We’re all busy, and we’ve all heard about the benefits of mindfulness. But how do you find quiet time to reflect and engage without it feeling like just another entry in your calendar?
We’ve rounded up ten ways to find quiet in the activities you’ve probably already scheduled. Pick one, breathe deep and practice finding quiet in manageable ways throughout your day.
1. Turn down the volume
Next time you head to the gym or go for a run, try leaving your headphones behind and appreciating the time without the distraction of playlists or podcasts. With a bit of free time, you might come up with some new thoughts and ideas.
2. Take affirmative action
Post a meaningful, positive phrase on your bathroom mirror and reflect on it while you get ready for your day and again when you get ready for bed. To focus your mind, take a deep breath in and out while you read it to yourself. Taking a moment to reflect on a positive thought will help train your mind to have a sunnier outlook in other areas of your life.
3. Drink it all in
When you make tea or coffee in the morning, allow yourself at least a full minute to enjoy the first sip. Notice the smell, the feel of the warm mug in your hands and the taste of the brew itself.
4. Pause in the flow
Recognize the moment when you first enter the shower: take a minute to appreciate the experience of the warm water on your skin.
5. Breathe deep
Pause when you first leave your house and notice the change in the air from indoors to outdoors. Think about the change in temperature and the sounds in the neighbourhood and on the street.
6. Take stock of your day
Before you enter your home at the end of the day, take a moment to reflect on the day so far, and recognize that a new part of your day is about to begin. Take a deep breath in, remember something that went well during your workday and carry that positive thought with you as you open the door.
7. Keep an eye on the details
Turn an everyday activity like folding the laundry or doing the dishes into a moment of considered reflection. What are the textures, the sounds, the smells that you are surrounded with in that moment?
8. Put your thoughts on paper
Spend a few minutes at the beginning or end of each day writing in a journal. Even a few written words can help focus your thoughts. Keep a notebook in your bag or glove box so that you can jot down notes wherever you find yourself.
9. Unplug to connect
Set an alarm on your phone for a time in the evening when you turn your devices off. Take it one step further and leave your phone outside of your bedroom to avoid the temptation to scroll, click or watch. Think about the moments you feel compelled to pick up your phone and choose instead to breathe deep and focus on the moment at hand.
10. Follow your nose
Use aroma as a scent clue for your mind that a transition is about to take place. Try misting your bed every night before you lay down as a signal that it is time to sleep. Over time, you will associate the smell with rest and have an easier time making the move from awake to asleep.
However and whenever you find quiet in your day, remember that taking time to reconnect with the present moment is one of the best things you can do for your overall wellness. Take good care of yourself!