‘Time’ has become elusive in our busy lives; just where does it go? With all the so called modern amenities in our lives, do we truly have more time?
Life is busy. Juggling work, kids, cleaning the house, cooking, returning emails, and then trying to incorporate healthy practices into our day make it challenging to keep up.
We want, need, and crave free time for ourselves. We want to be healthy and happy. I think I hear the voice in your head screaming, “Tell me how to do it then!” as I write this.
The reality is that this busyness isn’t likely to change. Perhaps the truth is we aren’t going to do less. What we do need is to learn how to maintain a sense of joy, health and happiness amidst the chaos and endless busyness.
Being mindful can be the first step. But what does it really mean to be mindful?
Being mindful is the state of being conscious and aware in each precious moment. We acknowledge the present and accept our thoughts, feelings and sensations.
Are you truly present in every activity during the day? Or are you always thinking about the next item on the ‘to do’ list?
Here are some tips, so you can incorporate mindfulness into your everyday routine:
- Instead of rushing the kids out the door, take a few seconds to connect with a sincere hug. Look them in the eyes and tell them how much they mean to you. This is why you had them in the first place. Enjoy them every minute you can;
- When you are sitting at a red light or waiting in line at the grocery store, take the time to take a few deep breaths, which calms the agitated nervous system from all the rushing around;
- Silently repeat positive affirmations to yourself. Need an idea? Mentally list off everything you love and are grateful for;
- Use those seemingly ‘wasted’ periods of time and make the most of them. Those little glimpses of time might be all you get some days, and they might also become a slice of time you relish.
Time may remain elusive because we’re not actually in it at all.
We need to mindfully function and stay present in each moment.
Remember that we do our best knowing that our “best” changes each day depending on what we have to undertake, how tired we are and how well we have taken care of ourselves.
Never underestimate the power of a good sleep, meal or hug.
If you find yourself feeling guilty when you take time away from work or family to refresh yourself, let’s reframe it.
How do you feel when you do take the time to do something for your- self? When you take the time to sit and enjoy tea, go shopping with friends, have a night out?
It’s likely you come back refreshed, rejuvenated; your well is full. You can give more when you are filled to the brim. You cannot give from empty. A car with no gas isn’t going anywhere.
We simply have to be gentler
Here are a few more ways to take a snippet of time for you and mindfully make the most of moments in life:
- Tea time. Sitting with my tea last week, I reflected upon how soothing it is, and all the times tea calls me to brew a cup and sit and relax. I bask in the soothing warmth with hands wrapped around the big mug, steam on my face; being warmed from the inside out. That takes five minutes.
- Take a relaxing bath to soothe the senses. Shut the door, lock it and tell everyone you are off duty. Put your headphones on with soothing music to drown out the inevitable knocking. Relax and breathe.
- Have a hearty meal with your entire family, taking the time to look in one another’s eyes, and acknowledge one another’s accomplishments.
- Enjoy five minutes of meditation. Set the timer. Close your eyes and count each breath in and out to provide focus.
- Try yoga. If you don’t have time for a studio, find an online source, buy a DVD, and have a friend come over once a week to join you.
- Take the time to review your dreams and intentions. Have you lost sight of what is important with all your busyness?
We need the time to fully enjoy the fruits of our labour. Isn’t that why we work so hard? Take the time and the precious spare moments you get each day to stay present and enjoy them.