I’m an “always on the go” person. It’s hard for me to sit still for even a few minutes. My mind is always racing as I think about what I should be doing, what I could be doing, what I need to be doing, what I have to be doing. Because I’m go, go, go, it can often be hard for me to slow down and enjoy the present. My to do list is always long and I always have things on my mind that I want to accomplish.
I’m all about multi-tasking the day away because it helps me squeeze in as much productivity as I can throughout the day.
As a full-time work-at-home and stay-at-home mom, it’s always difficult to find a work-life balance. I spend a lot of time on my computer working, blogging, researching, and reading. Finding that work-life balance was a major priority of mine this year as I strive to live a healthy lifestyle.
When I wake up in the morning, I check my email on my phone and scroll through my social media accounts to get caught up. Throughout the day, I’m hopping on and off the computer as I respond to emails, write blog posts, and promote on social media. When my head hits the pillow at night, I do one last check of emails, respond to anything that’s urgent, and scroll through my social media accounts one last time before I shut it down and fall asleep. I wake up early and go to bed late. It’s not ideal but that’s how I can squeeze it all into a day.
I’m a workaholic at heart. For me, it’s super tough to turn off work. Before we had our son, I would easily put in 80 hour work weeks. When our son arrived, I had a mental shift. All of a sudden, I found it a bit easier to turn off work and spend more quality time with my little family.
Family has always been a priority of mine so adding a child to the mix just skyrocketed that priority. Yes, I was (and still am) putting in a lot of work hours every week but I’ve become very aware of also being able to turn work off to spend quality time with my husband and son.
With a growing bump thanks to baby #2 (hello, 29 weeks) and a growing toddler (hello, almost three-year-old), I don’t want special moments to slip by due to a busy lifestyle that I like to lead. Time is passing by too quickly and I often find myself pausing throughout the day/week/month to slow down and be present.
I’m constantly in search of ways to be more mindful.
5 Ways to Slow Down and Be Present
By slowing down, a person can be more mindful. Mindfulness is simply the practice of being aware of what is going on around you and inside you. It means living in the present and consciously making the most of each and every day. Here are five simple ways to slow down and be present.
1.) Eat Meals
Instead of enjoying breakfast, many people fix a smoothie and hit the road. People often have “working lunches” or skip lunch and work through it. Dinner is usually enjoyed on the couch while surfing the television. Stop and enjoy meals.
If you can, wake up a few minutes earlier to sit down at your table and enjoy breakfast … even if you simply pour yourself a bowl of cereal. Instead of working through lunch, step away from the computer and be more mindful about the food that you eat during your lunch break. As for dinner, turn off the television, sit at your table, turn on some music, and enjoy the meal.
2.) Go Outside
Hours can slip by before you realize that you haven’t been outside all day. Go for a walk around the block, sit outside on the steps, walk to a coffee shop … simply find simple ways to go outside, get fresh air, and take a break.
Staying cooped up indoors all day every day is not healthy for a body. Find easy ways to escape outside and get fresh air. Be more intentional about getting outside.
3.) Find Joy
It’s so easy to let life’s simply joys and pleasures slip by because we are too busy, too tired, too pulled-in-too-many-directions. But, life is full of simple joy. For me, when my husband and son are playing together, I always make sure to stop and take either a physical or mental photo. I never want those moments to pass by. It’s those photos that bring me so much joy, especially during difficult days.
From flowers to sunsets, laughter to smiles, coffee to ice cream, find the simple joys in life that bring you calm and peace.
4.) Enjoy “Me Time”
All of us wear so many hats. From mother to father, sister to brother, daughter to son, employee to employer … most days can be filled with exhausting minutes that lead to tiresome hours. We wake up early, go to bed late, and always feel connected. We are all busy. Many of us are beyond tired. This “on-the-go, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses, always have to be bigger and better” lifestyle frame of mind can leave you feeling tired, frustrated, or inadequate. Rarely do we have time to sit back, reflect, and enjoy the moment. Here are simple ways to find more “me time.”
5.) Live in the Moment
For many people, they are planners. They plan everything down to the minute. But, life is life and sometimes it throws you curve balls. Try and go with the flow, plan what you can, and learn to accept and take the day as it comes your way.
How do you slow down and enjoy the present?