How To Stay Mindful During A Busy Day
We know that practicing mindfulness can help you feel calmer, happier and more productive, but what if you’re just too busy to fit it in? Being mindful during a busy day can often be the least of your concerns, when your thoughts are pre-occupied with the 1,001 things to do on your list.
While longer practice sessions can certainly be helpful, practicing mindfulness doesn’t mean that you have to take out precious chunks of your busy schedule. In fact, it’s easy to stay mindful during a busy day, and by weaving in simple activities to bring back your attention, you can enjoy a more stress-free and focused state of mind.
Focus on one thing at a time
Multi-tasking might seem like a sign of efficiency and productivity – but in actual fact, it’s the complete opposite. Instead, focusing on one task at a time is a far more mindful – and effective – way of getting things done.
The human mind isn’t designed to focus on multiple tasks at once – even though we might sometimes feel like we are doing it successfully. Even the simplest tasks, when done in parallel with something else, end up taking valuable attention and focus from the main activity at hand.
Instead, focus yourself on completing one key task at a time. You’ll find that you are able to put all your attention on the activity more mindfully – and most likely, work though it more quickly.
Tune into your senses
One of the most beneficial ways of trying to stay mindful during a busy day is tuning in to how your body and breath are feeling, in the moment.
This is something that can be done virtually any time, in any place. Simply pay attention to how one part of your body is feeling. Notice if any parts of you feel tense, and invite those parts of your body to relax.
For example, if you are walking through somewhere, pay attention to how each step feels. Notice if your shoulders or chest feel tight or hunched, and allow them to relax.
Busy-ness can often feel stressful and lead to a host of negative feelings, as we become exhausted, worried or worn out. Practicing gratitude in a mindful way is a great way to boost your positive feelings, and can have a hugely beneficial on our overall health.
During your busy day, take time to notice the many different activities you have to do and notice what you are grateful for in each of them. Bringing our attention to the small, everyday aspects of our hectic daily lives can often shed a new perspective on them.
You can also practice gratitude with and for the people you have in your life. This might include gratitude for other colleagues, whose activities make your role possible, family members who support us in a myriad of ordinary ways, and even the strangers we encounter everyday without much thought, who help make our day to day lives run a little more smoothly.
Find a Mindful Anchor
Often our mindfulness practice is hindered purely because we get lost in our busy schedules. We rush through our day forgetting to centre ourselves and take mindful breaths.
Find yourself a mindful anchor. Go a walk along the beach and pick out the nicest stone/shell that you can find. Spend a bit of time with it there and then in mindful awareness.
Take this anchor with you every day and keep it somewhere where you will touch it regularly, like a purse or your pocket. Each time you put your hand in your pocket and feel your anchor, stop whatever you are doing for a few seconds and simply take a few deep belly breaths and tune into your surroundings.
Want to learn more?
Check out 10 life changing benefits of Mindfulness.
Tell us your favourite ways to stay mindful during a busy day!