"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
~ Ferris Bueller
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is one of my favorite movies of all time. I love how he tricks his family and principal. He lets go of all responsibility for an entire day and is open to any and all adventures that come his way. We could all learn some very valuable lessons from this movie. When was the last time you totally disconnected from technology or your to-do lists and took time to fully be in your present moment?
I know how hard it is to not answer every text, email and phone call as soon as possible. But taking care of you should be be important. If you treat yourself in the best way possible you are genuine in everything you do.
Keeping myself in check from not running in to many directions all at once is one of my biggest challenges but one that I have worked hard on in the past few years. It hasn’t been easy to let go, I work on this every day, but over time I have learned some very important ways to be more mindful in my life.
Here are some ways to be keep your life in balance and be mindful...
1. Being Mindful In the Morning
When you wake up in the morning, try to have a calm start to the day. I know that this is easier said than done but by being able to manage your time in the morning effectively leads to calmness throughout the day. I am not a morning person. All of my small tasks become harder to manage so I now wake up ten minutes earlier. The extra time in the morning helps me from not being frantic and late for my day. I have also learned to keep everything I need for my day on my kitchen table, especially my house keys.
I also try to make my morning routine fun. When was the last time you sang in the shower like Ferris, or listened to your favorite music while you got dressed?
Always take a moment before you head out the door to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I love you.” We are often our worst critic, so by starting the day by being kind to yourself is a very important first step in being mindful.
2. Mindful Eating
I am just as guilty as everyone else for rushing through meals. But eating in your car, standing in the kitchen or as you are walking out the door is not an ideal way to enjoy your food. By sitting down you are allowing your body to digest your food better. You might even notice that you start to eat slower this way.
I now make an effort to take time to enjoy each and every meal. I put down the phone and step away from the television and truly enjoy the delicious meal in front of me.
It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to create a space for mindful eating. First create a beautiful place to sit and eat. You can put place mats on the table, light candles and use nice cloth napkins. If you have fancy plates, use them! Practice enjoying and celebrating each meal as often as you can.
A good mindful practice is to actually chew your food. As an experiment, I recommend that all of my clients chew their food at least 30 times before they swallow it. You don’t do this at every meal, but it is a good experiment to learn how to slow down and really taste every little bite of deliciousness. You might notice that you get full faster and don’t need second helpings. Over time, you might even take smaller than your usual portions since you know how much food your body actually needs to be energized and happy. (Did Ferris rush through his meal while he was pretending to be Abe Froman at the fancy restaurant, Chez Quis? Nope :)
3. Being Mindful In The Evening
We all have our unique way of relaxing after a long day. Maybe it is a yoga class before dinner or going for a nice long walk (or touring a local art museum like Ferris). By moving our bodies we can let go of our day, just feel the to-do lists melt away. I know that I can’t have a restful nights sleep if I don’t take time at night to slow down and relax.
I love reading a chapter in my favorite book, spraying some lavender aromatherapy on my pillows and sheets for calmness.
4. Mindful Relationships
By slowing down the pace of my life I have been able to really enjoy the people in my life more. I notice that without all of the distractions of technology I do pay more attention and remember even the small details from my conversations. I have noticed that others see this and it makes them happier to know that I give them my undivided attention.
Everything in life can wait until the next day except taking care of you. If you need to take a break, take it. If you need to meditate each morning so you can feel calm all day, just wake up ten minutes earlier every day. Just give yourself permission to do whatever you need to do, in order to slow down the pace of your life. (Did Ferris ever seem to be rushed?)
It is up to you to create the life you truly desire and deserve. If you start to make small changes today then you will notice overtime that you have created life-long healthy relationships with your loved ones and yourself.