Happy Friday! How was your week? After a long weekend, it can be difficult to get back into the swing of things. The week can seem like it lasts forever and you have more on your plate from not being at work for a few days. During a chaotic week, I find it helpful to steal a few moments during the day to practice mindfulness. Here are a few quick mindfulness exercises that can be done just about anywhere: 1. Smile at yourself in the mirror. It may feel strange at first, but smiling releases endorphins, relaxes the body, and slows your heart rate. 2. Mindful eating. Take a raisin or a piece of chocolate and mindfully eat it. Slow down, sense it, savor it and smile between bites. Purposefully slow down. Use all your senses to see it, touch it, smell it, and sense it. Then gently pop it into your mouth and really savor it. Savor its texture, its taste, how it feels in your mouth. Let it linger and then swallow it. Do the same thing for each raisin or chocolate you eat or bite you take. 3. Walking meditation. Engage all of your senses as you’re walking. Be aware of your feet hitting the ground, your lungs taking in air, your ears hearing every sound, and your eyes taking in the sights around you. 4. Stretch. Take a couple of minutes to do some static stretching (Especially when you’ve been sitting for a long period of time). Hold the stretches for 10-30 seconds. Stretching improves posture, reduces body aches, and relieves stress. 5. Mindful breathing. Focus on your breath for one minute. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, letting your breath flow effortlessly in and out of your body. Let go of your thoughts. Let go of things you have to do later today or pending projects that need your attention. Simply let thoughts rise and fall of their own accord and be at one with your breath.
Today and this weekend try to implement at least one of these activities. Doing so will help you be more present and relish the “here and now”!
Have a GREAT day. Have a GREAT weekend.