Learn how to begin active mindfulness and yoga practices in a busy world.
We live in a busy world full of distractions — and it’s easy to lose track of yourself. Between work, family responsibilities, and just making it through each day, you might feel too busy to take a moment for mindfulness and feeding your soul.
But neglecting yourself can be detrimental. It’s important to take time to focus inward and take care of yourself with yoga and mindfulness, even if it’s just for a short period of time each day.
Here are some strategies to help you do just that.
Just fit it in
For some, making time for mindfulness means just squeezing it into activities you’re already doing. For example, you could go through your morning routine with mindfulness, just practicing your daily tasks like brushing your teeth with intention.
Be more aware of yourself, your breath, the world around you as you’re speeding through the morning.
Set a reminder
You know your low points during the day, when you start getting distracted or may struggle emotionally. Set a reminder for yourself each day at that time to pause and check in, and maybe throw in a quick yoga pose or two so you can reset and go on about your day.
Build it into your routines. Identify times in your day when you could focus on mindfulness even if it’s just for a moment. For example, as you get into your car, or when you sit down to your desk, maybe even right before you eat a meal.
Create a bedtime routine
Spend time each night being mindful and practicing a few yoga poses. It doesn’t have to be extensive, but going through a consistent, relaxing routine each night before bed can help you calm down, sleep better, and feel better about yourself and the emotions you experienced during the day.
You can even do yoga in bed if you’re not feeling up to a full session at night.
Make yoga a family activity
If you’re struggling to fit in yoga because you’re dealing with kids around the clock, encourage them to join you. Teach kids how to do the same yoga poses you’re doing, or modify them so they’re easier for them to do.
It’s easier to make time for yoga when you’ve scheduled it. Mindfulness and physical activity doesn’t just happen, and it’s easy to let these activities get trampled on in favor of other things to do. Schedule time for yoga and inward reflection, and then get ready to do it.
For example, if you want to spend time in the morning practicing yoga, get your yoga mat ready the night before and plan out which poses you want to do. Then, all you have to do is roll out of bed and get it done, and the barrier to getting started is much lower.
Do one pose at a time
You don’t have to commit to a 40 minute yoga and mindfulness session every morning. Just do what you can, where you can for as long as you can. Just get your momentum going, and keep in mind doing a little is better than doing none at all.
Feel like you can’t make time for mindfulness or yoga? Think about your daily life and where you can take a few moments for yourself here and there. Remember you can’t push yourself too hard, and recognize that everyone needs time to reflect, relax, and calm down now and then. Active mindfulness can help — and anyone can fit it in to daily life.
Susan Austin is a family research specialist with Family Living Today. A mother of three and small business owner in Texas, Austin spends her days juggling work and family life — sometimes expertly, sometimes not.