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5 Tips for Being More 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}

36 comments

  1. This is just what I needed today since I’m distracted by future opportunities. Thanks for the reminder! Also, your glasses in the second picture are adorable! Where are they from?

  2. Hi,
    Do you happen to know the name of the paint color in the picture with the folded t-shirts? I am looking for a pretty mint color and I really like the background color you used.
    Thanks!
    Kelly

  3. Now that my son is 3 and doesn’t require too much attention, I definitely am making time to pause and just enjoy the moment. However, I still struggle with keeping my phone down especially when I feel like I need to capture everything he does on camera. Have you ever felt this way?

  4. I need to do most of those things… As I type, I’m baking something and about to fold laundry and finish a design project. Ha! I like the divvying up of to-do tasks–I always have a giant to-do list. But I gotta admit, I LOVE crossing it off! 😉 It’s cute, Theo’s class just started practicing mindfulness and it’s so funny when he tells me, “Be mindful, Mama!” (like when i’m screaming me head off). Miss you!

  5. i think i need to make a priority list too- i get overwhelmed when i have wayyy too many things on my checklist and i end up not doing them at all because of it
    hammyta.wordpress.com

  6. Hey Lorra,
    Yes, totally. It can be tricky since our cameras are also our phones. I really try not to let my kids see me on my phone (unless it is to take a photo or video if them) and if I have to take care of something else urgently, I’ll “go to the bathroom” and do it. But when I pull it out for the camera, I hide it and put it away pretty quickly.
    Joy

  7. The link to the video is set up as an email address and doesn’t work. Can you provide the link again? Thanks 🙂

  8. Exercise… A walk, a run, a spin class… An activity that requires me to zone out and get my adrenaline pumping is incredibly calming and rewarding.

  9. I started to create a different “to do” list system. I organize my to do’s in three categories — items under “Me”, to do’s under “Fun” and the last one “Others” (i.e. Kid appointments, friend bdays). This little system has helped me to be mindful of what I forget most — to take care and do things for me!

  10. Yasssss to all of this.
    Just watched Ariana Huffington last night on Super Soul Sunday talk about Aetna’s CEO being a longtime practitioner of meditation and yoga and how he’s encouraged his employees to do this and the results are that it both increases productivity and lowers sick days. That’s pretty amazing. Apparently a lot of CEOs and very successful people have been “closeted meditators” who are now starting to share. 😉
    We finally just started last night with the no-phones in the bedroom thing, even though we know we should have been doing this ages ago. Feels like a step in the right direction.
    p.s. You made this all look so pretty — props!

  11. Oh man, in our smart-device filled world, sometimes I feel like it’s an accomplishment just to watch a whole movie without looking at my phone! Sometimes I feel like I go to the theater just so I’m forced to concentrate on watching something–or at the very least I have to have an “accountability buddy” to watch with me to make sure I don’t start scrolling through Instagram–which is insane! Watching movies is fun, not work!

  12. That is such great advice! I really need to work on being mindful anout when multitasking is not such a good idea. I love listening to podcasts while doing tasks and exercising, but it really does make a difference to just take a quiet walk with my baby without the earbuds. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  13. I am slowly getting started on mindfulness, it seems to be a process with its ups and downs but as long as we go on trying, it starts to settle in and we get balance back. I use Headspace everyday now, it feels so good! And I could not agree more on “from to do to done!” point! Thank you for this very helpful post, it feels good to see we are not alone in this!

  14. These are great ideas for being mindful. I often try and get through mindfulness books but find them a bit heavy/patronising. There is definitely something to be said for stopping to think every now and then during your day.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Whiskey Jars Blog xx

  15. I really have to focus on doing one task at a time – sometimes I feel like my brain is just jumbled up with a neverending to-do list and I get a little frazzled. I think perhaps that’s why lists and notepads work for me: I feel it extremely satisfying to cross things off and see what I’ve accomplished for the day.

  16. Mindfully living in the present has been a goal for me the past few months and the difference it makes, doesn’t allow you to live any different. #5 is such a great idea though, never thought of doing that! thanks for sharing!

  17. Love these reminders. I’m currently trying to work on my bedtime rituals, and making sure I take that time to just “be” before I go to bed. It’s so easy to stay up watching TV, reading, or checking your phone until the very last minute, but I find I need that quiet time to really get good sleep!

  18. HI Joy!
    These are some wonderful suggestions. I really love the smaller to do list. I have a master one on my computer and then use a post it for each day so that it’s realistic and manageable. I also tend to write down the time and what task I am doing, it shows me how much work I actually did and helps me stay focused on one task at a time.
    Cheers,
    Amy

  19. Thank yo u so much for this post. I have taken a few days off from my day job to work seriously on my blog. And feeling low with the recent “failure” in getting a promotion even after winning awards in office. But your post just gave me a new lease to get my work done.

  20. Doing one thing at a time is a personal goal of mine this year. I don’t think I’m sticking to it all that well but the act of consciously taking my time actually helped me feel a lot calmer and less stressed about not accomplishing everything at once.

  21. What a great post. Loved all the tips! I try to close my eyes and meditate even if it’s only for 10 mins a day. It helps me stay mindful. I love the tip of using your non-dominant hand for doing things. One would pay so much more attention 😉

  22. These are fabulous suggestions. In fact I just wrote a post (my first 🙂 about how its OK to take “me time” & that I believe it makes one healthier.
    Daily self care is so important. When I try to attack EVERYTHING I get so overwhelmed and end sitting there doing NADA.
    I am a new follower via Bloglovin
    glad to of found you 🙂
    Love, Frances

  23. I know this post is from awhile ago, but just wanted to say breaking my to do list into three separate lists based on priority has changed the way I work and made my days so much easier and more manageable! Thank you so so much for the suggestion!

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