This year, I decided 2017 would be my year of living mindfully. Mindfulness was, and still is, my own personal goal. I challenged myself to stop, take stock daily and be present. Be Mindful. So here’s where I am at one month after starting this mindfulness experiment. In fact, I thought mindfulness would be easier than this, so I am looking to build in some new relaxation and mindfulness tools to help get there.
This morning, walking alone, on a beautiful winter day, it was easy to close my eyes, block out jobs, tasks, To Do Lists, and reflect on the beautiful surroundings. Southern Ontario in the winter can be pretty stunning. The city I live in, London, has many beautiful neighbourhoods. Being able to take a walk, get outdoors and inhale clean, fresh air made me feel present, energized and grateful that we live in Canada. Mindfulness and morning walks are a great combination. And I got my steps in too so that was a bonus.
The past two weeks have been challenging and stressful watching what has been happening politically south of our border. That makes it even more important to take care and take breaks from watching the news and scouring social media. Intuitively I know that. But building mindfulness into daily life is no walk in the park. It is in fact much much harder than I imagined. That’s why I am adding mindfulness tools to the mix this month.
In the first month of my mindfulness resolution I have found:
- It is easier for me to be mindful on a Friday.
- Monday is my hardest day to focus. Monday is one of my favourite days but I find the week stretched out before me often means I want to tackle everything at once. Monday needs more focus here.
- Vacations are wonderful opportunities to be mindful and appreciate family and new experiences. In January when we were on a cruise ship having a family vacation, I found it easy to relax and be mindful. Whipping down a waterslide having fun makes me happy and mindful of the moment and my surroundings. Standing in line with my daughter waiting to race down the Perfect Storm waterslide, and watching the ocean as we sailed through the waves. That is my happy place. Flying across the ship zip lining as my daughter watches. Happy place. It’s easy to be mindful and contemplative during those times.
- The regular day to day routine is sometimes almost too busy for me to even create a few moments to be mindful. It feels forced and that’s not the goal.
- So what is the goal – well, for me it’s training my brain, as I do my body. To remember and stop and focus and appreciate and grow strong.
- Mindfulness tools might be necessary to help during the week. Calming candles, creative colouring books, pencils, paper, and puzzles.
I want to remember and appreciate all the things. All the times we pranked each other, or cuddled watching a movie. The times we spent just the four of us together. Mindfulness and relaxation go hand in hand. BUT, life and parenting and work are non stop busy almost all the time. SO, how do you find the time to just stop and relax? I do relaxation, meditation after centergy class at least twice a week. That five minutes of quiet is GOLDEN. At home I find it harder to build calming time in, perhaps because I also work from home.
So what’s the solution to that? I need to calm down regularly. But saying that is a bit like yelling at someone, or cajoling a child to Calm Down. It’s a useless sentiment if you are hollering it at someone. And frankly to a child Calm Down is meaningless. You have to give them the tools to calm down. So, that’s where I am at – finding my own mindfulness tools this year to help myself calm down those moments when I am over scheduled and at home.
This month, I am building in these mindfulness tools: Hallmark puzzles, colouring books, art supplies, candles too. Many people love colouring and I know from experience that one of my daughters has been able to use art as a means of managing mental health. Opening a puzzle together can help you to come together as a family and finish a group task.
I can’t wait to get started on the Love is Everything Colouring Plaque and Hallmark’s The Art of Mindfulness – Colouring Book of Inspiring Designs was made for me this year. Can’t believe how perfect that is actually. Since part of my resolution involves family time, and togetherness, we will share these Hallmark gifts together.
Look for updates on my year of living mindfully every month here.
For Hallmark, mental wellness and relaxation is top-of-mind, with puzzles, colouring books, and calming décor as far as the eye can see. I am a Hallmark ambassador and as such I receive perks. My experience and opinion is all my own.