Nurture - January 6, 2020

Mindfulness Techniques to Handle Everyday Busyness

Let’s face it: women wear a lot of different hats. We’re moms, wives, sisters, daughters, friends—and more often than not, we’re some combination of the above. That means we are hard-wired to feel like we need to do all things for everyone in our lives, making burnout an inevitability. Stuff has to get done, and we have to be the ones to do it, right? The truth, though, is that we can avoid busyness burnout.

We can learn to slow ourselves down, listen to our bodies and brains, and reset the natural impulse to be busy all of the time in the service of others. How? With basic mindfulness routines that tackle our most prominent sources of stress. Here are five mindfulness techniques you can build right into your day, to help you beat busyness and find some (literal!) peace of mind.

Indulge Your Inner Five Year Old.

If your daily to-do list is keeping you awake at night, buy an adult coloring book and set aside 15 minutes before bed to color. Focus on what’s in front of you—the colors, shapes, patterns, pencil strokes. This isn’t a time for mental multi-tasking: this is a moment to unwind, shake off all the lingering worries and responsibilities of the day, and prepare your brain for settling down to sleep.

Choose A Grounding Mantra.

If you get bogged down by the little things all day (the laundry piling up, the dog that needs walking, the endless after-school errands), train yourself to repeat a grounding mantra each time you feel yourself going down a stress spiral. Repeat something like “This is a small problem” or “I can handle this” to yourself until you gain some perspective again. Enough practice will make this come easier over time, and soon enough, you’ll be handling life’s curveballs like a pro.

 

These activities are super easy, and with a little practice, they’ll become part of your everyday life.

Practice Mindful Listening.

How often do you absent-mindedly listen to people speaking while your brain is busy thinking about ten other things? All that distraction is exhausting. Flexing your mindful listening skills once or twice per day will help you stay grounded in the present moment and allow you to better focus on one thing at a time. You can practice eliminating distractions (i.e., your phone or tablet) for five or ten minutes, by merely sitting wherever you are and absorbing your surroundings.

Prepare For Stress—And Have A Plan.

Do you suffer from road rage every morning during rush hour traffic? Practice a short mindfulness activity, like a body scan, before even starting your car (you can put a sticky note on your steering wheel or attach something to your car keys to remind yourself). Then anticipate what might make you feel stressed on your trip—like being cut off by another driver—and plan for how you’ll refocus, like singing along to the radio instead of clenching your jaw.

Do A Little Self-evaluation.

When you opt to paint your toenails instead of cleaning the guest bathroom, pat yourself on the back for taking a break—and then stop to acknowledge how good it felt. Did the tension finally release from your shoulders? Were you less likely to snap at your kids for making messes? Sometimes taking a rest from your responsibilities leads to guilt about your less-than-productive day later on, but taking a moment to realize how valuable that rest is will make you more likely to slow down again in the future.

These activities are super easy, and with a little practice, they’ll become part of your everyday life.

Partners' Stories
;