I wrote this post a while before the response to COVID-19 started happening. But I believe these tips are still relevant & useful during this uncertain and anxious time. Many of our routines have been shifted and we are looking at a new normal for the foreseeable future. I hope that you can use these tips to find time to ground yourself when you are feeling overwhelmed, as it is bound to happen.
At certain times of the year, we can see many messages as we browse the internet around creating new habits. Often times, these lists and tips seem like things we want to add into our routine, but they are often unrealistic in how to do that. As a mom, considering time for ourselves IS a mindful habit. The first step is realizing that we do need a moment, even if that is all it is. The next step is to be kind to ourselves. It’s easy to be hard on ourselves or become unsatisfied with our routines when we think we can’t jump on the latest mindful trend or make time for an hour-long fitness class. Giving ourselves compassion is no easy feat, and I’ve written about that in more detail in this blog post.
What I want to share, from personal experience, are some ways you can start to incorporate one or some new mindful habits that can bring you a moment to just breathe and focus on you. The tips may include links to other blog posts, websites, or apps (all free!) that you can use for assistance.
Find 5 Minutes
Anywhere in your schedule where you can grab 5 minutes of quiet time. This might look like waking up while everyone is still asleep, grabbing your headphones, and listening to a 5-minute meditation on the Insight app. This could also look like taking a 5-minute bathroom/break room/lounge break at work (or arriving 5 min early) to sit at your desk and do a deep breathing cycle.
You don’t have to try to start ‘fifty-leven’ new habits in one week. Life is a journey. Start with one that you could realistically fit (or make a small adjustment) in your routine. If you can’t find an hour in your schedule yet for that trendy workout class, that’s ok! What time DO you have? Assess and then revisit what you CAN do and focus on that. Check out my Youtube playlist of short fitness videos that range from yoga to low-impact HIIT, which can all be done pretty much anywhere.
Many times we make the decision that we want to incorporate something new into our routine, but finding the space or time to do it seems like an uphill battle (truth: it is). But that doesn’t have to get us down or knock us off track if we forget. Habit logging apps are usually suggested at this point, which would be useful if we could only remember to log it consistently. Another way of “tracking” that gives us more opportunity to be kind to ourselves is by using our phone’s built-in reminder or alarm setting. If you choose an optimal time to do 5 minutes meditation or a quick 15 min workout, set a recurring reminder in your phone for that. What you’ll notice is that if you’re constantly silencing, you’re in the throes of a toddler meltdown, or baby’s nap schedule is changing, you can revisit whether the time you designated is actually a good time. At that point, you can update the reminder to another time that might work better.
Which one of these tips do you think you can incorporate today?