lost. Move on.
A bonus? Brain dumping can give you a jump start on creating your nightly and weekly to-do lists too!
While this may sound sacrilegious, you need to schedule rest into your week. Give yourself several intentional periods of quiet each day, if only for a few minutes at a time. You need this time to reboot, as rest and relaxation can be truly soothing to the soul. Read that book you’ve yet to finish. Go for a walk to check out the fall foliage. Set the example for your family on what a life well-lived looks like.
It’s worth repeating that you have to learn to love the season of life you are in. You are in exactly the place you should be. You are exactly where you need to be. Be there fully. Stop the self-doubt. While life can always get better, why chase the wheel? If you feel you have areas of your life you need to address, schedule a time to do so. Schedule a day to create a dream board. But today? Maybe you need to simply slow down. Take your time. Enjoy your life. Learn a valuable lesson. Take a moment to pause.
If you feel you have areas of your life you need to address, schedule a time to do so. Schedule a day to create a dream board. But today? Maybe you need to simply slow down. Take your time. Enjoy your life. Learn a valuable lesson. This isn’t about complacency, but about savoring your moments of pause.
Now it’s your turn. Is your life too busy right now? Do you feel overwhelmed? Share the steps you’d like to take to simplify your schedule today in the comments below. I can’t wait to read them all!
Here’s to intentional living,