Time To Sort Your Shit Out & Start Living A Little More Mindfully.
After writing this post last week I had so many lovely messages, email and calls from readers, friends, family and fellow bloggers, sharing their love and support and generally just giving me a little virtual hug. It was lovely to have so much kind and genuine support, and it was lovely to hear your words and advice too.
Off the back of my realisation that it was time I sorted my shit out I decided it was time to act. It was time to live more mindfully.
Firstly I picked back up my latest Sarah Knight Book ironically called ‘Sort Your Shit Out’ (my sister knows me well, a Christmas present put to good use already) and secondly, I decided it was time I started to live a little more mindfully. Mental health after all is just as important as our physical health, and mindfulness is one way to help keep that mental health in tact.
Being mindful and well is something I have strived hard to achieve in theory, but not tried hard enough to practice in reality. But in my quest to get my life and health in a stable position, I’ve decided to take the practice of mindfulness a little more seriously, and that means not just buying the book, but reading it and actually acting on it too. It doesn’t have to require big, timely and life altering actions, in fact I’ve realised its often the small, quick and simple things that over time, can have the biggest impact.
And so today I thought i’d share five of the very simple things I’m doing to help me live my life a little more mindfully, and hopefully inspire you a little too.
mindfulness | ˈmʌɪn(d)f(ʊ)lnəs/ | 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.
FIVE WAYS TO LIVE LIFE MORE MINDFULLY
Have A Hard Cut Off
It’s easy to let work trickle into life, to let life slip away into promises of ‘tomorrow’ and it’s easy to forget to prioritise the things that you should be demanding for your health and happiness when you have work demands that eat all your time and energy. I get it. But truth be told working this way isn’t only unhealthy but its also unproductive in the long run, because burn out (whether its motivation or health) happens.
Learning to work smart is key, and for me that means committing to a hard cut off everyday. If I don’t I can work until 11pm and be back on emails at 7am. But the more this happens, the more it comes to be expected, and that is really no good for my mindfulness let alone overall wellness. So in order to free time for other things … i’m trying to commit to a hard ‘work’ cut off. You know, leave the office on time, stop checking emails after 7pm, saying No to extra or unnecessary work, and most importantly stop picking up other peoples slack.
Make More ‘Me Time’
And what this hard cut off means, is that everyday I get a little more ‘me time’.
Me time that I can fill with the things I love, the things that make me feel content and the things that I know help me relax, unwind and feel positive. Reading, blogging, taking a bath, watching a movie, grabbing a coffee, taking pictures, visiting my favourite cafes and restaurants, going to the cinema, listening to music … simple ‘everyday’ things that boost my positivity, give me a feeling of content and overall help me live a more mindful life everyday.
It’s incredible how different you can feel when you just spend 30 minutes doing something you enjoy throughout the day, whether it’s reading a book on your commute rather than checking your phone, listening to music whilst you walk to work, popping to your favourite coffee shop for lunch, and making time to enjoy an evening, even if that evening is simply sat on the couch watching that infamous box set.
Go To Bed On Time
There’s a viscous cycle that it’s too easy to fall into, I for one am only just crawling back out of the terrible habit. Up Early, Work Late, Eat Late, Sleep Late, Up Early, Work Late, Eat Late, Sleep Late … zzz. Makes me exhausted thinking about it and how I’ve been living.
It’s too easy for work to fill your waking hours and sleep to become the only way to relax. So as part of my hard cut off commitment, the plan is to have an actual evening everyday, an evening to relax, enjoy dinner, unwind and have time to myself all the while still managing to get to bed at a much earlier time than normal. The older I get the more I realise how much my body needs 8 hours sleep … so it’s about time I gave it 8 hours.
Talk About It
I mentioned lots of people got in contact after my post last week, and it reminded me how important it is to talk to people, about anything and everything. It’s amazing how much you lock up inside of you, worries, concerns, stresses and strains, and sometimes simply talking about it can lift a whole load off your shoulders.
And if it isn’t talking about it, writing it. Writing is an incredibly effective therapy (it’s why I own 4,000 note pads), to do lists, bullet journals, 5 things your grateful for everyday, a daily diary or even just drawings, scribble & doodles can have an incredibly positive impact on your life. I always carry a note pad with me to capture ideas, make ‘to do’ lists so things can stop buzzing around my head like flies, and write my goals and ambitions out. Invest in a journal and simply jot down things that come into mind …
Get More Active
Being active forces you to breathe, to fight, to be strong. It’s an incredible therapy and one I used to rely on heavily to help me feel well and strong in the past, but one in recent years i’ve neglected due to a lack of time and all the other workaholic excuses I have mustered up. But getting active; walking, running, cycling, going to the gym, truly does wonders for you, your mindfulness and your overall health.
Whilst my new years resolution of getting to the gym more hasn’t happened (what a surprise), what I have tried to do is walk more, get outside, into the air, into nature and just walk, even if it’s from one meeting to the next. In London it often takes the same or less time as a taxi to walk, but does so much more for your mindfulness than back to back traffic.
I find being outside, and walking, taking in your surrounding even if it’s for 10 or 20 minutes, is often all you need to clear your head, regain some perspective and find some inner peace and positivity.
So there you have it, five very simply ways to help you live more mindfully and the five things I personally will be doing to help my own everyday mindfulness. I’d love to know how (and if you) practice mindfulness and the things you do in your life to bring that feeling of everyday content and positivity?