Most people know the benefits of meditation or mindfulness; they understand that regular practice can reduce stress and brighten the mood. Unfortunately, too many people cannot find the hours or minutes in their day to begin a new routine, especially one that does not mesh with the concepts of productivity and hustle.
While work is vital to a successful professional life, if it is not fulfilling, it is not helpful to spiritual or balanced life. No one is saying quit your job. Still, it would be best to find ways to meet mental health needs throughout your day, which is the primary goal of meditation and mindfulness. Thankfully, meditation does not take hours, and there are several ways to fit it into even the busiest schedule.
1. Create a Morning Time Allowance
When you wake up in the morning, do you need to rush from one activity to the next? Does it seem like your shower, coffee, and morning drop-off routines all blur together? If so, you are trying to accomplish too much in too little time.
While no one like to hear it, turning back your clock 15 to 30 minutes can work wonders for morning stress. You can savor your breakfast and set aside a few minutes for a gratitude journal or some other meditative exercise with the extra time.
2. Savor Coffee Breaks
Most businesspeople enjoy a cup of coffee on their morning commute. Do you drive to the office or take public transportation? Riding a subway train or bus to work can allow you to practice a mindfulness exercise without interfering with your day.
As you ride the bus, put in your headphones and listen to relaxing music. Drink your coffee slowly, taking tiny sips. Take a moment to breathe in the aroma. Let the coffee sit in your mouth and allow the taste to settle on your tongue. Breathe deeply in and slowly out.
3. Take a Stroll
What do you do on your lunch break? If you spend 30 minutes in a busy lunchroom or break room, consider taking your lunch outside. If you spend the time alone, you will likely eat faster. If you finish your meal in 15 minutes, that leaves you with another 15 minutes to enjoy a stroll outside.
Studies show that spending even 15 minutes outside can re-energize you. Additionally, breathing in the fresh air can help you relax. Try to focus on the moment: the color of the grass, the feeling of the sun on your face, etc.
4. Practice Mindful Eating
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the present moment. The mindfulness ritual can help relieve stress, allowing you to become centered and balanced with your feelings.
Mindful eating is an extension of mindfulness. You want to sit down for a meal or snack and focus only on the act of eating. Take in the smell of the food, its sight, texture, and taste. Allow yourself the time to explore and savor your meal.
By focusing entirely on the meal, you can free your mind of other distracting thoughts. Staying in the moment allows stress to dissipate.
5. Slow Down and Reflect Before Sleep
As in the morning, you want to set aside a few minutes at night for reflection. If possible, it is best to turn off any electronic devices and dim the lights in the hour before bed. Consider making an entry in a gratitude journal or another writing activity during this time.
Meditation and mindfulness are beneficial practices. Incorporating the above techniques can help you establish a mindfulness routine.