There’s a saying: “Mindfulness isn’t difficult. What’s difficult is remembering to be mindful.” Very true. We live incredibly complex, busy lives. We juggle family, work, and personal obligations each and every day. We are multi-tasking constantly. And we often let self-care (especially mindfulness based attention) slip to the bottom of our priority list.
The truth about utilizing mindfulness as a self-care strategy is that it takes discipline. And as the saying goes, mindfulness in and of itself is not difficult. The hard part is remembering and making time to engage in mindfulness practice.
Here’s a simple strategy for incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine. Commit to catching the top of each and every hour, especially during the work day. Use a clock as your guide, and do your best to catch the beginning of each and every hour throughout the day. You may even choose to set an alert or alarm on your phone as a reminder. There are plenty of free meditation gongs that you could download to set for this purpose.
Take the first minute (or 2) of each hour to focus on slow, deep breaths while gaining an overall sense of awareness regarding your surroundings. Slow your inhales to a count of 5. Exhale to a count of 5. Notice what you hear. What you feel in your body. Find some small visual detail in your surroundings that you have not seen before. Resist the urge to check your phone. Your email. Your text messages. Facebook. Close with recognition of having a mindful minute, and notice the impact it has on your mood, energy level, and attitude. You are one step more committed to a daily mindfulness practice.