As of today I have officially completed the #Mindful30 program and boy do I feel good about starting out the year this way. I’ve taken each tip (you can read them here: #1, #2 and #3) and practiced them religiously and seen some amazing benefits to my overall mood. As a mom every moment feels precious—time away from Elin, time with Elin—and enjoying each day, no matter how many Cheerios I step, on has become a priority. I feel like I blink and she’s doing, saying, exploring something new, which puts little frustrations in perspective. Incorporating the different #Mindful30 tips has helped me feel more present, be more productive and enjoy even the hardest days of being a working mom. However this final tip is one that I have to constantly revisit and remind myself about on a daily basis. It’s the thing that quickly slips away from me: the rush. Rushing to work, rushing to a friend’s house, rushing to a meeting and rushing in traffic. The rush is sometimes what turns me into a ball of stress.
Tip #4 Next time you find yourself in the state of “rushing”, ask yourself “Do I really need to be hurrying?” In most cases, the answer is likely “No.” So take a breath and slow down. Your body and mind will thank you.
The morning hustle is always the time when I find myself hurrying around like a chicken with my head cut off. Time notoriously slips away and something important gets forgotten or I end up leaving the house without a proper breakfast, never a good start to the day. By stopping myself and pausing to take a breath/beat I was able to make better use of my time. Instead of letting the constant buzz in my head of “things to do” distract me, being present with my thoughts forced me to prioritize (calmly) and focus on the important stuff.
Other times I feel the surge of “rushing” come on. Is when I’m sitting in traffic or waiting on someone/something to get home to Elin and Todd. It’s an unnecessary stress that never physically gets me anywhere faster. Getting worked up happens all too naturally, so this tip is key to setting my mood and mind straight. I even started enjoying any moments of being stuck in my car and recognizing it as a little “me” time to call a friend or listening to music. Just the act of stopping to recognize your thoughts and emotions is huge for turning around your day. Photography by Arna Bee
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.