If there’s something every one of us is guilty of it’s the way we tend to go full speed ahead and never really slow down.
How many mornings have you already started going through your emails and notifications before you’ve gotten around to brushing your teeth or brewing your coffee? Heck, how many mornings do you spend a minute or two going through social media prior to getting out of bed?
Once our day finally comes to an end, there we are again, scrolling and scrolling when we should be unwinding before bed.
We are on from moments after waking up until we go to bed.
We toss and turn trying to fall asleep because the thoughts of today and the opportunities of tomorrow bombard us.
One thing I have really been focusing on is being present in the moment. So I compiled a list of 5 moments you can make an effort to be present in throughout your day.
Moment One: That First Sip Of Coffee (or tea if you’re into that)
Seriously, don’t be scrolling through your phone. You’ve taken those extra few minutes to make a good cup of coffee or tea, enjoy it.
Spend a moment really soaking up the essence of each unique aroma. Feel the warmth of that first sip warm up your whole body and begin to wake you up. Enjoy it at home, while you’re getting ready or with breakfast. Don’t have it be another rushed addition to your commute into town.
If you don’t have enough time in the morning, you aren’t giving yourself enough time to wake up and be present in the world before starting your day.
Moment Two: When A Friend Is In Need
We spend so much of our time multi-tasking and truly distracted, especially from those who are around us.
If you aren’t like me and tend to be on your phone when you’re with friends, pay attention to when those people really need you. If they want advice or need to vent, set your phone down. Turn off the sound notifications. Fully listen to them and what they need.
If you aren’t one to really be on your phone, focus in on how you’re listening. Are you listening to respond? Are you listening for a pause where you can interject your advice or a time when you experienced something similar? A pause in the conversation isn’t always an invitation to speak.
And for the friends we have online or long-distance friends, when they need something, don’t try and continue working on whatever you were doing. Don’t continue to scroll through social media. Be patient and if you aren’t understanding something, ask for clarification. The same context doesn’t exist within a text and you can’t always feel the emotions being expressed.
Taking time to be present for the friends who need us, shows them how much we support them and care for them and helps set a standard for the kind of support we need in return.
*PS if your friends won’t get off their phone when you’re together, get new friends*
Moment Three: Eating Lunch
Take a moment and think about the habits you have surrounding lunch.
Do you take your lunch break and sit in the poorly lit break room? Do you bring in fresh food? Or do you take your break and go out to grab lunch? Maybe you drive through a fast food joint. Do you take your food and sit outside? Maybe you eat at your desk and never take your break. Worse, you may not even eat lunch.
To me, lunch is always a rushed and often slightly forgotten meal. It is extremely valuable as it gives us the energy we need to get through the rest of our work days, yet we neglect it more often than not.
So here’s a few ideas:
- leave your phone at your desk
- if the weather’s nice, eat outside
- plan to eat with a coworker or friend who works nearby and DON’T talk about work/doctor’s appointments/or anything that occupies most of your time
- eat fresher foods
- eat slowly
- take your entire break – and if you work from home schedule yourself a nice break and don’t skip it
Moment Four: When Your Favorite Song Comes On
Music is the best therapy there can be. It can also serve as a huge distraction, but if you find yourself working with the radio or your favorite playlist on and your favorite song comes on, I invite you to stop what you’re doing and listen to it.
When you’re driving home or running errands, get lost in your favorite songs. Don’t let the traffic or the other bad drivers make the drive miserable. Turn up your music and simply enjoy it.
The same can be said for podcasts, birds chirping, and wind-chimes. If there’s a sound you love, allow yourself to fully focus on just that sound and enjoy every moment of it.
Moment Five: Reflecting Before Bed
New habit to start today? Turn your phone on airplane mode 30 minutes before bed.
Seriously, as you realize you’re getting tired the last thing you need are more emails, more Twitter mentions and comments on an Instagram post just demanding a response. You don’t need to have an endless conversation with anyone when you know you should be going to bed.
There’s plenty of research that talks about screen time and blue light blah blah blah… I don’t care about any of that.
I think we should start each day by being present, so it only makes sense to end each day in the same way.
Maybe you meditate or do some very gentle yoga stretches. Perhaps you’ve got mindfulness app that you can listen to or a calming podcast. I’ve got a journal where I take the time to reflect on various aspects of my day and if needed really write down thoughts that are bothering me. Jot down what you’ve accomplished and even if you’ve had a shit day, find a way to spin it to be more positive.
If mindfulness and all of that isn’t really your thing, simply turn on airplane mode, hop in the shower and move through your regular bedtime routine without your phone. If you tend to drift off on social media, try finding a book or sudoku/crossword puzzles to do right before bed instead.
We’re awake for an average of 960 minutes each day. That is 960 new opportunities to be present every single day.
Where will you choose to show up in your day?
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