Whether you’re new to the idea of mindfulness or an expert in feeling zen, it can be hard to maintain a sense of calm and control when everyday life throws a few challenges your way. Throughout March we’ve been channeling a more mindful attitude to our day-to-day – taking time to focus on ourselves and the importance of self-care and noticing the benefits of this calmer and more present lifestyle. Whilst research suggests it takes 21 days to create a habit (meaning we’re well on our way to permanent mindfulness), we’re not taking any chances when it comes to falling behind with our calmer attitudes. To keep on track, here are 5 easy ways to practice a mindful lifestyle beyond the month of March…
Take up yoga or tai-chi
Creating a more mindful outlook that works with your existing routine is key for success. To help, try setting aside a specific time in your week to focus your mind and pay attention to the little details in life. Yoga and tai-chi are both highly regarded for their mindful benefits as their focus on breathing techniques help participants to focus, clear their minds, and reset after a particularly stressful day. As well as improving flexibility, posture and strength, yoga can be particularly beneficial to anxiety sufferers by helping to move one’s mindset from fight-or-flight to rest-and-digest. Taking time for yourself can be hard when your schedule is jam-packed, but shifting your focus to breathing and movement during yoga is one of the easiest ways to achieve a more mindful state.
Practice self-care regularly
One of the positives of leading a more mindful lifestyle is that the changes you make to your routine can be the simplest of alterations. Often you’ll find that they make the biggest of differences! Whether that’s enjoying your favourite take-away, indulging in a bubble bath or seeing friends for a cuppa, prioritising the things that make you feel special is so good for the soul. Listening to your mind and body and taking time for yourself can help to create a more positive outlook in general – so don’t be afraid to put yourself first in aid of being more mindful. After all, who doesn’t want to be a little selfish every once in a while?!
Social media detox
Don’t get us wrong, we’re as obsessed with Instagram as the next person – but taking time away from the internet can be invaluable. It gives us time to focus on the things that are important offline and can work wonders for channeling a more mindful outlook. Social media has a habit of fuelling unhealthy comparison so, whilst it’s hard to resist getting the perfect flat-lay of a dreamy brunch, an occasional social media detox can help your mind focus on the important people and moments if you want to live to the fullest. Start slowly and begin by ditching your nightly scroll of Twitter before bed, then work up to preparing dinner without the need of a YouTube video in the background or a Pinterest pinning marathon before bed, and before you know it you’ll be feeling more focused and calm in no time!
Write it down! Gratitude lists and thought diaries
When on a journey to a more mindful way of living, becoming aware of your thoughts, feelings and daily life instead of working through the week without a second thought can help you to feel more grateful, content and lead a more positive life. Keeping a gratitude list or thought journal can be amazing tools for managing both positive and negative thoughts, allowing you to focus on the good in your life and shift your mindset to be a more grateful one, long term. Feeling under the weather? It’s the perfect time to channel a grateful mindset for your health when you’re not battling a cold. Weekend plans cancelled? Use it as an opportunity to feel grateful for time to practice self-care. Managing your mind with a thought journal is another great way to feel more in tune with yourself and can lead to positive change in your lifestyle in the long run. Give it a try and see for yourself!
Spend time outside
Lastly, the easiest of all 5 tips – spend more time outside. Whether you’re a city dweller or countryside lover, making little adjustments to your daily routine with the goal of spending more time outside can be known to improve one’s mental wellbeing. Whether that means getting off one tube stop early to walk to the office, or simply fitting in a quick stroll over lunch, breathing in fresh air and appreciating the environment you may take for granted can help you to feel grounded and create more positive moments within your day.
We hope you’ve found what works for channelling a more mindful outlook in your routine this month, and can continue to practice this beyond the month of March!
– Charlotte Rollin