Has it been challenging for you to be present, especially with all that’s going on after the pandemic hit? Don’t beat yourself up for living on autopilot sometimes, it happens to all of us! These are some tips that help us pause and enjoy the moment:
Incorporate mindfulness into your life.
By focusing our senses onto our daily activities, we can incorporate mindfulness into our lives – for example, with mindful eating, you might focus on the smell of the food, its texture and appearance, not just its taste. Mindfulness can also be incorporated in walking, dancing, or just about any activity we do. Just paying attention to our bodies and our senses can help create that sense of peace and make us go “Wow. I really am here and doing this”. You can also practice mindfulness on its own through meditation. A great grounding meditation is the body scan because it helps you reconnect with your body and how you’re feeling. You could also try breath focus meditations or visualization meditations. Not sure which to go for? Check out Five Types of Meditation here!
Use your screen time wisely.
You probably expected this one. Social media can consume a lot of our energy and disrupt our routine. Being overly connected to everyone and everything else can sometimes feel overwhelming. There are always things going on in every place in the world and if we don’t take a step back to relax, we’ll end up with a burnout. Yes, it’s great to be informed and supportive, but remember not to do it at the cost of your own mental health. Take regular breaks from your phone and monitor your screen time, especially early in the morning and right before bed. Additionally, filter out the content you’re exposing yourself to in order to maximize the positive effect of social media. That goes from negative comments all the way to very heavy news.
Gratitude is a powerful tool – appreciating the good things in life will motivate you to be present. It can be practiced through any activity that allows you to stop and think about what brings you joy. For example: you can stand in front of the mirror and name all the things you love about yourself. You can also take pictures of the things and people you love to remind yourself of the beautiful memories you’ve created in life when you’re having a tough day. You can also journal about your happy moments to be able to capture a deeper understanding of how you feel, and remember it better when you come back to it. Lastly, celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how trivial.
Listen without waiting to respond.
Have you ever realized you were listening to someone speak just to formulate your response? Putting so much emphasis on your reply stops you from truly understanding what the other person is trying to say. This causes us to not be fully present and engaged in the conversation, but rather using this time to emphasize the opinions we already have. In order for us to grow, we need to give ourselves the opportunity to actually listen and accept different possibilities. Give in and try to appreciate the new information you’re being presented with and allow it to expand your mindset. You’d be surprised how much you can learn from others.
Honour your rituals.
We all have our rituals; it can be a morning routine, an afternoon nap or even practicing a certain activity like yoga or meditation. Our rituals help us reset our energy to go on with our day. Just putting your phone aside while you have your coffee can make you feel more present and recharge your energy. All the little things we do that help us keep up with our busy lives deserve to be honoured and practiced with love. Next time you practice your rituals, allow yourself to fully dive in without worrying about anything else. Distance yourself from other activities as much as you can to really enjoy the experience and be present with it.