Just Be Mindful, With What You’ve Got
By definition, mindful means “conscious or aware of something.” It also means “focusing that awareness on the present moment.” Now, there’s not a person in all the world who isn’t aware of the current crisis. And there’s probably not a person who wants to focus on it either. But the more aware we are of what’s goin’ down — in the world and in ourselves — the more likely we’ll be able to survive this crisis. Hell, if we’re smart about it, we may even be able to triumph.
Ways to Be Mindful
There are more than a few ways to be mindful. In fact, the list is pretty much endless. Meditation, of course, is the most obvious way to be mindful. But there are thousands of meditative practices that will lead to mindfulness, and which will truly enhance your life. Some of these practices may sound a little silly or trite. Others may seem to be downright counterintuitive. Yet, put into play, they each can contribute to your well-being. And after all, isn’t that what we’re after?
Of course it is. If it isn’t, it should be. Because your well-being affects the well-being of those around you. And their well-being in turn affects those around them. It’s the old domino effect. And yes, it’s a thing.
Here are a few easy mindfulness tricks, or, if you will, “habit hacks,” courtesy of the good folks at Mind Body Green:
That’s right: stretch. First thing in the morning. Soon as you wake. Reach for the heavens. Touch your toes. And, by all means, breathe. The deeper the better. This will boost your energy and center you for the day ahead.
- Drink Water
This can’t be emphasized enough. Ever. Drink water. Lots and lots of water. All day. Every day. Beginning at breakfast. And continuing through till nighty-night. Remember, both the brain and the heart are composed of 73% water. You let either one of those dry up and you’re done!
- Chew Slowly
Chew your food slowly. Really. And why not? You’re not going anywhere right now. And besides, you just may find delight in the texture and the taste of what you’re eating. Better yet, chewing more often leads to needing less. So you’ll significantly reduce the risk of a post-pandemic paunch.
Write down your day’s top three priorities, first thing in the morning, before you check your email. This will give you some focus. And it’ll also help you avoid mindlessly reacting to any nonsense that pops up on your screen throughout the day.
- Listen to Music
We all have our favorites. Songs that never fail to give us a little kick or provide a wide smile or in some way make us feel good all over. Keep these tunes close. If you’re feeling really inspired, Spotify that Fans Also Like feature. Who knows? You just may discover some all new faves!
Journaling may not be for everyone. Heck, it doesn’t even sound like it’s for everyone. But the practice of pulling out a little book and writing down your thoughts, feelings and reflections can be tremendously nourishing. It can also help you learn a thing or two about yourself, not to mention help keep track of where your head’s at. At the very least, what you write might prove to be an alibi should you ever need one. (jk!)
- Take a Walk
Yeah, we know. You’re on lockdown. And you’ve been told not to leave the house unless it’s absolutely essential. But you’ve also been given the greenlight to take a walk. So do it! Stroll around the ‘hood (slowly). Say “Hey!” to your neighbors (from a safe distance). Stop and smell the roses or the gardenias or the jasmine. And take three deep breaths every chance you get. This will both clear your head from the shut-in cobwebs and help you appreciate the world around you.
- Reach Out
People need people. Now more than ever. Even if it’s just to know someone’s out there. And now is a perfect time to reach out and touch someone you care about. It could be a loved one or a neighbor. Someone you’ve not spoken with in ages or your very best friend. Whoever it is, give ’em a ring or shoot ’em a text or send ’em an email. (Though calling is best.) Let someone know you’re thinking of ’em. Heck, make it a few someones. Different people each and every day. They’ll be glad that you did. So will you.
- Sleep Tight
Yes, we’ve all got good reason to toss and turn throughout the night. Damn good reason. But we’ve equally good reason to get a good night’s sleep. In fact, we’ve got loads of good reasons to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep directly affects concentration, productivity and cognition, so any deprivation risks leaving us scatterbrained and unproductive. Furthermore, sleep helps the body restore and rejuvenate itself, as well as to consolidate our memories. Most importantly perhaps, sleep also helps strengthen our immune system. And in a world where we’re only as strong as our capacity to fend off illness, a good night’s sleep is more essential than ever.
So there you have it. Some of the simplest ways to stay mindful through this craziness. But please, don’t let the simplicity fool you. Simple ain’t easy. In fact, it’s often the hardest part of life. It takes will. It takes effort. And it takes smarts. Real smarts. But you’re smart enough to know that. You’re smart enough to do that too. And we wish you the very best of luck!
Healing Properties sober home has been helping men get and stay sober since 2002. We strictly adhere to Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12 Steps. In fact, we both value and revere AA’s blueprint for living. And consequently practice its principles in all of our affairs. Why? Because we’ve found that it works. That’s why. It really is that simple. If you or a loved one is experiencing issues with alcoholism or addiction, please give us a call. We’d very much like to help.