My daughter Sarah and I were at the store the other day and I happened to be looking at the magazines. There were two I was interested in – both had the topic of mindfulness on the cover.
And then Sarah said, “Mindfulness. I am so sick of hearing about that.”
I get it.
Sarah has a full time job, an almost 6 year old, and she goes to school part time, plus she does all the things we women tend to do – clean the house, cook the meals (plan the meals and buy the groceries), and on and on.
I don’t have to tell you. You know.
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Or do we?
I have become a big fan of mindfulness, mediation, and just breathing in the last few months. (I unexpectedly lost my youngest daughter last November, and these are some of the tools that I use to cope.)
Mindfulness, at it’s most basic, is nothing more than being present in the moment.
Stop thinking about the next 5 minutes, or hour, or week (or even last week), and just be in the moment. Sounds woo woo, but it isn’t.
When someone talks to you – even if it’s a 4 year old – especially if it’s a 4 year old – put down your phone, your pen, whatever, look them in the eye, and really listen.
That’s being in the moment.
When you eat a meal, put down your phone, etc. and really enjoy what’s in front of you. Appreciate the color, the texture, the flavor; enjoy the conversation or the atmosphere around you. You might eat less; you’ll certainly enjoy it more. (And if you can’t enjoy what’s in front of you or around you, you might want to give that some thought.)
Meditation. There’s a loaded word for those of us with ADHD.
Most people think you have to clear your mind and think of nothing in order to meditate.
Might as well tell us to grow another head, right?
Meditation is quieting the mind. Sounds impossible, I know.
I use guided meditations, because then I have something and someone to focus on. Sure, I wander away. My thoughts intrude. But as I practice, I get better.
And it helps. It helps calm me down, helps me sleep, and sometimes just gives me a break from my head when I need one. I tend to go for meditations that last 5 – 10 minutes. I don’t have the patience for anything longer. (And in my house, I’m lucky to get that much quiet time.)
Finally, there’s just breathing.
You do that all the time anyway. 😉
You know how when you get mad, people tell you to count to 10?
Just breathing is sort of like that.
Just concentrate on your breath. In. Out.
Feel the air coming in, then going out.
Try breathing in for a count 5, holding it for a count of 5, then breathing out for a count of 5. If you can wait for a count of 5 for your next breath, even better. Try that a few times and it can significantly calm you down.
See? We’re talking anywhere from 10 minutes to just a few seconds. You’ve got time for that.
Give it a shot once or twice or 20 times.
Couldn’t you use a little peace and calm in your life?