Self Care and Mindfulness rub alongside each other quite nicely.
A lot is thrown around about mindfulness, what it is, why it’s good for us and that we all really need to do a lot more of it, but what is it?
I believe that small actions we do daily can help towards feeling more calm, centered and in control.
These are my four mindful actions I do daily;
1. Slow down
Slow everything down.
Consider this wonderful Thai proverb; ‘Life is so short we must move very slowly.’
Just living in the East you naturally slow down, it is hot and people move at a slower pace. This was a big shift for me coming from London where everyone moves at lightning speed. I find it takes me a few weeks to acclimate myself to the pace when we visit, and often I wonder ‘where is everyone going so quickly? And a bit of FOMO.’
As mothers, we also tend to do everything all at once in the quickest and easiest way possible.
We grab everything, for example, if we’re going upstairs or another room, we may think; I’ll clean this, tidy this, I’ll grab this all at once with all my eight hands!
This is the biggest change I made in my life, it seems like such a simple thing, but it can be so effective.
2. Carry one thing at a time.
Once upon a time I was about to eat Mexican food. I wanted to carry all the bits into the dining room; tortillas, lettuce, cheese, etc etc and thought I should carry the jalapeños too (IN MY ARMPIT). I thought that was a good idea, of course, it slid out and we ended up with jalapeños all over the floor mixed with glass and jalapeños juice.
In hindsight, I was carrying too much and when I catch myself even attempting to do something like that now, I stop.
Carrying one thing physically and also metaphorically.
When something is bothering you, think about it, spend a good ten minutes going over it, feeling it and then decide that’s it for the day. No more mulling.
There is a wonderful story I came across about two monks. An older one carried a woman across a river. After hours of silence between the monks the younger one asked, we are not permitted a woman, why would you carry one? The older monk stated ‘I put the woman down by the river, why are you still carrying her?’
I love this story, as an over thinker myself I train myself not to hold on to worries and thoughts. It is a challenge but worth it for a positive state of mind.
3. No Screens When Eating
In our house we have the radio, we chat or we don’t.
I’m so grateful for Alexia as she plays whatever we ask.
Together we appreciate the feeling of the food, the taste and especially here in Thailand where everything taste so damn good.
I see a lot of restaurants with screens put in front of children. Consider your own childhood and that boredom can breed creativity. Or you can tell children that ‘ only boring people get bored’ another valuable saying (sarcastic tone) I will leave that there as I know we all do what we can, it’s just something that has worked well for us.
Two points in the day.
1. In the morning, use an alarm clock (not your phone), wake up slowly and take a moment.
Sit and just think about what day it is, what’s coming in the day, and how you feel.
Use this time for a few affirmations or just saying today is going to be a good day.
2. Bedtime, just before sleep, take some time to think about what you are grateful for.
That’s it. Simple
- Put reminders on a Post-its around your home/work: e.g. Breathe or screen break.
- Bring awareness to your breath and the present moment.
- Be aware of your surroundings: the smell, sounds and feelings.