When to Integrate Bits of Mindfulness

My life is so busy...how can I possibly add one more thing to my plate?

First of all, take a good look at your plate. Is everything that is on it necessary? Are they beneficial to you and/or your family? If anything is not necessary or beneficial, what is the reason? If everything that you are doing is necessary, how can you adjust your schedule to make more time for you?

Because... what is it that you are doing for you? Are you taking time to do at least one thing a day that is for YOU? Exercising? Healthy cooking? Meditating? Journaling? Reading? Sewing? Crafting? Your oxygen mask must be put on first in order to show up as the best version of you for your family.

With that in mind, I ask you to ensure that you are gifting yourself a minimum of eight minutes a day that you are alone with you and only you. And then you are engaging in an activity that benefits your well being. And while engaging in the journaling, drawing or yoga poses, focus your attention on just that. Focus on how your body is engaging in the experience. Focus your mind on the experience...and not where you should/could be. Or what your family members are doing. Check out from them and into you. THIS is a non-negotiable in Mindful Parenting.

Options for Integrating Bits of Mindfulness...

1) When you wake up in the morning, perform a body scan before you get out of bed. How does the tip of your toes to the top of your head feel? Do you need to stretch before starting your day? Set an intention for the day; Today I Will Be Patient. Today I Will Take a Breath Before Responding to My Child.

2) Make a gratitude list

3) Eat a small snack mindfully. That is, engage all of your senses in the experience of eating. What does the piece of food look like, feel like, sound like, smell like. Where did it come from? Who can you thank for getting this orange from the tree to your hands?

4) While engaging in mundane activities - like showering, brushing your teeth, driving - tune into the experience and out of your planning mind. You and I both know that you were just planning dinner or ruminating about a disagreement that you just had at home. Let it go and focus on the present.

5) When talking to someone in your family, stop what you are doing. Put the phone down. Put the spoon or laundry down and make eye contact at their level. Smile. Take a breath and really listen to what your child or significant other is saying. Repeat something that they said to connect with and then ask a question that adds depth to the conversation. Engage in the present moment with your family member. Give a hug at the end of the conversation and thank them for coming to you. (Think about how often we do that...almost never!)

Looking for more ideas? Check out these articles...

1-Minute Mindfulness Exercises

A Mindful Minute: 10 Simple Ways to Bring More Peace to Your Day

6 Mindful Exercises You Can Try Today

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