Prioritizing home, school, work, children, and family life can be overwhelming. A lot of times we are rushing around so much we forget to stop and enjoy a free afternoon or a happy moment with family. Today’s topic is about pausing in the chaos to welcome a moment that we would otherwise miss.
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
Here are five tips on how to be more mindful during times that matter.
5) Only work at work. The Millenial Generation of workers are a group I’m proud to be part of. We are modern, we are tech savvy, we are creative thinkers, we get the job done. What we do terribly is keep a regular or reliable schedule. As part of “getting the job done” we are notorious for answering emails at home, preparing presentations on our ipads while waiting for the bus and closing big work deals at 7:00 p.m. on Fridays. The New York Times called our generation the most “stressed” generation in history and one can only wonder why. While we are closing business deals what we are missing is enjoying our evenings with our kids and families. The best worker is one who is recharged and ready to conquer each day so think of your time away from your computer, ipad or iphone as an investment in the next day's productivity and your own mental health.
4) Create Boundaries- Similar to work boundaries, create boundaries with your family and friends. My friends and I are all social workers and have the same typical complaint. We always attract other people’s problems. Our favorite waiter looked forward to my group coming in on a Friday because he knew he could lay out his week and get support and feedback. My professor used to relay all her complaints during quiet moments after class. Family members would cry to us when they couldn’t pay their rent or had a bad break up. Stop being the only support in a one sided relationship. With your time and mind free you can reinvest in people who reciprocate your needs with theirs and support you unconditionally. For more on these people check out the post on creating your inner circle
3) Build Balance- Balance is not something that just occurs. Just like any challenge in life it is something that is built with time and effort. You have to make time for building balance, just as you make time for any other important chore or task in your daily life. You can create balance through planning. Make a mindful plan to carve out 15 minutes in the morning to eat a home made breakfast instead of running through the drive through. Carve out 45 minutes in the evening to take a walk with your children instead of watching an extra tv show. Create a rule about “no cell phones” at the dinner table. Choose one small technique a week and continue to build to increase balance at home.
2) Ask for help- Asking for help is a tough one. As someone who is used to doing it all and helping others, what you need to realize is that everyone needs help with something sometime. It is not a personal failure or a short coming. Asking for help is actually a characteristic of the strong. Anything great was built with team work- introduce this same concept into your daily life. When you ask for help, what you will find is you have just carved out more time for you to spend meaningfully.
1) Listen- It is so hard to focus on a simple conversation when you have a thousand other things on your mind. It’s so easy to zone out when your child tells you about their day but LISTEN. Listen. Put your cell phone down, step away from the television and listen to the important people in your life. Before there were tvs in cars and texting in lieu of conversations, there were just conversations. Try that simple interaction for a moment and see if it brings you peace.