HOW TO USE YOUR COMMUTE TO BECOME MORE MINDFUL. IT’S POSSIBLE I PROMISE.
2016 has been a bit of a revolution for me so far. I’ve got my work life balance back in check after a rather difficult 2015, I’ve created a fitness habit which I so desperately needed (currently using my Monday & Tuesday lunch times for a regular Pilates & body pump class, but hoping to get my weekly netball back on the schedule too), I seem to have tackled my weekly migraines and reduced these down to one a month (probably thanks to less stress & looking after myself better), and more than that I’ve started to take back control of my life and my time by practising #NotSorry religiously. These changes are not fads, they’re lifestyle changes which I promised myself at the end of 2015 that I would put in motion. I wanted to get my wellness back in line, and in turn become a little more mindful (I even wrote a feature on how to be more mindful).
Mindfulness and wellness are two things that really hit the Zeitgeist radar in 2015, and for good reason. As a career driven, time limited, always busy, perfection seeking female, I often find myself overworked, overwhelmed with stress & with no time to spend properly looking after myself … and so the rise in awareness of well-being and mindfulness is something I have really welcomed, can appreciate and want to strive towards.
But I get it, time isn’t limitless, and so finding time to practice mindfulness and live a well life can be tricky. But I’ve found an easy way to dedicate 20-40 minutes twice a day to being a little more mindful. And that’s your commute. It’s typically the least peaceful and relaxing part of most commuters day, but actually it has the potential to be a little sanctuary time. So today I thought I’d share how …
Mindfulness (NOUN): a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
#1 POD CASTS
The hustle and bustle of a packed train, tube or bus can be a little stress inducing I know, but finding a way to escape on that journey, and potentially learn something at the same time is not a bad way to maximise your time, and practice a little mindfulness on route. There are tons of podcasts available out there, and tons designed to aid mindfulness too … as a starter for 10 why not try the TED talks as a way to inspire you on your commute?
My favourite way to relax & focus on my inner ‘calm’ on my commute is to read. Currently I’m reading all about Sarah Knights #NotSorry theory which I absolutely love (and am practising religiously in 2016 as I mentioned), but a good chic lit or even a motivational novel like Arianna Huffington Thrive, or a mindfulness journal which you can write on your way to work (try the Kikki.K mindfulness journal) is a great way to practice mindfulness on your otherwise hot, sweaty, stressful commute.
Have you tried Headspace yet? If not, get it. 10, 15, 20, 60 minute meditation pod casts to help you practice mindfulness in a really simple, easy to use app. It’s genius. When I was suffering badly from my migraines last year I started using the app to try and help me relax my mind. But it’s a great way to get some good use out of your commute (and don’t worry there’s no Buddha posing required, you can simply listen along sitting or standing).
#4 FUEL RIGHT
Whilst women eating on the tube is clearly a huge social issue (jeez guys), I suggest we ignore the haters and start using our commute to fuel our body (and our minds) ready for the day ahead! Prepare yourself a fresh, energy boosting juice, a healthy breaky and savour every minute of the tasty experience. Rather than rush it all before leaving the house, use that 40 minutes on the train to start your day properly. And if possible … don’t multi task. Simply focus on eating & enjoying your meal.
#5 TAKE THE SCENIC ROUTE
For me the best way to ‘be in the moment’, feel calm & relaxed and also to connect with my mind & work through all the thoughts that are buzzing around is to be out in the open … whether that’s running, cycling, scooting (I can’t believe how many middle age Londoners scoot to work these days – YOLO) or simply walking. Being in the fresh air and physically active is a great way of feeling connected and in turn a great way to boost your mindfulness.
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be a big thing, nor a thing that takes tons of time from your life, it’s just about allowing yourself moments to stop, breathe, reconnect & embrace the moment.
OTHER FEATURES YOU MIND FIND INTERESTING:
. HOW TO BE MORE MINDFUL . 5 EVERYDAY ESCAPISMS . HOW TO HAVE A DIGITAL DETOX . 5 TIPS TO HELP YOU HAVE A POSITIVE DAY .10 MORNING TIPS TO START YOUR DAY RIGHT .THREE LIFE CHANGING BOOKS YOU NEED TO READ NOW . #NOTSORRY THEORY . HOW TO GET YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE BACK . 5 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR DAY .HOW TO DEAL WITH STRESS .
. ZARA TRENCH COAT (OLD) . MADEWELL JEANS . CHLOE HAYLEY . RUSSELL & BROMLEY LOAFERS . WHISTLES TEE .
Oh … as for the look. A classic trench will never go out of fashion, this Zara one is a firm staple the third year running. Don’t you agree?
How do you maximise your commute to work? Are you a believer in mindfulness, how do you practice being mindful in your day to day life?