In the past week, have you ever thought to yourself that life just moves so fast? Or maybe you arrive at your bed ready to collapse for the night and it dawns on you, the last moment you remember being fully present was pouring the milk into your English breakfast a good 16 hours ago?
If so, then, my friend, you need to find yourself some mindfulness rituals to help you stay present in the moment throughout the day. By cultivating an attitude of mindfulness, you’ll find it easier to make smart decisions, easier to withstand the inevitable stresses of daily life, and I suspect you’ll find yourself feeling happier overall — even on cloudy days.
I’m not going to overpromise, though. Just give a handful of these midday rituals to help you find mindfulness a try, and see what you think.
Go On a Walk
Walking is really the best drug on the market; moving your body does wonders. I’m definitely one of the busiest people I know, and I find time for it every day — it makes me more productive and I often find answers to difficult problems and challenges while walking. Here at Plum Deluxe, we’ve talked about walking dinner parties, but you could easily take one of your upcoming meetings on two feet, or consider grabbing a to-go container and enjoying your afternoon tea break on the go. (Yes, I just recommended tea on the go. Might seem sacrilege, but if it saves your sanity and your health, that’s a price worth paying.)
Take a Deep Breath
You know that oxygen is a must-have for life, but did you know that when your stress response in the body is overactive your breathing becomes more shallow? Sure, it’s sufficient for keeping your system online, but it is insufficient for reaching your peak performance. Stop reading right now and take a DEEP BREATH — inhale as much air as possible and then slowly exhale. If you’d like a guide to help you with this process (it seems weird to tell you how to breathe, but it’s a real problem), follow the inhale and exhale of this GIF:
Exercise Your Creative Muscles
You’re such a powerful, creative creature. Think about all the experiences you’ve had in life so far that you value and enjoy. You were part of creating those moments! You’re very creative by nature, but our current culture pulls us away from that. So, consider something small during the day you can do that sparks your creative muscles. No, coming up with a new creative way to sort your emails is not what I’m talking about! It needs to be purely frivolous, perhaps almost silly.
Examples: Spend five minutes with your coloring book, create an artful display of your tea biscuits before devouring them, draw some doodles in a notebook, write a haiku… See where I’m going with this? (And please, if need be, you can tell your boss a very smart tea person made these suggestions.)
Hydration = mindfulness? It’s not as big of a stretch as you think. When your body doesn’t have the fuel it needs, your systems start creating a lot of workarounds to try to function its best — and let’s just say, staying hydrated helps everything work better. Water is the best; especially if you are a caffeine drinker, you want to balance that out so you aren’t taxing your adrenals.
Of course, I’d also suggest a nice herbal tea for the afternoons to help soothe any frayed nerves in that emotional system. You don’t need to douse yourself with a sleepy tea, but there are lots of options for something that has some pep and also calms, like peppermint tea or elderflower tea.
Have a Good Laugh
Last, but not least, this one is another great cure-all for what ails! Life these days can be a real wet blanket, and with the speed that things are going, it can feel like a blur. Make sure that you’ve got your head in this reality by having a good laugh midday — it will give you energy and fuel for everything you need, and it also serves as a handy distraction from those worry gremlins chasing you around. Tell one of your co-workers a funny story, or if you’re flying solo (or perhaps the only folks around you are feline, canine, or infant), pop on YouTube and tell the computer to find you something funny. Biggest bonus of them all? The smile will help you age slower, and I know that’s a midday ritual everybody can get behind.