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5 (Easy) Ways to Create a Mindfulness Habit

Most of us feel short on time and full from overwhelm, so between work, cultivating social lives, raising kids, and finding time to spend with romantic partners or spouses, mindfulness and meditation tend to fall to the very bottom of that list. Understandably!

And I don’t know about you, but when I’ve fallen away from my mindfulness practices, I feel it. I feel uninspired and anxious, so for me, this is a mandatory part of my life that I NEED to find ways to incorporate.

But this doesn’t have to be so complex. I’ll tell you what, I’m never gonna be the person who meditates for 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes before I go to bed. I could tell you I don’t have time, but that’s false— I just don’t feel like it!

So instead, I get my mindfulness and “meditation” in with more creative solutions.

Gratitude journal for 1-5 minutes. I force myself to jot down a few things I’m grateful for that morning before getting my day started. It forces me to pause and reflect, which always gets my day off to an intentional start rather than a frazzled one. You can do this with no matter how strapped for time you are. Keep a post-it block or a notebook in your bathroom and jot a few things down before you hop in the shower. Do it after you’ve put the kids down for the night. It doesn’t take more than 2 minutes and makes a HUGE difference.

Experience mindfulness with all your senses. What’s something you typically rush through that you could slow down? Dishes? Vacuuming? Bathing your kids? Having a glass of wine with your partner? What things do you usually try to check off your list? How can you savor the experience of those things instead?

Walk. Walking is SO meditative for me. Whether I’m outside (always better) or on a treadmill, I can let myself get lost in deep thought or lost in an inspiring podcast.

Literal meditation.
It doesn’t have to be long. It can be as simple as [inhale for 8, hold for 5, exhale for 8 demo]. Boom. That takes 60 seconds and you can extend out for as long as you need. Do it in the car, do it before falling asleep. Do it pretty much anywhere. It travels well!

I’m a big fan of journaling. I never really prompt myself with anything either. I just open up a blank page and start writing down everything I think and feel that day. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it feels a bit struggled, but it often brings clarity to feelings I didn’t know were there or I didn’t know the origin of until I started writing about it. It’s very therapeutic and a great way to be mindful.

These are my favorite ways to incorporate mindfulness, and they take very little time. How do you stay mindful? Any ways I didn’t mention?

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    Christin Slyngman

    January 3, 2018 at 10:43 am

    I recently discovered how fun it is to put on some kid friendly jams and dance around the living room with my 3 year old and 1 1/2 year old!

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    January 4, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    Best personal story of 2017 – centering around a father, a son, and your #1 idea: Gratitude Journals: My friend Mike was searching for a way to get closer to his father, a difficult task not only because they lived in different cities but because his father had, forever, been a negative person (glass-half-empty). Thinking that a simple, daily contact might bridge the distance between them, Mike asked his father if he would consider exchanging one email a day for the next year. Mike’s proposal was simple, I send you a single line about 1 thing I’m grateful for, and you, Dad, reply with one thing you’re grateful for. His father accepted. You can already guess the glorious outcome but the end of the story is even better. The two grew (much) closer over the course of the year, and Mike saw his dad change a lifetime of thinking, he turned into a man who noticed the good in things. And his dad saw and liked the change in himself. At the end of the year, Mike’s dad said he had no intention of stopping and invited his son to exchange emails… for another year. Gratitude journals are as powerful as they are simple – especially if you share them.

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