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being mindful...

5 Tips for Being More Mindful

I have to admit. Sometimes I just go about life and I forget about myself. Did you see this video with Jada Pinkett Smith? She’s so right about remembering to take care of yourself so you can be better equipped to take care of others, too. This month, I’ve partnered with Aetna to share some of my favorite tips for being mindful and to help make this year better than ever.

Mindfulness includes a lot of things like managing emotions, taming your mind, calming your body, and giving yourself a break. Because I need to be reminded of these things too, here are five of my favorite tips on ways to be more mindful today and any day where you just need to give yourself something, too...

Take a pause before bedtime

1. Take a pause before bedtime. The day is finally (finally!) over, and you have a some quiet time. No more kids calling your name, no more deadlines to meet. This is a great time to have a moment to yourself and just be. See if you can quiet the mind and slow down the body to prepare for sleeping.

Live in the present

2. Live in the present. So for today, gently note when the mind wanders off to things that happened in the past and things that might or might not happen in the future. Keep your head in the present—and get ready to feel a lot more content.

Do one task at a time

3. Do one task at a time. How often is your brain trying to tackle many things at one time in the interest of trying to multi-task? While doing a lot at once can be helpful in some situations, sometimes you just need a break. Try focusing on one task at a time. Fold the laundry and just think about that. Or turn on the TV without checking your texts or taking a call. Your mind will feel less “busy” and you’ll feel more present in the moment.

Go from ”to do” to ”done”

4. Go from ”to do” to ”done”. Do ever feel like no matter how well the day goes, you still don’t get everything done on your “to-do” list? Instead of one giant list, create a few smaller to-do lists based on 1st Priority (for things that MUST happen today), 2nd Priority (for things that could happen today if possible), and 3rd priority (for things that are bonuses if they happen today). That way you can make sure to do absolutely everything on the shorter Priority 1 list and know that you accomplished those musts for today. Then, whatever is left in the day’s #2 and #3 list can either stay on those lists for the next day or they can get moved up to #1 when necessary.  

Indulge in a non-dominant hand day

5. Indulge in a non-dominant hand day. Try using your less dominant hand for everyday tasks. From using a fork to brushing your teeth, you spend every day doing these rituals with the same hand. Well it’s time for a little change. It’ll make you pay attention to the task at hand (no pun intended) -- and bring you back to the present moment (I painted this mural with my left hand and we ended up using it as a backdrop for this post!).

Do you guys ever try these things? Any others things you do that help you be more mindful?

This post was sponsored by Aetna, who believes health is about the body and the mind. Stress can affect emotional and physical health, and reducing stress can boost wellbeing. As part of their #Mindful30 challenge, the views and opinions expressed in my posts on the topic of mindfulness are my own, not Aetna’s. To learn more about mindfulness, visit aetnamindfulness.com

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester}