5 Ways to bring mindfulness into your life

I'm just going to throw it out there, in the current state of affairs, we could all probably do with a little more mindfulness.

And no, I don't mean you have to shave your head and sit still for hours on end, as great as it would be to be that chill, it's not a viable option for many of us. But, that doesn't mean you can't be more mindful in your day to day life, so here are some easy tips...

1. Go for a walk 

If you're reading this post in March 2020 then chances are you're spending a lot of time at home, either self-isolating because of the C word, or just taking extra precautions. Whether you're working from home, an office, or you spend most of the day driving, it's a good idea to wake your body up and get moving. This not only helps the body, but also the mind.

Have you ever tried taking a walk on your own? And I don't mean walking around the supermarket or shops, but a full blown walk all by yourself. It's hard to be mindful if you're walking with someone, but taking the time to walk alone will allow you to be fully immersed in your thoughts. Now I know that scares a lot of people, but sometimes it's good to find out what's really going on in there.

2. Do some gardening 

This might sound a bit old fashioned but what better way to spend your afternoon than basking in the spring sun being at one with nature. Planting seeds, cutting grass and all round tidying of your garden can be a great way to take the mind away from other tasks and focus on one thing. Don't have a garden? Then why not look into an allotment, start to decorate your balcony, or even better, offer to tidy the garden of an elderly relative.

And if you aren't up for getting your fingers dirty, maybe you could just read a book in the sun? Either one works.

3. Try mindful eating 

Mindful eating might sound like a bit of an unusual one, but I promise it's a real thing. Too many of us (me included) don't even stop to think about what we're eating and instead shovel it down as fast as possible in order to move onto the next task. When was the last time you took a moment to actually take in your meal, stop to look at it, taste each item and fully enjoy it?

What I mean by mindful eating is taking the time to enjoy the food you're chewing and appreciate it. So, next time you sit down for a meal, take things a little bit slower. Don't eat your food on the go or in the car, just sit, take it easy and indulge in your meal.

4. Take a moment before you rise

Get out of bed and immediately start scrolling on your phone? We are so used to processing as much information as possible that it has become second nature to pick up our phones whenever we think we have nothing to do and take in a little more.

Unfortunately, it's not the best way to start the day, logging onto your emails, or checking the never ending bad news online. You're not setting the day up with the right intentions if you begin it with work and negativity. Even if you aren't into meditation, why not just take a few moments in the morning to just be still and process the day ahead.

5. Try journaling 

Often people are afraid of writing a journal, as it is seen as the task of a teenage girl. However, journaling is a really great way to get all of your feelings out there and reflect on your day. Writing the things you did can help to ponder on your day in a way you never have before.

Luckily, journaling has become pretty popular and so there are several ways to do it. Bullet journaling is a new way to write down your thoughts through drawings and quirky images. Plus, it means there are plenty of really cool journal notepads around.


Sacrifice: We've all got to do it

The internet is filled with motivational quotes telling us that we have the power to do whatever we want in this world. Quotes such as: 

"If you can dream it, you can do it" 

"Be the best version of you" 

"Be stronger than your strongest excuses" 

Are bombarded all over your Facebook and Instagram feed on a daily basis, and most of the time we just roll our eyes, make a snarky comment and scroll past it. And you're right, they are pretty cheesy, but it's nice to know that people out there have the intention of inspiring others. However, I feel as though they are sugar coating how difficult it really is when it comes to reaching your goals as they are missing one pretty important word, Sacrifice. 

(Photo taken by www.marcelphotography.com) 

Although it would be nice to live in a world where we have the perfect work/family/friend/me time balance, the likelihood of this actually happening, especially early on when you're fighting for your goals is slim. That's because usually in-order to get where we want to be, we have to sacrifice another area of our life to focus harder and channel our energy. 

It's not often that I talk about topics this deep, but the notion of sacrifice really hit a chord with me the other week when my running coach had a real deep chat about my track goals. Long story short, over the last 2 years I've been on and off triple jump training which has got me nowhere when I definitely should have been somewhere by now. Why? I hear you don't ask, well because I have been prioritising other things and sacrificing my sport for work etc, and there wasn't a problem with that, until I realised that I wanted to put athletics first. 

I was told that if I really wanted to give the triple jump my best shot I was going to have to make sacrifices in other areas of my life. It may sound obvious, but how many times have you tried to balance all areas of your life, but couldn't quite understand why you weren't hitting any of your goals?  It's a hard truth to swallow, but if you really want to get that promotion, hit a deadlift PB, or nail that piece on the piano then you will have to be committed to the cause and unfortunately make sacrifices in other areas of your life. Miss social events, work harder and possibly train harder. 

The good news? It doesn't have to be like that forever. No one's saying that being a recluse is a new way of life if you want to reach your goals. But, if you're serious about it then you will have make those short or long term sacrifices every once in a while. But I promise, the reward for hitting your goal will be worth the sacrifice. Stick that to your new post as an inspirational quote.