How can we be mindful right now when our minds are so full. Full of thoughts, full of shock, full of worry. If you have children, your minds are full of “how am I going to home-school without pulling my hair out”, if you’re out of work right now, “how am I going to pay my bills”, if you’re working from home, “how long is this going to last.” I can keep going, because our minds are just that full right now.
The dictionary definition of mindful is to be: “conscious or aware of something.”
‘Okay cool, so I am aware that I am home and I am socially distanced. 6 feet people, six feet.’
Now what? I am aware of something, now what?! My tiny brain runs in circles, and is flooded.
Here’s the secret: We have a choice. A choice to let it consume us, to let us be filled with worry, thoughts, messiness OR we can make the choice of neutrality in the thought, a space of non-judgement one might say, and be in the moment.
Let thoughts come, let it be, let it pass. Which is it going to be? Being mindful, or a mind full?
Still unsure? No worries homies, I got your back!
Here are 5 things to help me be mindful, instead of having my mind full.
Do one at a time: probably the easiest way to be mindful is to do one thing at a time! Talking to your momma on the phone? Don’t do the dishes at the same time, devote all your attention to your phone call and connecting. Reading a book? Put down the cookie and read the book! Each sentence has so much to offer. One. Thing. At. A. Time. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish when you're not scrolling through social media and working at the same time!
Practice Kindness: “Be kind to everyone,” like Ellen DeGeneres says. This includes being kind to yourself. Are you beating yourself up because the laundry isn’t done? Or you haven’t brushed your hair in three days? (I’m on day 4). It’s okay! Remember, Let thoughts come, let it be, let it pass. Be kind!
Move your Body: My personal motto in life is: “move your body, calm your mind”. According to research, even standing up at our desks every 20 minutes and doing a body scan promotes good health. A body scan may look like ‘scanning’ your body head to toe, or toe to head (whatever floats your boat) and checkin in with it. Not into a body scan? No sweat! Go for a walk, dance it out, do yoga. Just move your body!
Gratitude Game: Ready to play my favorite game? Name 5 things you're grateful for today. GO! Yes, now! Being grateful brings awareness to the moment and overall happiness. I invite you to be grateful for the good moments, and bring grace and acceptance into the bad. Research tells us that when we are grateful our bodies are calm, stress is released, and we smile. It’s basic science friends.
Breathe: Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth. I tell my little niece to “smell the roses, blow out the birthday candles”. Breathing brings us back to the moment. The here and now of what is true. It brings space between our thoughts, emotions and reactions. When the mind is full, practice this simple technique of breathing to bring you back to the here and now of what is true and present.
There are a million and five ways to practice mindfulness, these are just five. I encourage you to take it moment by moment, especially in the time we are in right now. Be gentle on yourself and your mind. Being mindful is about you right now. It’s about making the choice to let thoughts come, let it be, and let it pass.
So what’s your choice? Mindful or mind full?
With all our love and light,
Taylor Shechter of Time-Peace