You know those times when you may feel like your life is on a perpetual spin cycle. Time is flying. You just don't know where the time went. Running and running, but what are you actually doing? Busy, busy, but what are you actually thinking? Everything is moving super fast, you all of sudden feel there is no space for anything. No exercise, no downtime, no clear mind, no rest, no sense of peace. You feel the burn out coming, but are at a loss as to how to bring this spin cycle to complete halt. I've been there as I'm sure we all have. So what can we do to ease the craziness we are feeling? Slow down. Celebrate the small stuff. Live mindfully. It's so cliché, but it really does work! Trust me.
6 Mindful Tips to Halt the Spin Cycle:
1. Revamp Your Morning Routine:
What do you need to do for you to have a calm morning? Give yourself enough time to get up and out. Squeeze some rejuvenation into your morning...meditation, exercise, journaling, vibing to music, get a good night's sleep..whatever you desire. Trust me, I have been known as the queen of last minute in my house...waking up late and running around the house like a mad woman, breakfast, making lunch for the kiddie, mad dash to get us up and out. These mornings are no fun and make us all crazy and ruins a chill start to our day. Compare that to this morning when I was playing some classic Sade and preparing for our day with enough time. What a difference! The family was all smiles and no yelling! If you are kids free than all you have to do is be responsible for yourself...so what do you need to have more happy mornings than mad dash stressful mornings?
2. The power of Gratitude.
Everyday write down things you are grateful for. The key is you can write the same things every day, so you need to switch it up. Take your gratitudes to the next level by writing why you are grateful. “I am grateful for _____ because_____.” I do this all the time. I am a moody Cancer girl so practicing gratitude gets me in a positive mood every time.
3. Just Sit and Breathe.
Take a pause. Sit comfortable and just breathe in, and breathe out. Follow your breath. Slow down. Morning or night, what a difference sitting meditation can make in your day. If you don't have a meditation practice, just try sitting for 5-10 minutes. Make a commitment to yourself.
4. Walk with Awareness.
I was introduced to walking meditation from the teachings of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hahn. According to Hahn, “walking in mindfulness is one of the best ways to take care the body and mind.” Normally one would walk very slowly during the formal practice, but you can walk regularly and still receive the benefit. When you walk just imagine your feet connecting with the earth, being as one with nature while you walk. Try observing nature as you walk. Yes, even urban dwellers can scope a tree, a bird, flowers, the sky. ”If we can transform our walking into a place for meditation, our feet will take every step in full awareness. Our breathing will be in harmony with our steps, and our mind will be naturally at ease. Every step we take will cause a stream of calming energy to flow through us,” states the Zen Master Hahn. “Earth Mother can receive our negative thoughts and feelings and transform them into flowers.” I would rather have beautiful floral bouquets surrounding my mind than b.s, wouldn't you?
5. Eat slowly and enjoy your food.
Skip all the distractions while you eat. Yup, drop the phone, shut off the TV, close the book or your laptop, whatever you need to do. Enjoy your meal by testing out the practice of eating mediation. For lunch avoid eating lunch while you work. Get up and do something different. Eating meditation is simply eating slowly, chewing your food to enjoy the taste and carving out time to experience delicious foods while clearing the mind. The New York Times did this feature a while ago on mindful eating at one of my favorite places, the Blue Cliff Monastery.
6. Create Powers Mantras and Recite Regularly
Don't we all need to psyche ourselves out of some negative thought or limiting belief from time to time? If something is holding you back and you really want to shift towards a positive mindset, start creating power mantras, (my name for affirmations). For example, when I feel overwhelmed with the abundance of never-ending to-do's and the perfectionist in me is about to start the downward spiral, I have a simple power mantra for myself that stops the self-doubt...”I am more than enough.” This practice has supported me enormously. I have a client that took her affirmations very seriously...every single day she wrote out her affirmation multiple times ( along with her gratitudes) and shared them with me. She had a singular desire at that point in her life after she had lost her first pregnancy, to have a healthy baby girl. Oh the roller coaster we were on, but her affirmations stood firm. Fast forward today she has her gorgeous healthy baby girl. It really was like witnessing a miracle for me. This works! You just have to get crystal clear on what you desire.
I understand that sometimes the hard part is just getting started and getting clear. This is when it's great to reach out for support, whether it's a friend, partner, or coach. I'd love to hear how things go for you if you try any of these tips.