This week, for our family, is about slowing down and spending time together. We are beginning our Easter/Spring break holiday! We have just over two weeks off from school and lessons and no real plans for anything specific. Mark will be taking much needed time off from work from Good Friday. We are hoping to have a few family adventures but for the most part we will be staying at home and getting some greatly procrastinated jobs done. In the meantime, Ella, Sam and I will fill the next four days with simple adventures and games at home and around us.
As today is Monday, it’s the perfect time to start practising a bit of mindfulness…Mindful Monday if you will! How can you practise being more mindful? It’s actually a bit more challenging than you might think but let’s focus on some key tips to helping you on your Mindful Monday!
- By definition, mindfulness is the intentional, accepting and non-judgemental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment. If you’re anything like me, you are almost NEVER in the moment. My mind is constantly churning forward, finding the next challenge, worry or dream. I struggle to stay present and maybe it’s a Mother thing, I am not sure? I’m always anticipating what will come next and how I can shape that moment. Instead I need to just be THERE and enjoy where I am and what I am doing.
- Pick a moment today…any moment, even if there are others involved. Notice the people, their clothes, their facial expressions. Notice the setting you are in. If you’re outside, what colour is the sky, how many clouds are in the sky? If the sun is shining, lift your face to the sun and feel the warmth on your skin. Breathe in slowly and notice the warmth and scents you pick up. Listen…REALLY listen. What do you hear that you never noticed before? Watch your children or the strangers around you. Are they laughing, creating, thinking, speaking? What do you notice?
- Another great exercise, mentioned by the lovely Michelle at Bod for Tea, is becoming mindful of your thoughts. Take some time for yourself, out of the hustle and bustle of your day. Find some quiet and just let your thoughts go. But be aware of how they flit and float from one thing to the next. This is a wonderful way to start or end your day if possible. Make some notes about the thoughts that you have. What does it help you to notice?
- Yoga! Yoga can be so helpful in slowing you down, allowing you to breathe (essential for proper poses) and appreciating what your body can do. I am really keen to start back to some simple Yoga and maybe start doing it with Ella which would be great fun!
- Connect with people around you! When was the last time you had a proper heart to heart conversation with your partner? Your parent? Your best friend? Put aside speed and flitting moments and instead focus on quality conversation and listening.
How will you practise Mindful Monday? I’d love to know! Share your thoughts and actions with me through #embracehappy on social media. I’m off to the park with the kids today. I can’t wait to practise some mindfulness there!