I incorporate mindfulness into my life every day, somehow or someway. It may be as simple as taking three good breaths in between activities. Or, it may be taking some time to engage in some type of meditation. The more I think of mindfulness, the more I realize that provides me with self-care at the same time. In today's world, everyone is always running from one thing to the next. This happens both in our personal and professional lives. So, my thought is, how important it is for all of us to have some self-care every day.
Here are 5 different ways to include mindfulness in your life so that it will enhance your self-care every day.
- Take a walk I know you're thinking "I don't have time to take a walk". A walk doesn't have to take a lot of time. Even if it is a 5-minute walk, you will get the effects of the break you need. Especially if you are sitting in an office all day long, it is a good way to get some fresh air and a bit of exercise at the same time.
- Disconnect from technology What? You want me to not use my phone, Facebook, or computer? Yep, I do! As in the walk, it doesn't have to be for a long time. By doing this you are giving your brain a break, and paying more attention to your environment. I always do this during dinner. I actually leave my phone in the kitchen so I'm not even tempted to read a text or email that I hear come in through the little "ding" sound. You can also do this by designating a special time every day you will do this for a specified period. You will be amazed at the effect it has on you!
- Exercise You can do this at home, at the gym, or outside. There are so many options when it comes to exercise. And not only are there options, but the effects it has on your brain is phenomenal. Exercise releases endorphins which are the chemicals in your brain that give you that natural high and "feel good" sensation. No excuses about there's no time. Go for a 15-minute run, bike ride or brisk walk. Get some yoga in at home or the yoga studio. Take a fast-paced class at your gym. Those are just a few ways to incorporate exercise into your life.
- Pamper Yourself This is different for everyone. For someone it might be a mani/pedi; for someone else, it might be a massage or facial. Yet for another, it might be going spending the entire day choosing things you want to do, rather than have to do. Whatever it is, pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, sensations, while you're pampering yourself.
- Meditation There are so many ways you can engage in meditation. You might enjoy doing a guided meditation on your phone or just sit in silence for a specified period of time. Meditation could also include mindful eating, where you pay attention to the act of your eating your food. It can include paying attention to the taste, how you're chewing your food, and how your food makes you feel. Walking meditation is where you pay attention to every step you take. You can notice when your heels and toes and coming in contact with the ground, or counting the steps you take. You can even go to the beach and pay attention to the sound of the waves or the smell of the ocean. Those are just a few ways to engage in meditation.
I hope those ideas were helpful for you to get on your way to incorporating mindfulness and self-care in your life. If you'd like to learn more about how mindfulness or self-care are beneficial, please contact me. I'd love to begin this journey with you.
Norine Vander Hooven is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Westlake Village, California, and has been in practice for 30 years. Every person is unique in what fits best for them, and we will work together to see what is right for you. Norine specializes in suicide prevention, depression, anxiety, mindfulness, and trauma. Norine is also EMDR trained and uses this to work with people experiencing a variety of issues. Norine works with youth, adolescents, adults, and families.